For the longest time I carefully avoided Facebook (and every other version of social media). I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, but now that I’ve been on Facebook for a month, I’m definitely having fun.
Do You Hear the People Snore?
I was of course a little leery about the whole privacy thing, but my main concern had to do with what to post. After all, the point of being on Facebook is to interact with people by sharing about yourself, and while the details of my life are endlessly fascinating to me, I had a hard time imagining that they would be quite so enthralling to others.
What on earth could I post about? Offering regular “and then I scrubbed the bathtub”-type updates didn’t seem like a good idea. (Or maybe I’m thinking of how to be boring on Twitter. Anyway.)
Even if I managed to ramp things up a bit (“Sitting in the kitchen eating madeleines and trying to remember why I never got around to reading Proust”), I would then be in danger of something much, much worse…the dreaded “Christmas Letter” effect.
Christoalphabetaphobia (Fear of Xmas Letters)
For those of you lucky enough never to have seen one of these concoctions, here’s a sampling of what you missed:
Once again we’ve had a fabulous year. Fifi graduated summa cum laude from obedience school. Pat got another promotion (which makes three in eighteen months). Since I’ve been spending so much time raising all that money for Save the Ferrets, I’ve cut back to only five days a week at my ice sculpting studio.
And so on and relentlessly on for an entire page (or worse, two pages), single spaced (extra points for using a background in a shade of green or red so dark the words can barely be read).
Needless to say, not the sort of thing I’m anxious to inflict on others, even accidentally.
Everything, All the Time (Except Christmas Letters)
Now that I’m actually on Facebook, I can see why people love it. It’s a huge, friendly free-for-all with everybody chatting and posting and commenting all over the place—lots and lots (and lots and lots) of posts that are thought-provoking, silly, informative, funny, intriguing, and—Danger, Will Robinson—fun to read.
Facebook, it turns out, is like a giant newspaper full of human interest stories [and for those who know exactly what I’m talking about, let us pause a moment to sigh over the decline of the daily paper].
In fact, the main problem I’ve discovered is that there’s just too much going on. I bounce around, reading what other people have to say and chiming in with my own ideas, and suddenly hours have gone by and I haven’t done any actual work (like, say, writing a few more pages of my new novel). Oops.
People on Facebook have been very welcoming—“Come on in, splash around, the water’s fine.” I’m looking forward to finding out what I have to contribute to the conversation.