Not So Social Media

Last week, almost on a whim, I deactivated my Facebook account. I was just going to quit the one, but then they make it difficult to quit a personal page without also quitting the business page. I did a few things that are supposed to help you keep the business and toss the personal but nothing worked so I thought about it for two seconds and deleted both accounts.

The reasons for letting Facebook go are different for each of my pages. On the personal one, I left a goodbye note up for 24 hours and then when I saw people asking why I said “Trying to simplify my life.” Which is true. But also as much as I tried to block people who said plain crazy things, or horrible racist or homophobic things, it finally came down to people I care about very much saying these things. Not that I don’t think they have the right. Free speech, I get it. But every time someone I cared about wrote crap that was just so wrong it felt like a punch in the gut.

Getting punched in the gut on a daily basis is not fun. It’s only going to get worse as we ratchet up to 2020. I have plenty of friends who I agree to disagree with over politics and religion. We’ve had the conversations. It’s the more personal stuff, the plain hateful stuff, I can’t stomach. Also, some people are just a pain. Slightly annoying. So simplifying was a way to just get out of that town. It felt (and feels) great. But what about the business page?

I have had a lot of advice and help in my writing career that has served me well. One thing almost all the gurus say is You Must Have Social Media. You Must Have An Online Presence. Well, okay, but it doesn’t have to be Facebook. I still have Instagram. I had it BEFORE Facebook bought them. I still have Twitter and Pinterest and I have this blog. So I am still here, just not in that one crowded corner. On Twitter, I don’t hear from the haters. It’s like a little universe so it’s easy to stay in your own lane. Pinterest? I’m crap at that but maybe I’ll get better now. Bottom line: I don’t think my Facebook business page sold many books.

I’m not even on social media to sell books. I’m here because I am a writer who works alone all day and this is where I meet others who do the same strange thing I do. I meet lots of those people on Twitter and some of them from the Word Press thingy where you see a little capsule of every blog WP posts. I want to read more blogs. I miss my blog roll, where every morning I’d read blogs like they were my newspaper. Somehow reading other writer’s blogs got crowded out by all the other stuff. After I quit Facebook I realized I could go back to reading blogs. Just that simple!

7 Comments

  1. I still have my Facebook account because it seems too final, and also a bit of a snub to genuine friends, to delete it, as it’s the only place I stay in touch with some, but I just don’t use it. I haven’t used my author page for about 3 years, and I go on my personal page less and less – I don’t think I’ve looked on there for 2 months.

    Main point – it hasn’t affected my book sales one bit, except that they are better than they used to be! I don’t use FB writers groups or book groups anyway, because most of them are awful (not Book Connectors, btw). I am very active, many times during the day, on Twitter, as you know, and also have a lovely Pinterest account expertly managed by someone else, which is getting me a great ‘reach’ (are we following on there? I can’t remember!). I think the only authentic thing to do with soc med is to choose the sites that are right for you, and don’t use the ones you dislike.

    Otherwise, it would be like constantly going to, say, a pub (bar) or restaurant that you hate. Or socialising with a group you don’t like. And that would be crazy, wouldn’t it?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terry, I absolutely agree with the pub analogy 🙂 I’m not sure if we are on Pinterest together (or whatever they say there…I am so bad at Pinterest). I will check it out and make sure we are connected.

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  2. In the end, I avoided it for days at a time! Then, once I was on, I’d feel compelled to read my newsfeed and comment on lots of posts. I never commented on the negative posts. I’d just quickly shut down FB until the next time.

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  3. I agree so much, Cynthia! I’ve been off since early November last year and haven’t regretted it for an instant. I still keep up with close friends and relatives, and that kind of helps me figure out who really wanted to keep up with me in the first place. I don’t feel like I constantly need to know what is happening. Of course, there will be people who I will lose touch with–some I’m ok with, and some not. I find it exhausting trying to communicate with hundreds of people, and must protect my time and energy. Plus, I’ve been reading some negative things about the way FB does business. I never say never, but as for right now I’m happy being untethered to Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely agree, Cheryl. I don’t need to constantly know everything about all the people I used to follow on FB and the ones I want to stay in contact with have my email or my phone number or both. If nothing else they know I have a website and a blog. So many people keep their account but never check it. I wanted a clean break as have gotten some comments I dislike and don’t want to be a ghost platform for other people’s opinions.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cindy, technology in general is like a giant ice cream cone you want to lick throughout the day. It is instant gratification but of course it doesn’t last long. FB has a place when used mindfully. The widow who lives far from family and get’s a window into her grandchildren’s lives. But the negatives have snuck up on us and it’s time to think if it still has a place in our lives. An even bigger issues from my point of view is the smart phone. Loved you analogy of blogs to newsletters. I feel a blog post percolating within on this issue. Thank you. Please keep us posted on how you are adding readers to your blog.

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