Weekly Writing Challenge: Facebook – An Itchy Elephant

The first time I accessed Facebook was early 2011, a year before the 2012 Presidential election went into a full-tilt boogie. I had never been on a social media site though I’d heard of MySpace. My impression was it was where 12-year-olds went to pretend they were 16. (I was right.)

I was pleasantly surprised with Facebook. It was easy. I could connect with anyone. Everyone. Anywhere on Planet Earth.

global-communications-ans-earth

That warm fuzzy feeling evaporated faster than morning mist. Facebook was the angriest place on earth. Everyone had a strong opinion — mostly based on their own or someone else’s opinion. Facts? We don’t need no stinking facts! This is Facebook! MY opinion is as good as anyone else’s (no, it isn’t actually). It seemed as if the whole world was posting angry diatribes. From the left, right, middle and far ends of the universe, everyone had something to shout about. Whoa, I thought to myself. This could get ugly (I was right … it did).

Then I discovered games. I connected with kids (now grandparents) with whom I went to grade school or college. People I wanted to reconnect with. Then, with people I had hoped never to hear anything from again. The good, the bad and the wholly unattractive, all in one basket. Whoopee.

communication-world-global

I began backing away as fast as I could. The games were cool, or some of them anyhow. But the percentage of enraged people, illiterates, the mentally unbalanced, the lunatic fringe — all posting whatever was on their minds (perhaps “minds” is too strong a word, but it’s the only one I’ve got) was too much for me. The temperature was in the red zone.

I continued to play games, which is why 95% of my “friends” (what a misnomer!) on Facebook are those with whom I connected because we were playing the same games. The remaining 5% are family and real live people I know. Some seem, for whatever reason, to prefer communicating via Facebook rather than email, telephone or in person. To each his/her/their own. Who am I to judge? (Okay, I think it’s weird, but I try not to judge.) (I don’t succeed.)

In the beginning, I got upset when Facebook made blatantly exploitive changes to their site. Then I remembered: I don’t have to go there. I don’t have to post. If Facebook vanished tomorrow, my world would not crumble.

By then, I’d found WordPress and begun blogging. The more into blogging I got, the less reason I had to visit Facebook … unless I was in the mood for a game. And of course, there is the convenience of using Facebook to publicize my blog. I may not like it, but lots of others do. I get quite a few click-throughs from Facebook.

WordPress Logo

The thing is, you can’t avoid Facebook. It’s there, the elephant in the room, the itch you can’t quite scratch. Pretend otherwise, but you can smell the peanuts and no matter how much you twist, you never get that itch.

A surprising (to me) number of authors and artists choose Facebook pages in preference to having their own website. Is it because Facebook offers wide open access and effortless connectivity?

It certainly is less demanding to maintain a Facebook page than manage a website. Maybe that’s it.

For me, the open access of Facebook is a negative, a reason to avoid it. I want control over who does what on my site. Obviously others feel differently. Everything has a place and a purpose. Or as Mom used to say: “For everyone, there’s someone.”

Or something. Facebook is the something many choose. Never my choice, but that’s irrelevant. Freedom isn’t just a word. It’s one of my core values. Do your thing. I’m not bound by your choices. You’re not bound by mine.

It’s the American way. And my way.



Categories: Blogging, Computers, Media, social media, Technology, WordPress, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. Agree. Not a hot button for me either. Still, as a writer, observations so similar to yours it is eeriness in motion. Loving me my long distance relly connections, writer connections but not a lot else there, not time for too much or I get depressed (oops there’s a sign, lol) Found you in DP challenge and I think I’d like to follow you here now, thinker woman. Chimed in with a poem just to prove your point of lunatic fringe, lol: http://auroramorealist.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/facebook-to-poke-or-to-puke/

    Like

  2. Enough of this picking on Husbands!! I like cruising Facebook and don’t take it too seriously. It’s part of my daily routine now. So, where’s my phone? Can someone answer it?

    Like

  3. Facebook, harrumph. I finally signed up to see my sons photos they put on there. I know my time on Facebook is ending. Facebook sends me emails saying they miss me, what?

    Like

    • If you don’t ever use your account, they close it. I use it to publicize my site and play games. And find out what the people who refuse to email because they prefer posting once are doing (the like telling everyone at one time on FB) … If that’s what they want, okay by me.

      Like

  4. Great article thank you for sharing with your readers

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap {Facebook:What Will I Do With You?} | lifebydmagdalene
  2. Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the gap | A couple of dollars
  3. FACEBOOK: TO POKE OR TO PUKE? | Aurora Morealist
  4. Weekly Writing Challenge: Salutations? Who cares? | SERENDIPITY
  5. Facebook Leads to Competition |

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