Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Love, Hate, and Facebook -- It's Complicated


I blame it all on the Publicity Department at Random House. Some years back, they encouraged me to do a newsletter for readers of my books. After a few years the newsletter morphed into a blog and, at some point, the Publicity Department suggested sharing said blog through Facebook for a wider reach. 

And I did, thinking, no big deal, just post the blog and walk away . . . no need to get involved or anything. 


What happened was the opposite of non-involvement. I found a whole world of fascinating people out there -- not all nice but fascinating in their variety. I joined a few groups directed at Appalachian folks and have heard some great tales -- it's like listening to my neighbors talking. (Sometimes it is my neighbors.)

I've reconnected with friends from as far back as grammar school and with cousins I've not seen in half a century and family members I don't see as often as I wish I could, I've enjoyed chats with a friend in Vienna. I count as friends people I've never seen  -- and somehow feel there's something pure about a friendship that is completely based on words and shared interests. What would I do without Mario's nudibranchs, Amanda Kyle William's' hilarious updates, and Jim Wright's right-on rants? 

Yes, there are things I love about Facebook. (And I haven't even mentioned all the cute animal pictures.)

 On the other hand, Facebook sometimes makes me crazy. There are the folks who are convinced that same-sex marriage means their own little fundamentalist church will have to marry any gay couple that walks in the door. And the ones who send around memes saying that God will do something for you if you share this meme immediately. (Like She's not busy enough with all the prayers about same sex marriage.) 

I won't even start with the BENGHAZINAZIEBOLA conspiracy theories . . .  yeah, I know, I could de-friend or block those people but that would be sticking my head in the sand. I really want to know what people are thinking and I really would like to understand. So I stay tuned  . . . in spite of the things I hate about Facebook. (And I haven't even mentioned all the sad animal pictures.)


15 comments:

Ms. A said...

I finally broke down and made an account to be able to be in some FQ groups. Swore I never would, but it is nice to know I'm not in the battle alone.

Thérèse said...

Hilarious but so much true...
I gave up with Facebook even if I have an account, a matter of time and priorities but it is fascinating.

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Social media is definitely complicated. But I love enough of it not to hate it. so I continue. I also don't want to be one of those old people who doesn't keep up and are quickly left behind :)

However, the best part is the friends I've made through blogging. Thank you for being one of them.
Sam

Brian Miller said...

ha. i got off facebook about 3-4 years ago...its too much for me...oddly too open...and some people seem to think they can hide behind a screen and take pot shots...

Novice Naturalist said...

I consider and reconsider FB regularly. Sometime I just stop 'following' folks so their posts don't show up in my newsfeed, once I am convinced I have been thoroughly exposed to their points of view. Recently, though, I have found FB to provide a great source of a supportive community, from new friends there and from old friends I have not seen in many years. Yesterday, for example, I saw a post on the first same-sex marriages in my old town of Barrow, AK. It just happened that I knew both young couples who made that news, and I was thrilled to see their photos and to read the outpouring of loving support they received from the community. My take away is that the FB experience is worth it for me, for now. Friendship is precious and I love the easy access to communication. And then, of course, there are those cute animal posts. So, I'm in!

Mary Anne Rudolph said...

Yes, well, Bless their hearts. I just scroll through all the posts that look too right wing or religious. If someone gets too far off base with reality as I see it, I 'unfollow' them. I am hooked on FB for now though. I love to post photos and look at photos. And keep up with relatives. And, and.....

Vickie Lesperance said...

Even though there are times that Facebook makes me want to crawl through the computer and hit someone in the face with a shovel, I still keep my profile there and spend my mornings checking out what's happening in the world as I drink my coffee.

Like you I have found some of the most supportive people I've had the pleasure to interact with, but also those who are quickly unfriended or in some cases blocked.

I've also tried that Google+ and the new Ello and MeWe, but keep coming back to Facebook. yes, it seems I am addicted...

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm among the last holdouts refusing to join Facebook. I highly recommend "The Circle" by Dave Eggers. Typically futuristic Eggers, the book describes the insidious loss of privacy on social media and the acceptance of that by many. It's a good read.

Jill said...

I find FB very interesting, but sometimes need a break from all of the craziness. Especially the things that you mentioned. It is mind boggling what some people post, but over all most of the posts are fun and informative. I have "met" some really nice and fun folks on FB and the groups that I am a part of are fun. I did however...yesterday...have a bit of a breakdown when it came to a specific dog rescue post....Not good..I do think though, that things like that do bring awareness to certain issues. Great post.

Martin Hodges said...

Vicki, Facebook had been worth the trip for me, even though I was very reluctant to open an account, for some considerable time. It was worth signing up, just for that long and wonderful, puntastic thread you and I shared, way back.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Vicki, I am very seriously thinking of getting off facebook. As I near my 70th birthday, I can't help but think about how much time is left, and would I rather spend it getting tangled up int "threads" or sitting here looking out at the light sifting through the soon to be falling leaves on our hillside trees? I know the answer. I'd rather have the light, but fb can become an addiction and it does keep me in touch with some friends I care about. I've resolved to begin writing real letters, in cursive,yes, with real ink. It will do my mind and my brain good. Handwriting is supposed to do that, according to brain reasearch. And now I can go buy a fabulous pen and pretty ink.

Vicki Lane said...

I think that Mary Anne's s the attitude I need to adopt. Too often I am tempted to argue -- politely, of course -- with what seem to me to be bone-headed posts. I need to keep scrolling . . . making more time for the things Kay Byer mentions.

Friko said...

I am not on FB. Isn’t a place without anonymity?
Or Twitter. I really don’t want to know how often you use the toilet.

Or isn’t that what the two are all about?

Maybe I should join the fray. O heck, I haven’t enough time for blogging now.

Inger said...

I love the way your pictures come out against the background color you have on your blog right now. So lovely. Not too fond of FB, but I do check in on family and friends in Europe every now and then.

Juliet Batten said...

Ah yes, social networking leads to all sorts of unexpected places. But I'm got very discriminating on Facebook and now don't hesitate to unfriend people who do really unpleasant posts.