Monday, June 13, 2011

Facebook has arrived

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


Terry Odell said...

Even Hubster once said he'd told me about baking cookies with our grandson. I said, no, he hadn't. He said, 'but I put it on Facebook.'

I have over 2000 Facebook friends, and not one of them offered to help me move.

BUT - it's a fun way to keep in touch. I block all games, and post a few tidbits a day. When I get comments, I figure they were of interest to a few.

But is it selling books for me. I don't think so.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

4RV Publishing said...

I can keep up with some people on Facebook that I wouldn't be able to do otherwise. I post if something seems important to me. I don't play games, delete them, don't answer silly questions, etc.


J D Webb said...

Absolutely, Terry and Viv. Way too much silliness on there.

Angela Parson Myers said...

If facebook keeps me from watching Dancing With the Stars, viva facebook! Hey, and I just went cold turkey from my BlackBerry this week, and I'm doing finnnnnnne........ (Crystal's phone died, and she was on her way to Dallas, so I gave it to her. then I kept asking to check my facebook and twitter. She called me a junkie. These kids have no respect nowadays.)

J D Webb said...

I'm impressed - cold turkey.

Morgan Mandel said...

So many people are doing the games and the questions on Facebook, but I don't see any sense to them. Maybe because I'm too busy writing and promoting my books.

Morgan Mandel

Bob Sanchez said...

Terry, what good is a Facebook friend who won't help you move?

J.D., I like the idea of a Facebook patch for the addicts, but I want you to know I can quit any time.

J D Webb said...

Proud of you, Bob. You're a cold turkey, I guess.

Helen Ginger said...

I love your closing line.

I'm on Facebook, but I'm rather like you. I don't get it. I have blog posts sent automatically and I'll occasionally sign on, but I can't think of much to say. We should follow each other. We're not likely to clog up the other's Facebook page.

Helen Ginger said...

Okay, that shows you how often I'm on Facebook. I went to friend you and realized we're already friends.

J D Webb said...

Thanks, my friend Helen. I also don't know all my "Friends."

Jean Henry Mead said...

lol, J.D. I love your sense of humor. I'm having FB withoudrawl pains but manage to leave a humorous quotation every morning. I'll be the first to wear a Facebook/social media patch. it takes too much time away from my writing. :)


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I love Facebook. I get to see what my kids, grandkids and greatgrands are up to, plus all my writing and reading friends.

I had a fan tell me she loved having me as a friend on Facebook because she liked reading all the things I did that make me a "real" person.