Tag Archives: Facebook

A Week Without Facebook

I sit at my laptop, staring at the screen for a moment thinking: Now what? 

After a long day of school/work/etc., I need to vegetate. I have mindlessly checked my e-mail, Twitter, the news, and the fake-news. Usually right now, I’d be browsing the latest amateur photo-shoots or stupid memes hand-selected by my friends on Facebook. But I’m forbidden to traverse those addictive pages.

I close my computer, and read a book instead.

Going a week without Facebook was an interesting experience to say the least. Before I signed off, I left a message explaining the experiment, and telling my friends to find me on Twitter. Only one did. I know my friends aren’t big social media buffs, but it was a little disappointing. After being required to Tweet three times a day, especially after being deprived of Facebook, I was (and am) starting to enjoy Twitter the more I use it. It’s fun and challenging as a writer to be witty and meaningful while being concise. Going a week without Facebook pushed me to use Twitter even more, which led me to appreciate it more than I already did. 

In terms of being a professional, going a week without Facebook was good for me. At the start of this semester, I felt like creating a Twitter account was the equivalent of selling one’s soul (in fact, I put that in a Facebook status.) But having no other outlet to communicate with my peers for a week, I now feel more comfortable with Twitter. I’m delighted with this, because I am starting to see more and more how Twitter is and will continue to be a necessary tool for anyone who wants to have a successful presence in the world of writing. 

In short, One Week Without Facebook Experiment = Success. 


Filter Me Out (hyperlinks out of order)

Internet filtering, I am afraid to say, can without a person even noticing. In Eli Pariser’s TED Talk speech (1), he goes over how websites are now filtering out things that they think you do not want to see. On Google, it will give you results that is more your taste, on Facebook it will only bring up friends in your news feed that you often click on, and even Yahoo filters the news you see by what it thinks you will be more interested in. This scary new technology is a potential blinder to people across the world.

Instead of giving people views that conflict with theirs and that could possibly make them question what they think is true, websites are now giving people a false sense of being correct. No matter how many times you tell someone that everything they find on the internet is not true, more often than not a person got a large amount of there knowledge from Google. I do it, you do it, we all do it; but now more than ever the internet is not always going to have the answers. Yes, the internet is an amazing source of information if a person looks in the right places, but people are lazy and Google is easy.

So remember, next time your trolling the search links of Google for something simple like whether the Holocaust actually happened or not (2), remember that these search engines may not be as reliable as you were hoping.

1- http://www.ted.com/talks/eli_pariser_beware_online_filter_bubbles.html

2- http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/wasthere.htm


A week without Facebook draws to a close.

When I was perusing the class website last Thursday night and read that we were going to have to give up Facebook for a week, I felt strange. I’ve already explained my interesting relationship with social networking in a previous post, and if you read that you know that I spend time on Facebook but I don’t consider my use of the site to be productive in any way.

Not being on Facebook has been liberating, but still annoying at times. Instead of checking Facebook in the morning when I woke up, I read articles or looked at news sites. Instead of constantly opening the Facebook app on my phone to see friends complaining about silly things, I checked my Twitter and saw useful links that I might have missed later in the day (I follow a bunch of writers and writing tip tweeps). I don’t understand how I spent so much time on Facebook, seeing as I was able to stay off of it so easily. I realised I mostly keep an eye on my family and close friends to see what they’re up to. Without using Facebook I have to call/text them, and my school and work schedule lead to me doing so at odd hours. I also realised that I find a lot of things online that I would like to share with my friends, and without being able to post on their wall or tag them I had to find more creative ways to share the information that I found. The most annoying thing was when I was with my tech-savvy friends and they’d start a conversation with, “Hey, did you see so-and-so on Facebook?” and proceed to talk about it. I felt excluded, but got over it quickly.

This experiment allowed me to spend more time with Twitter and get to know the site a little more intimately. I’m shocked at the amount of information I get from my feed every day. I know it depends on who you follow, but it’s still overwhelming. I’ve been trying to use that site strictly as a writing student to build my persona as someone who shares articles that I believe could be helpful to others. I still goof around a bit on there, but that also says something about my personality.

I’ve also been playing around with my own personal WordPress blog, which I hope to launch before November. Stay tuned for more info on that, and I’d truly appreciate feedback when I get it up and running.

As an off-topic side note, is anyone planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year? I’d like to, and it’s always easier when you know other people who are doing it, too.

Cheers and happy Facebooking!


Social networks for creative people

While exploring the Twittersphere for my Writing, Research and Tech class, I came across a link to article called The Top 10 Social Networks for Creative People by Mark McGuinness. Writing is considered creative, so I thought I’d read it over. The article started out with a section outlining why you need to be involved with social networking to survive in a creative profession. The author’s points are strong and encouraging. It was a strong start.

Then, I encountered something that I don’t usually see: in each section of the article the author focused on a certain social network, and each section includes snippets from creative people in different fields talking about their experience with the social network in question. Real people! There aren’t any full interviews, but there are short bursts from people who seem comfortable in the networks they choose to use. I thought it was really neat to see people in different fields discussing what social networking has actually done for them. It’s easy to think of popular Twitter handles or LinkedIn profiles as an entity on their own, but it’s important to remember that each profile is run by a real person, and through their social media we are getting to know a small part of that person.

Since this article is aimed at all forms of creativity, not only writing, so some sections and snippets aren’t explicitly related to us as writers. I still think we can learn from this article and see a small sample of information from the people who use the sites effectively, no matter their specific creative field. Definitely worth a read.

You can follow the author of the article on Twitter @markmcguinness. His other contact information is scattered throughout the article.

The link that I saw was tweeted by Joanna Penn (@thecreativepenn) who runs a blog about writing, self-publishing and marketing. Check out her blog out if you haven’t. She also offers a great information package on self-publishing called The Author 2.0 Blueprint. It’s free!


Facebook vs Twitter: Friends vs Followers

(note: This is rambling and slightly off-base.)

When I was younger, my freshman year of college specifically, I joined Facebook. This was back when the layout was unfriendly and people still thought Pokes were a cool way to communicate. For the first few months I avidly played around with the status updates, some games, and sending people whatever Facebook suggested I send them (like a virtual pie, pet, flaming bag of poo… the works). I even played Farmville for about a week. After the novelty wore off, I moved to just status updates, pictures, and the occasional posted link.

As for Twitter, my relationship with that is odd. The first time I made a Twitter account on my own I started so I could follow people that I admired. Eventually, I started following some friends and tweeting here and there, mostly things I deemed unworthy for Facebook. This was before I used this medium for class, mind you.

About two years ago, I decided I hated both Facebook and Twitter. It was like a switch went off in my head and I noticed how absolutely narcissistic these things were. Who cares what you ate for breakfast? Does anyone really want to know which sitcom you are? Who wants to see 10 pictures of your cat a day? (Okay, I still kind of enjoyed that last one.) I deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts, but two weeks later was bullied by “friends” who I never saw in real life to bring them back online just to talk to people. I tried to pretend everything was okay, but it was a struggle for me to post anything on either because a little voice in the back of my mind just kept saying, “You sound so narcissistic. Who cares? Would you get annoyed reading this?” Continue reading


Twitter vs. Facebook:

As an avid Facebooker, it feels almost unfair to put these two social media sites next to each other; you may have heard me say only a few weeks ago. Now that I also use Twitter regularly, I now see the pros and cons for both sites.

With Facebook, I’m heard by an audience I chose, people I (mostly) know and who have agreed with me that we would both like to hear what each other have to say. If it is someone I feel is more important than the others, I can flag them as such and will be notified if anything at all happens with their page (Mike just changed his background from white to off-white!). While this is fun and helpful for keeping in contact with relatives, especially due to the private messaging feature, it can also be a hassle dealing with all the different things you’re required to update (Do I want to change to the new timeline? Huh. I wonder what that- WHAT HAPPENED TO MY FACEBOOK?). If I want to speak to the audience I choose than I’ll definitely go with Facebook.

On the other hand, Twitter is me speaking to the audience that chooses me. Yes, it is often common courtesy to follow those who follow you, but if you really don’t feel like it it’s not a social law. These people who follow me follow my words for my words, not who I am. Because if you get tired of the whining of someone’s posting (oh-em-gee I cannot believe this girl is wearing this #omgicantbelievethisgirliswearingthis), it’s as simple as a click and you don’t have to deal with them anymore. Sometimes it’s hard to get your word out with Twitter because of how many people are doing it, but that just means you have to tweet more and make them count. Twitter followers will only follow you until they are tired of you, so keeping them entertained will keep your followers up.

Although I personally think both of these sites are a complete waste of time, I still sit (with both of them open in separate tabs) waiting for my next Facebook notification or the next idea for a clever Tweet.


Twitter, Facebook, Spaces, and Limits

Twitter has always seemed to me to be the height of egocentrism. Why would anyone, even my close friends, be interested in what I’m thinking 24 hours a day? That’s why until this class, I fervently stuck to Facebook alone, and even then I went months at a time without logging on.

I told myself Facebook wasn’t like Twitter because there were so many more ways to interact with people. But really, instead of Twitter being a boiled down Facebook, I think Facebook is a glorified Twitter. For the longest time imaginable (until about two weeks ago) I absolutely refused to believe that any sort of serious writing could take place on either one. I’m willing to admit I was wrong.

I once took an autobiographical writing class in which we had to come up with a “Six Word Memoir” that summed up our entire lives. Mine, appropriately enough, was “wrong many times, admitted it once” (though, now I suppose it’s twice.) Trying to summarize my entire life in six words was one of the most interesting writing projects I’ve ever encountered. This is one of the biggest advantages of Twitter, and I would say the biggest disadvantage of Facebook.

Twitter forces you to be concise. Anyone can do that, but as a writer, you must also find ways to be witty, original, and provocative. You should make every Tweet meaningful and as intriguing as a six word memoir; even though your writing is confined, it should be crafted well enough to gain followers.

Facebook doesn’t place this limitation on you. You can ramble on for ages, and I must admit, the moment I see someone has posted something longer than a paragraph, I typically check out. Because of this lack of limitation, Facebook is a breeding ground for false information (way too many of my friends post way too many chain letters.) The one place I have to give Facebook credit is the Notes section. The ability for a writer to share a piece of creative writing, a personal story, or just some information with specific people is a great tool. You can draft, edit, repost – it’s a miniature blog on your Facebook, except most people don’t post consistently, and instead of trying to get followers, you decide who you want to see it by tagging them. This is the one advantage Facebook has over Twitter, the ability to share longer, drafted and revised works with a carefully selected audience. Twitter is challenging with its 140 character limit, but there are times when larger spaces are needed.