Facebook – Saint or Scoundrel?

Facebook. It’s like a bag of skittles: you might like it, but too much gets annoying and rots your mind.

I’ve been thinking recently of deleting my profile, because on one level it’s quite the time drain. Used cleverly on the other hand, it’s useful. I see bands on Facebook, ones who might only have two thousand followers on Twitter, and they link their Facebook page trying to boost their profile. Besides that, there is a thingy on the page that tells you how many people are talking about band X or Y.

On a career-type level though, I have been tempted to create a page for my writing. Originally I thought I might have one page for this blog and one for my fanfiction stories; more recently I’ve been thinking of one page for it all. One size suits all. After all, the point isn’t how many pages I have, but how many people are being driven to read about and be updated on what I’m writing. As a writer, I’m thinking of eventually self-publishing my novel online, and with that I’d feel like I need a Facebook page so people who don’t use Twitter can see what my writing is up to.

So far I’ve got as far as the create page tab, and started to list my occupation.

Personally though, I find it to be a bit of a scourge. I don’t like having the ads on the screen telling me about things I don’t care for, and the find friends tool is a bit annoying, if only because I glance at it once every six months and realise that no, I am not friends with all those people. It’s become something of a popularity tool, the more friends you have… Well, I don’t really know what that says. You like to have a lot of friends; you are very social. I don’t know, I can’t relate to them. I don’t like seeing multiple statuses from one person – it seems very indulgent. I used to be one of the people who would link my every blog post on there, but tapered off after I got sick of copying the link in as many places as I could think of. In the end, I just linked it to the about me section and left it, though I’m not sure how useful that is for readership. If the stats and referrers are anything to go by, Facebook isn’t much use at all.

Recently in a bid to spend less time on there I deleted the app and made my password very long, so that when I want to log in it takes longer. The idea there is that I will get impatient and ditch it in favour of something more interesting.

On the other hand, I like to keep in touch with a handful of people. Some of them live in different cities, which means Facebook is a useful way of staying in touch. I do like the birthday reminders, I’m terrible with remembering things. That’s about the limit of what I like about Facebook.

I was trying to remember a pre-Facebook era, and I can only just remember it. I wasn’t an immediate joiner; it took me several years before I did, but it feels to me like it has always been there. It’s a little hard to believe its almost ten years old and still seems to be going pretty strongly.

I think that one day I will delete my profile, but this will probably come after I set up my writing page for people to like. Or, who knows, maybe it will improve three hundred percent and I will stick with it.

Time will tell.


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