Sometimes I hear people say they are quitting Facebook. Their reasons range from it being a time waster, to some sort of nastiness going on there, to being tired of seeing people present only their well-edited best sides and leaving out some of their tougher, all-around real parts of life.
We all have our reasons and our rights. I just happen to be a Facebook fan. Facebook is sort of like fast food. Everyone complains about the big chains and says the food isn’t healthy, they don’t like it, they never go there. All I know is that when I’m in line at the Golden Arches (yes, I admit it) the drive-through is packed. Someone is certainly going there. In fact, a whole lot of somebodies are going there.
I keep hearing that Facebook is in decline, that it’s uncool for young people to be on the social media site because too many parents and grandparents are there, making it uncool. I keep hearing that people go elsewhere to other more trendy sites.
Yet as a newspaper reporter, I have found time and again that if I want to reach someone fast, hitting them up on Facebook is generally the most effective means over email or phone options.
In my personal life, I really do think of my Facebook friends as my community. I can see what’s new with community leaders I know, cousins who live afar, friends from childhood and church and every place I’ve ever worked. It’s instant access. I've been a part of a pop-up party. (Let's meet for dinner!) and met a cousin I didn't know I had due to our age and location differences.
It’s not a perfect cyber-world, for sure. I’ve had my share of Facebook disappointments. I’ve tried to friend someone with whom I had a rocky childhood relationship, thinking that bygones should be bygones now that we’re adults by a long shot. But then the person whose friendship I requested *disappeared* from existence. In social media terms that can only mean one thing: I’ve been blocked.
Sometimes other Facebook friends have disappeared, people with whom I had what I thought was decent relationships. Yep, blocked for some reason. Was it something I said?
When I created a book page and built up a following in the hundreds as I journaled the process and aftermath of writing my little book on my Facebook page, Sweetland of Liberty Bed & Breakfast by Donna Cronk, I didn’t realize that Facebook would permit it to a point and then let me know that it wasn’t allowing many people to see my post. But I could change that if I wanted to pay for boosts.
Bummer, but no reason to drop out. I am getting a lot for free out of their service. It’s their world. I just blog and visit and post pictures in it.
I have a Twitter account but I’ve never gotten the hang of it or built a following with the clever use of the #hashtagtopicofthemoment. Besides, posting on Twitter flat out bores me. Yet at the same time, I know that young adults, like my son Ben, much prefer the Twittersphrere than Facebooking. When I do look in there, I find that I am in awe of my younger son’s entertaining comments compressed into so few words.
There are so many other social media sites. My friends are wild for Pinterest and while it is clever and amazing, I spend too much time on this machine as it is so I try to stay away from that yummy website or I might never sleep or boil water.
Sometimes I forget how we can find out anything, just anything at all, online. I just wrote an article on a lady who is an amazing counted cross-stitcher. The lady was disappointed that her favorite pattern creator hadn’t had anything new out in a while and that led to no longer buying patterns. I had the creator’s name and for the heck of it, Googled her. I learned that the lady died three years ago!
I called my local subject and she was genuinely surprised and disappointed.
It’s a small world, smaller than it’s ever been.
Given that, I’ll probably see you around Facebook.
If not, I’ll catch you in line at the drive-through. Just don’t block me at either site, OK?