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.