Thursday, January 9, 2014

I Took the Plunge...

...and joined Facebook. Yeah, I know, what's so "plunge-y" about that? I mean, I got on Twitter without any angst, and my initial reaction to Twitter was, "Are you kidding? Who wants to TEXT the entire internet? And what for?" But I saw some advantages to Twitter. For me, at least, it's not a time suck. I can "get in and get out." And I've found that having to express something in only 140 characters results in a lot of "right between the eyes" quotes and uproarious lines appearing in my feed. In other words, it's not hard to find good food for thought or your laugh for the day, in only a few minutes. I like the challenge of saying something so concisely. I've found some great writing links. I've connected with people. And I know who I am on Twitter: I'm a writer.

With Facebook, most of this is murkier. I've only been on for two days -- and granted, the first evening it took some time to set up my account -- but the time-suck temptation is already stronger. You become Facebook friends with Cousin Hattie, and then you see that she's friends with Long Lost Mary, and whatever did become of good ol' Mary anyway...? I am absolutely firm that I will not get sucked in to excess, but I do get that you can suddenly look up at the clock and two hours have passed. And because the posts can be longer, they are, which means they (a) lack the punch of tweets, and (b) take longer to read. There's not the nice little challenge of boiling something down to 140 characters. And I'm not that sure who I am on Facebook. The mix of personal and professional has always made me a little skittish, and since we hear about people's FB accounts being used against them by prospective or actual employers, why shouldn't it?

I'm sure it'll all be okay. Despite the fact that I've friended mostly writers, while at the same time I'll enjoy keeping up with some cousins and other extended family that I don't see much. Because, truth to tell, what finally made me break down and join was missing out on an important piece of info once too often. As another writer said just recently, Facebook (among other, newer social media sites) is where the conversation is going on. With this mix of professional and personal, I guess that on FB I'll just have to be a person. :)

By the way, if you're on and I haven't sent you a friend request, feel free to send me one.

19 comments:

Leandra Wallace said...

I tend to avoid fb as well. I'm hoping to keep my platform just as my blog and twitter, which I just started. But maybe a separate fb page if I'm ever an author? There's a thought!

Marcia said...

Leandra -- That's what I was thinking, but then I read an article about the advantages of sticking with the main FB account b/c trying to drive traffic to an author page if that's all you have is a never-ending battle. And I'm not entirely comfortable with all the requests to "like" an author's page. I've liked one, on my own, because I got there from her main account. Well -- this will all work itself out in time. :)

Dawn Malone said...

Marcia, I share your feelings about Facebook as well. I use it mostly catch up with what everyone else is doing, and to interact/like their statuses. I do make use of the lists to share things with specific groups of people so I'm not bombarding my entire friend list with something that only a select few might find interesting. FB and Twitter are necessary promotion tools for writers in this digital age, so I try to work with them.

cleemckenzie said...

I find fb easy, if rather glib and sometimes boring. It's just one of those things that seems to call attention to books. Should do a scientific analysis to determine if all the time spent there is worthwhile. I'll do that when I have a free moment. :-)

I'll stop by and "friend" you! Don't you love that verb?

Vijaya said...

I think you have a good head on your shoulders Marcia and will do just fine on FB. Feel free to befriend Max. He knows who you are! I am going to avoid it for as long as possible ... and as to mixing personal with the professional, writing *is* personal. I actually prefer blogs that are personal instead of all about writing or their books or what have you ... because I'm online to connect, make a relationship, and it happens with a person. Of course, it's true, I have deep relationships with some books, but we won't get into that right now.

Um, I'm not going to go back and edit this comment to be pithy ... it takes effort to pare everything down.

Barbara Watson said...

I find myself on Twitter much more than FB. Twitter's just much more fun.

Faith E. Hough said...

I don't think FB and I would mix well--definitely understand all your hesitations as I've thought the same things. And though I have a Twitter account, I can't say that I've figured that out either...so I'll keep waiting. (Though I usually feel like the only member of my generation without a FB account!)

Mirka Breen said...

Facebook was my first internet presence of any kind, in what seems like pre-historic times only a five years ago. I joined to see what DD was up to, only to find that kiddos don't want to be FB friends with us, boo-hoo...
Since then, I only pop-in sporadically. My favorite thing is seeing the photographs of friends from long ago, and getting a glimpse of what matters to them. I completely agree about all of this not replacing precious time in life. The challenge is to make it an augmentation, not a life/time-suck. You're wise and I have no doubt you'll find how to use it and not have it use you.

Marcia said...

Dawn -- Yes, I'll have to explore lists, groups, or whatever FB calls them. Right now I'm a little tongue-tied there, not knowing what to post.

Lee -- Yep, just like all the other nouns that have become verbs, like "impact" and "partner." :)

Vijaya -- I can already see that I won't be on there tons. I mean, it's just not THAT great. I rather like it for extended family that I would otherwise not be in touch with at all. Hey, maybe I will friend Max, as long as you've given permission. :) I completely agree about preferring blogs that have a mix of professional and personal. I don't like ALL writing, but I don't like ALL recipes all the time, either. I've quit following a few writers cuz they never write about writing. And yes, I don't have time to make this response shorter. :D

Barbara -- I agree.

Faith -- I've heard plenty of people confess that they "don't do all that much" on FB. Which hopefully means not everyone is as addicted as we think. :)

Marcia said...

Mirka -- We cross-posted. :)For a time, I didn't join b/c I thought adults were "crashing" something that college students had created for college students, and that wasn't really right. Had my kids been in HS then I'd've made an account and required them to friend me, but they were already of age, and I knew they were good people, so I didn't necessarily have to see everything they discuss with their friends. Now, though, even people in their 80s are on. It's just how some families keep up.

Andrea Mack said...

I've been on Facebook for a while but I'm sure I don't use it as well as I might for making writing connections. I hope you pass on any good tips you learn about!

Marcia said...

Andrea -- I wondering just how redundant it is to be on both FB and Twitter. They seem a lot alike, only FB is more verbose. Maybe time will tell. :)

Emily R. King said...

I closed my personal FB account a few years ago. I dislike FB for a number of reasons, but mostly, I've seen how it affects some people's behavior negatively, so I pulled away from it. I don't regret it one bit.

Kelly Hashway said...

Yes, it's so easy to get on Twitter and only stay for a little while. FB is an entirely different story. ;)

Janet Johnson said...

Good luck with it! I do facebook, but I keep it only for family and old friends. I figure one day I'll have to break out of that and create a fan page or something, but until then, I like having it separate. And YES, total time suck.

Marcia said...

Emily -- I had those reservations, too. I've seen people have serious family troubles from it, frankly. That's the unspoken reason I never joined till now.

Kelly -- That's what I think, too! Though I'm pretty tongue-tied on FB at the moment.

Janet -- I definitely get the desire to keep it separate.

Medeia Sharif said...

I remember friending, clicking through friends of friends, looking up people I met in college and high school...yes, a big time suck.

I deleted my FB a few months ago and it was liberating. It wasn't the best platform for me and I prefer Twitter, Blogger, and Instagram.

Marcia said...

Medeia -- It's encouraging to hear when people delete the accounts that aren't right for them instead of feeling they "have" to have certain ones.

Kim Van Sickler said...

I was psyched to see you'd "joined." Play around with it and see what works for you. I've really enjoyed it and reconnected with many, many people from my past and befriended writer friends too. Will be seeing you...