Can fiction handle texts, FB, etc.?

The surface answer of course is, Yes, fiction can deal with anything. Still… what luck have you had writing a story in which characters rely on texting, or on cell phones? Surely it can be done. After all, we’ve incorporated the printing press and steam engines and nuclear power. Why scruple or stumble at Twitter and Instagram?

My way around it so far has been to write historical fiction. (Historical means pre-1980.) And I’m old enough to assume I’ll die — or at least reach hapless dementia – before that historical date jumps a couple decades.

Still, I do have a few story ideas I’d like to set in modern times. Anyone else wrangling with this particular beast?

Part at least of this issue is addressed in a recent post at The The Millions. []

[Note — I have not overlooked the possibility of new punctuation marks, new grammar, new style handbooks. But we already rely on too many squiggly marks and arbitrary rules.]


Hi, all my books are set in the present, and I don’t have any issue mentioning Facebook or sms. I remember explaining what skype was in my first novel, but that only because I was naive enough to think I was using a relatively uknown app. Now I just mention Facebook or whatever other social media without stopping to think whether future generations will understand. Of course they will, from the context. The only thing to avoid are terms invented by these companies, like: to friend someone or to like their posts. If I need to talk about that, I find a way around so as not to say simply: She liked my post or she friended me on Facebook, because one day these terms may become obsolete. I would just say for instance: She added me to her Facebook friends, and she gave me a “like” on my post.
You can take a look at a short story of mine:
Or you can also read my novel

when I write, I specify texting the same way I do dialogue. I simply use a different digital looking font (sorry I forget the name of it right now). The message seems to get through pretty well.