Thursday, May 30, 2013

The dilemma of Facebook

Every one pretty much agrees that Facebook is a time-suck. Once I get on it, I keep thinking “Oh, just a couple more posts.” Somehow I have this feeling I’m missing something world-shattering if I don’t see every post. Facebook itself saves me—at least on my computer. After so long it will freeze and send a message at the bottom of the screen, “Facebook stopped due to long-running script.” All I can do then is gracefully exit, so I know I do miss some posts.

Give it up entirely? Nope. Never. It’s fun to keep up with friends by commenting and hearing from them. Funny, but posts I think will elicit lot of comments, don’t; then I post something trivial and am flooded with responses. No telling. But I have made friends through Facebook and keep in closer touch with some old friends than I did before. Also it gives me a chance to reach out to acquaintances that I only see from time to time.

Sometimes Facebook is the first place I hear news of importance. The example that comes to mind today is Michele Bachmann’s decision to retire from Congress. But there have been other instances, from national news of significance to local storm warnings and notice of fires, bad wrecks, etc.

Another thing keeps me on Facebook: lost dogs, found strays, and particularly shelter dogs on the euthanasia list. It breaks my heart, and when I first saw them several years ago, I begged my friend to stop posting them. She said she couldn’t because each one broke her heart, and that was her way of helping. I’ve so come around to her way of thinking, and I post pictures of so many dogs I want to rush out and bring home. If I can save one, two or five, I’ve done better than none.

Finally, there’s my work as an author. These days authors are told Facebook is an essential part of their marketing program. But you have to walk a fine line—promote your books but post about other things too. If all you say boils down to “Buy my book” people will tune out quickly. I have a friend who is a political activist and posts a lot on Facebook about the causes she believes in. But she also posts about her grandsons, her yard, her cats and occasionally things she just finds funny. Her rationale: she wants people to know she’s a pretty nice, well-rounded person in addition to advocating the things she cares about—which sometimes includes my passion for helping desperate dogs and cats. I try to follow her example.

Give up Facebook? I don’t think so. Watch how much time I spend on it? For sure. If I spent all day I’d never get anything written. It’s a dilemma.

1 comment:

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