Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Problem of Facebooking

So, here’s a thing I’ve discovered. Facebook is too easy. You can jump online, post something, get near immediate feedback from some of your thousand plus friends, and it feels good. You can easily stay in contact with family and close friends and see what they’re up to, although most of the time it isn’t anything exciting. You can share your joys at what you’re reading or watching, or lament your failures with people who have similar interests. But, the ease of Facebook communication is misleading. It would be better for me to call my family members than to just like some picture they post. It would be better to make plans to get together with a friend and have lunch.

As a writer, I’ve also used Facebook as a way to promote my work, but it’s become clear to me that FB is not designed to help you do that unless you pay. A personal post I make gets seen by everyone while any kind of promotion for my work disappears into a black hole. And even though it doesn’t help much with promotion, it has become—for me—a huge time sink. I’m writing less and reading less because of it.  Inevitably in writing a story there comes a pause while you think of what needs to happen next. Too often of late I’ve filled that pause by hopping on Facebook, and then finding half an hour or more gone just like that. A better promotion of my work would be to do more of it rather than talk about it.

For these reasons, I’ve decided to take a big step back from Facebook. I’ll monitor the sales of my books and stories to see if there is any discernable effect, so in that way it’ll be an experiment.  Meanwhile, I hope to see my output of both reading and writing increase, as well as finding time and motivation to do a bit more blogging.


21 comments:

Paul R. McNamee said...

Agreed. I've been trying to curb my Fb habit, too.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's why I'm not on Facebook!

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, definitely a good thing to do, I believe.

Alex, smart of you.

G. B. Miller said...

I hear you on that. I sill maintain a self-imposed limit of roughly 20 minutes per day. I post about three times a week on my personal page, try to do every other day on my public page (trying to turn it into a mini-blog of sorts), and peruse both writer's groups that I'm in as well as my page feed. FB has always been to me, more a less, a vast wasteland punctuated with small pates of actual relevance, so I treat it as such. Makes my writing life less complicated.

I Are Writer!

Cloudia said...

A Summer break is always a good idea, Charles

Cloudia said...

Let us know how it goes for you

oscar case said...

Yep. I hop on FB every days or weeks, but don't have the time to spend every day.

Charles Gramlich said...

G.B., I just found myself giving it way too much time so it's good for me to get completely away from it for now.

Cloudia, will do

Oscar, it's easy to get caught up in it

Shadow said...

FB is an information gathering programme. And since I truly only have a handful of friends I'd call when in need, I wondered at all the many 'friends' wanting to link up, so I went Nah!, not for me... I'm sure you will do quite well without it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Shadow, so far so good certainly.

Angie said...

Come back to the Light, Charles! Here, take my hand! I'll help pull you up out of the pit--!

:D

Angie, who's still never had a Facebook account

sage said...

I seemed to see a lot of your facebook posts, but then that's just preaching to the choir and isn't a very good way to expand your audience. Yes, facebook does tend to want you to pay for that!

Sidney said...

I think you're right about the instant posting, but I hope you're back soon posting pics and interesting words.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, I enjoyed your FB posts, especially the verses, but I understand the medium can be addictive and a waste of time. I have cut back on FB, too. I usually post when I'm waiting for a bus or train, when reading or writing is near impossible, what with the crowds, traffic, and hawkers. I want to pay more attention to writing and blogging as well.

Charles Gramlich said...

Angie, wise of you!

Sage, I definitely have not been acquiring an expanded audience.

Sidney, I do enjoy posting books pics. I kind of wish that was all facebook was.

Prashant, I'm going to try to get back into blogging at least for now.

Ray Palm (Ray X) said...


I've read that paying for promotion on FB is a waste of time for most people, one problem being fake likes generated by click farms. I know someone who tried to promote his work on FB and he was disappointed in the results.

Strolling through the main newsfeed can suck you in and waste time. One way to avoid this is to put your most important contacts in a group like Close Friends and just check that section.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ray Palm, I've had a couple of friends who've tried ads on FB and they have not done any good. The best times I've had on FB were in small closed groups of folks who were interested in reading and writing.

David Cranmer said...

I've tired, just a little, of Facebook and Twitter for many reasons. Some that you have noted. I also have started compartmentalizing what I post on the different platforms. In the end, Blogger seems to be where I've developed the strongest friendships and where I have the most enjoyment posting.

Erik Donald France said...

Amen, brother!

Charles Gramlich said...

David, I'm not even on twitter but feel the same way as you about FB and blogger.

Erik, thumbs up!

roth phallyka said...

One way to avoid this is to put your most important contacts in a group like Close Friends and just check that section.
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