Expect Resistance With New Technology

Getting Over the Hump by Jeffrey Gifford

Getting Over the Hump by Jeffrey Gifford

This phenomenon comes up a lot when I talk about Twitter (or—really—any new media tool).

People don’t use it. They haven’t tried to use it. And they decide not to use it often because it’s too much trouble. This reason, in and of itself, is fine. I understand when people have other priorities, especially when it entails meeting writing deadlines.

However, what often happens is, after deciding not to use a tool, they further justify their decision by saying:

It’s a waste of time.

It’s a fad.

It doesn’t really work.

So many marketers and spammers are on there.

Don’t people just talk about what they had for lunch?

Something else will take its place.

We all know exactly what’s at work here. No one wants to be missing out on something that could be valuable. So whenever we hear something negative about a particular tool or service we don’t use, we remember that detail (never the positive stuff!), and parrot it later. We want to believe that our avoidance is not just about perceived low value, but actual low value.

But we really don’t know what we’re talking about because we have no experience to rely on, just hearsay and rumor.

First, let’s stop spreading bad information.

Second, let’s admit that we don’t have time for some things due to other priorities. That’s OK. We all respect people for that.

Third, consider that we all face resistance when faced with a new tool or technology. It usually takes hard work, patience, practice, and experimentation to figure out if a new tool or technology will benefit us. There’s a chance it won’t work at all. We may risk wasting our time. (Though I don’t think this is possible. But that’s another blog post.)

Until you learn what’s something’s about, and get over the hump, you’ll never really know the truth.

Posted in Digital Media, Marketing & Promotion.

Jane Friedman (@JaneFriedman) has 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in digital media strategy for authors and publishers. She is the publisher of The Hot Sheet, the essential newsletter on the publishing industry for authors, and was named Publishing Commentator of the Year by Digital Book World in 2019.

In addition to being a columnist for Publishers Weekly, Jane is a professor with The Great Courses, which released her 24-lecture series, How to Publish Your Book. Her book for creative writers, The Business of Being a Writer (University of Chicago Press), received a starred review from Library Journal.

Jane speaks regularly at conferences and industry events such as BookExpo America, Digital Book World, and the AWP Conference, and has served on panels with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. Find out more.

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Ashley Prince

This is wonderful! I am one who was guilty of not using Twitter because I thought people just followed celebrities and tweets step by step how their day is going. 

My husband finally convinced me to get one. And I don’t regret it at all. It’s wonderful to keep up with all of my favorite bloggers and authors. 

Thanks for the brilliant post!


Your article gives the the push I was lacking to move ahead. Thanks. In Health & peace, Nan


I agree entirely.  In fact, I just experienced a detour from the comment I intended to make here because I couldn’t figure out how to revise my openID/DISQUS comment history.  I realize that jumping through these small hurdles — navigating new user interfaces — is the key to keeping myself (ourselves) connected.

As a new (and crotchety) twitter user, it’s your links and blog posts, Jane, that have been the most valuable to me.  I’m learning so much.  Thank you!

Ruth LeFaive

Turns out DISQUS is pretty cool. 🙂


I’ve been resisting twitter for a long time until I had a few posts picked up and had to concede the potential! I’m easing in gradually and moulding my usage to suit the way I work/think. It’s proving to be a great source of new information and connections.

KT Wagner

he naysayers will get here eventually. Fifteen years ago the same people were dissing email and the internet as a “passing fad”.  I remember one colleague who was openly derisive of anyone using email in the place of a phone call – these days her fingers are glued to the keyboard for a couple of hours a day as she bangs out her various email missives…sometimes the late convertors act like they have found religion.  T

Klarque Garrison

I couldn’t agree with you more! And I certainly believe “age” has a lot to do with that decision… 


Great quote, great post — I couldn’t agree with you more. The flipside of balking at the “new” after 35 is that by embracing it, you don’t feel over 35, you feel viable, because you are. It’s amazing how quickly, if you decide to sit on the sidelines, things pass you by in more ways than one. But when you leap in, there is a vitality that keeps you fresh, and part of the ongoing equation. And not trying it at all? It reminds me of what I used to say to my kids when they were little and balked… Read more »

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