Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Social Media Manifesto III: Facebook

I was a long-time diehard Facebook fan. I loved reconnecting with people with whom I'd fallen out of touch. I had my fan page and my personal page and networked my blog and everything. And I loved it.

But I didn't love the constantly changing privacy policies. And I didn't love realizing that I'd just spent the past hour and a half reading status updates when I could have been -- should have been -- writing.

For me, the last straw of Facebook came when my child's 1st grade teacher took pictures of the kids in her class and posted them on her page. Soon, people were tagging her with my name and links to my FB page.

Now, I don't put my child's picture online. Ever. To me, that just smacks of exploitation. And the paranoiac in me certainly doesn't want my kid's picture tagged with my name. I know there are a bazillion parents out there happily posting pics of every second of their kids' lives. Well, I'm not one of them.

So time-wasting and photo-tagging trumped (in my opinion) staying in touch with a few people, I got off FB. Went cold turkey. Never missed it, found lots of other ways to procrastinate on my writing, and never looked back...

I was happy being footloose and Facebook free until recently, when a client wanted me to administer their fan page. (Which, incidentally, I set up back in the day...). I fought it. I came up with every reason in the book not to. But the client always wins. Since, not surprisingly, one cannot administer a page without being a member, I was dragged kicking and screaming back to the FB fold.

Here, then, in a nutshell is my Facebook policy:
  • I have a personal page, but rarely check in.
  • My page is my name. If you'd like to say "hi," feel free. I'll probably respond.
  • I only add as friends people I know.
  • I have zero interest in anyone's virtual farm, mafia, or zoo. I mean it. Even if it's my own mother: I just don't care. I'm sorry if that comes across as harsh, but I doubt that I'm alone in this.
  • I don't have an official "fan page." In my experience, it becomes just one more thing to manage. 
I use social media to stay informed and to stay in touch. I must constantly remember that it is a tool. It is not my reason for living. I was not put here on the planet to raise my Klout score or see if I can get the most Twitter followers, or blog readers, or Facebook fans. I love spending time online meeting and interacting with the wonderful people I meet there, but my life begins when I pull the plug and get down to the business of living.

1 comment:

Gale Martin said...

Social media can be consuming. I've let it consume me on occasion. Now, I think I've struck a healthy balance. The thing I most resent about it is that it's a time suck. I've spent too much time navigating social media that I should have spent writing. Though I will say, nothing beats Facebook for birthdays.