…AND SO IS THE DILEMMA OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST COCKTAIL PARTY
I’m not a Facebook hater. Far from it. When it comes to finding and re-connecting with the long lost and faraway, Facebook is aces. It’s a tidy place for announcing, inviting, celebrating. Hanging out. Catching up. Rekindling the fires. Wonderful, perfect, fabulous…but maybe not really.
NOT SO AMUSING FUNNY BUSINESS
Strange things are going on over there on Facebook. There are the posts that are seen by only a handful–sometimes less. The Friends I was so thrilled to find after too long absences and yawning distance, but are now all but permanently AWOL, their chatty updates and newsworthy tidbits never making it as far as my News Feed. Where have all those new-found and reclaimed friends gone to congregate without me?
AND THEN, THERE’S THE AUTHOR PAGE
Yes, THAT Author Page. The one that sits all hopeful and expectant…waiting…restlessly pacing…thumbs twiddling…
SO BEGS THE QUESTION
Just how valuable is maintaining real estate in a Facebook empire that is far more resembling of a ghost town? At what point to I concede that the ship has sailed, the sun set, the birds flown south? Is there actually a point in continuing to churn out brain-poop into the care and maintenance of an Author Page that’s looking more and more like Cricket Island.
YES, NO, MAYBE SO
In the midst of this several weeks long mental debate, lands this perfectly timed post from one of my favorite author bloggers–the wise, successful, and wildly amusing Catherine Ryan Howard–Catherine, Caffeinated--who has thankfully taken note of the same ugly little weeds I’ve noticed poking through the Facebook cracks. Unlike my own erratically zigzagging hypothesis, Catherine zeros in with factual stuff–real figures and conclusions (I suspect she’s that kid who was actually paying attention in class–she’s clever like that). All of which has me thinking there’s something to my suspicions and not just
pitiable fear of abandonment paranoia.
BUT, WAIT! THERE’S MORE
Huh, what? Facebook Fraud? No kidding? Without spoiling the plot, let me just say that not all LIKES have anything to do with LIKING, and there’s some shifty (not to be confused with shitty–though maybe) business going on behind the curtain.
What started out as an abundantly cool thing, our worldwide Facebook neighborhood is becoming a land of unleashed shenanigans, increasingly threatening to spoil the entire premise of hanging around the World Wide Water Cooler, chatting up our stuff and the stuff of others.
IS THIS REALLY GOODBYE?
I don’t know, but it sure feels like it for me. I worry that the two people who generally “see” my Author Page Facebook Posts will miss them terribly, but just as likely, the cricket noises over there are getting on their nerves anyway.
What ya thinking? Have any thoughts to share about your own FB experience? Is the Facebook game worth playing? What’s your take on Author/Book pages? Are you hanging in there for the long haul–or packing up your posts and pics and heading elsewhere? The floor is yours!
***Yippee! Free stuff! Currently in progress [ending July 23rd 2014] , Goodreads Giveaway for 3 copies of Painted From Memories. Hope you stop over and enter–my fingers are crossed you’re a winner 😀
I’m certainly finding far fewer ‘friends’ in my various – ahem – groups these days. I don’t have an author page, so not sure where I stand on that one. I have a feeling I’ll continue with a personal page that others can simply subscribe to. That way I’m not worrying about cross-posting.
But, yes, my Facebook experience is diminishing and I’m often finding it more of a chore than a passtime. But I still like it a helluva lot more than anything else, including Twitter.
Thanks for weighing in, Ellen. It’s really something of a bummer when we’ve settled in comfortably somewhere only to have our knick-knacks shuffled around and the furnishings rearranged, simply because we’re tenants and not landlords.
I’m holding tight to my personal page as well, since it truly is the most solid hub of my activity and meaningful interactions. I keeping making those occasional attempts at Twitter, but never seem to get past feeling lukewarm 😦
I recently read a news article that stated Facebook “experimented” with us all – using depressing feeds to see how we would react and using uplifting feeds to see how we would react. I think that’s deplorable. I have a business page, but I realize that only a handful of people see those posts because of Facebook’s algorithms. I think part of that is because FB is trying to sell ads to pump up our posts. I am not biting on that one. My personal page – I’ll keep it for now. I do notice that many people often don’t comment. If I’m truly interested in getting in touch with them (i.e., they are true friends), then I send them an email or personal message. I feel like they (FB) have their hands around my neck sometimes. I’d hate to quit, but I hate all the games, too!
Cripes, that is sooooo disturbing! I’ve noticed that every post to my Author Page brings us an immediate “Promote this Post” flag, and that’s as thoroughly pitiful as it is highly annoying. I refuse to buy into the pay to play game, (as if Mark Zuckerberg needs yet one more gold doubloon to add to the piles) an attitude that feels especially justified once I read the Catherine Ryan Howard post I’ve referenced here. She experimented with paying to boost her posts and the results were ridiculous at best.
Sometimes it feels like FB is becoming just too intrusive into our personal connections. Like the weirdo crouched under the table at our chatty tea parties. Not nice. Not welcome. Not appreciated.
Thanks for weighing in, Karen. I always enjoy your Wise Owl insights 🙂
How did I not know about your Facebook authors…. Loving your new book. Gave a copy to 2 of my beach cottage friends and they are thrilled to pieces to have it. So maybe I will browse Facebook to see what’s cooking on your page…
Love ya’ Ro Sent from my iPad
Hey Ro! First off, let me tell you what a dream reader you are–reading and sharing!!! That’s the twin holy grail for writers. (Not to be confused with, you know, the REAL Holy Grail :-D) Thank you hugely and profusely. I just love the image of PFM beside the sea–a grain or two of sand dotting the cover, dogeared pages with a hint of suntan lotion and margaritas, held in the hands of your nearest and dearest… perfectly lovely!
Alas, that Author Page is something I’m just no sure what to do with. In the meanwhile it remains a Facebook wallflower, thoroughly un-boosted, seen by few and only on occasion (honestly, but a recent post noted “seen by 1!”). Even so, I’m not excessively concerned. It is what it is, what it is, what it is …
Thank you for coming by, sweets! It’s so lovely to see you here 😀
Hi, I found your webpage after reading Catherine Ryan Howards blogpost on closing facebook. I’ve just set up a blog recently and the ‘social-media’ aspect of the project has been giving me palpitations. I’ve never ‘done’ facebook. I always found the interface confusing and it distinctly felt like high school again, hoping that someone would reach out and befriend you, hoping you get invited to the facebook party waiting for that all important like? On the other hand I love twitter and seems a genuine way to connect with people who share your interests and a great way to navigate the internet.
Yet, starting up the blog, nearly every social media website tells me that facebook is necessary to spread your message and ‘get traffic to your site’. This leaves me in a bind. Of course I would like people to visit my site but I really don’t want to hop on the facebook pony. Now I hear from bloggers suggesting that facebook isn’t necessarily that great for spreading the word and that facebook is becoming its own worst enemy.
On reflection I think we do need to consider how we spend our time online. It is precious after all and you can spend a lifetime updating posts to various sites, uploading new content to numerous social networking platforms to the neglect of the real world (not to mention getting actual writing done). Maybe we just need to focus on the platforms that we like and that works for us.
In other words we need to learn to stop worrying and love the internet (I should really take my own advice on this :-)).
Hi Caroline! Thank you for stopping by and leaving such a valuable comment.
Oh, my gosh, but yes, yes, yes, to your excellent comments here. It’s all so baffling and potentially angst promoting — unless we take a moment to settle down, chill-out and remember that, really, we’re actually in charge of how we intend to handle all this social media stuff crowding our heads and tangling our minds.
I think you’ve summed up this potential quandary quite beautifully in that “…we do need to consider how we spend our time online. It is precious after all and you can spend a lifetime updating posts to various sites, uploading new content to numerous social networking platforms to the neglect of the real world (not to mention getting actual writing done)…”
There’s so much noise out there in the world nudging us in the direction of what we “should be, need to, must be, doing,” and yet if we’re not loving or at least enjoying it, what’s the point? Besides which, I’m certain our audiences are well aware when we’re robotically posting stuff just to keep our pages active, which in turn is just a huge turn-off for everyone involved. After all, If we’re into this writing gig for the long haul, we do need to stay focused on the actual writing, and not so caught-up into LIKING, being LIKED, and staying LIKED (Lol, yes indeed, it does feel far too much like high school and pining for a seat at the “popular” lunch table!)
I appreciate your advice!.We really do need to “stop worrying and learn to love the internet.” It’s far less stressful and distracting to instead focus on what we set out to do–write!
And your shiny new blog looks quite lovely, Caroline. Love what you have to say and how you say it 😀
Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m really enjoying it so far and look forward to writing more posts. It’s great to see that there is such a vibrant community asking the important questions in blogs such as this. I look forward to reading more.