Every author I know has a passion for writing. And many who are not authors love to write. I adore book reviewers who take the time to comment on a book they love – or hate. (The hate part naturally would not include my books.) I often like critics who unabashedly present their opinion. Letters to the editor in local newspapers many times have repeat scribes. Often people in distress find help by journaling. Gets the stress off one’s back.
Now comes Facebook. A social network where everyone is a writer. Opinions flourish and meaningless conversation floods the network. If you’re a friend, these tidbits invade your mind and clutter your Home page. Does anyone really care that the temp in Oxnard is going to be 95? Why is this phenomenon so important? It has become almost a necessity for some. The first thing in the morning and the last thing friends do at night is to share with everyone. “Night all, I’m tired and I’m going to bed.” You also may see a post like this: “I will C U 2morrow. LOL.” I fear we may be heading to a second language consisting of totally incoherent mumbo-jumbo to those of us who actually paid attention in Miss Snow’s third grade English class.
I am advised that as an author I need to be on Facebook. I need a presence. I need to make many friends. Guess the more friends I have, the better author I am. Stephen King has more than 2.3 million people who “like” him. Unfortunately for James Patterson only just over 37,000 like his books. Thought he was more popular than that. Tess Gerritsen has over 70,000 liking her page. I’m a bit behind at just under 600, but I’m pecking away.
Believe me, I’m not slamming the Facebook people. They had a brilliant idea and ran with it. The American dream. But the importance this site has garnered in many people’s lives is, in my opinion, idiotic. If the powers at Facebook see this I’ll probably be unliked. I wonder if that could cause a problem?
The Salzburg Academy of the University of Maryland studied a group of volunteers and found that quitting, among other things, iPads, iPhones, and Facebook cold turkey can produce symptoms similar to addicts withdrawing from drugs. Are you kidding me? Who will be the first to come up with a Facebook patch?
The fact that so many are tickling computer keyboards, and all the other electronic devices currently known to man, is fascinating. A plethora of addictive games have arrived at Facebook. But what is being ignored and left behind? These will easily devour hours away from loved ones, your faithful dog, eating meals and following Dancing With The Stars. Somebody has to come up with an antidote – and soon.
By the way my Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/jdavewebb