Rebecca Kauffman’s Another Place You Never Been is a wonderful novel told in stories, charting the pivotal moments in the life of Tracy, whom we see from age 10 (visiting her father near Lake Michigan) to middle age (where she’s a restaurant hostess in Buffalo). Kauffman talks about her aversion to social media and the complicated relationship between writing and visibility.
This past January when my publisher gently suggested that I join Facebook or Twitter or Instagram in order to promote my debut novel, I thought it might be worthwhile to consider why I’ve resisted social media up to this point.
I missed the first Facebook wave, when a college email address was required to create an account, even though I was a college student at that time. I was attending the Manhattan School of Music without a personal computer, and (to my recollection) there was only one small computer lab that serviced the entire student body, and you always had to wait at least an hour for your ten-minute slot. So although I was provided a college email account around this time, I never actually created a password and signed in, and eventually it was deactivated. Then the second Facebook wave hit, when everyone over the age of thirteen was permitted to join. I can’t remember why I didn’t. I was twenty-three at the time, living on the Upper West Side with my best friend, working at a PR agency, dyeing my hair jet black, and occasionally eating gourmet canned cat food on salads. In other words, I was doing all sorts of questionable things for which I cannot recall my own reasoning..