As most everyone knows, I’ve come late to the social media party. After all, my website and blog just got started, and it was only a couple of weeks ago that I joined Twitter, a full three years after most of my writing friends. There was no reason behind the delay other than that I am more interested in writing fiction than essays and non-fiction. My main fear was that I would waste precious writing time on something other than my stories and my novel. So far I’ve been able to balance the two parts of my writing life. If there ever comes a time when I can’t, the blog and Twitter will go.
There’s a real downside to the blog and Twitter stuff, though. Suddenly all the Facebook devotees out there assume that since I’ve started with Twitter, it’s just a small step to FB. Well, let me assure all of you who keep telling me I have to be on FB. I do NOT have to be on FB. Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way now, one last time. For all those reasons you give me why I should be on FB, here’s why I’m not:
- It’ll be good for my career. Actually, the only thing that’s really good for my writing career is writing the best fiction I can write. And revising it and revising it some more and then submitting it. Period.
- I can keep up with friends and family, and they can keep up with me. I know the phone numbers and email addresses of my friends and family. Why do I need to stay in touch with them via public forum? And if there are people who don’t have my phone number or email address, chances are I didn’t want to give them that information.
- I’ll be able to find my best friend from third grade. (dumbest of all) If I’d wanted to keep up with my best friend from third grade, I would have. Just because someone was my friend when I was eight doesn’t mean I will have a damned thing in common with her 40+ years later. And say that person wants to friend me and I don’t want to be her friend? Then I’ll have to reject her. Better for her to think I don’t know how to get in touch than to know that I do but choose not to.
But here’s my major objection to Facebook (apart from the ads). People share way too much. They say things they would say chatting with their friends over coffee. You are not just talking to friends over coffee, folks. You are putting things out over the big wide web that maybe you should keep to yourself. Much of it is embarrassing, but lots of it is just plain boring and inane. Lots of Twitter is boring and inane too, but it’s quicker to skim through to find the links you want, and people on Twitter don’t necessarily expect you to respond. People who make remarks on your FB wall do.
So, unless something changes dramatically, don’t expect to be my friend on Facebook. If you want to keep in touch, do it the old fashioned way. Email me.