Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Facebook Friendships et al

Most of my Facebook friends are colleagues, and most are not people I have met in real life. I especially enjoy the artists/illustrators posting their wonderful work and the kid-lit writers who post well-worded witty status reports. I know of them, but this is not the same as knowing them.

Facebook has been a miraculous connector to people from my past, half a world away. It’s been the most convenient way to message my kiddos, also half a world away. Maybe 20% of my Facebook friends are people I have met outside of the virtual space, and I designated them as “close friends” per Facebook lingo, as opposed to “Acquaintances.”

I get friend requests almost every day. It used to be enough that we had many friends in common (always kid-lit related) and I could find something about them on the internet to verify they were the real deal. But I have learned that isn’t enough, through some less than positive experiences.

So, if you want to friend someone, may I suggest that –

A.    You have a photo of your face (not a flower or your dog) as your profile picture
B.     You make sure to have a banner photo, not a black hole, and hopefully your banner is personal
C.     You are not selling “Author Services” or “Life Coaching,” because this is essentially spam even if you are a real person doing this one friend request click at a time. I’m not arguing with colleague friends who approve these sorts of friend-requests, (as I can see on the request that we have hundreds of friends in common) but it’s not for me, thank you

Otherwise, I look and carefully approve individuals who in some way may contribute to the life of my Facebook community, and I love hearing about the many blessing (as well as join in the struggles) shared on the site. 
I have come to value what Facebook offers.

P.S. The banner^ is a screenshot of the old "classic" Facebook formatting, which I prefer for not putting my face at the center. Alas, like everyone else, we've been switched to the new and improved (?🙀?) header. But this will serve as a memorial to what was 😿


Kelly Hashway said...

I have to admit I don't spend much time on Facebook anymore at all. It's become my least favorite social media outlet. The book community on TikTok is by far the best in my experience. It's extremely supportive and friendly, which FB seems to be lacking lately.

Vijaya said...

Mirka, I'm so glad FB has been a blessing for you. My sister advised me on this early on, as did many other friends who've been using the platform for many years, and I gave it sufficient time to grow on me, but alas, not a good fit. Someone suggested instagram because it's more visual but nah. I'm grateful you still have a blog and continue on the blueboard, otherwise I'd miss you too.

Mirka Breen said...

Fit is key, Vijaya.
I can't seem to find my fit with Twitter. Its hipsterish vibe is a turn-off.
Best thing on Facebook are the visuals from awesome kid-lit illustrators, (art rules!) and the personal photos from far-flung long-ago personal friends. Instagram serves this for most, but as one with a dumb phone I can't use it easily, and my account there is resting.

We are: Clamco said...

Right now FB is a sea of political posts. I have unfriended, unfollowed, or snoozed people with posts that are anti my party or anti my candidate. I'm tired of getting bashed over the head with all that ugliness. I'm even looking for a new hairstylist after mine posted something nasty. I like it for the personal posts, the pet pics and celebrations of friends and family that are far away from me, but there is less of that and more of the other aforementioned stuff lately. If I get a friend request from someone I may know, the first thing I do is check to see how they lean politically and if it's the polar opposite of mine and they are outrageously outspoken about it, I know that we can't be friends because our core beliefs are completely different. I know that shouldn't be criteria for a friendship, but in these current times, the lines are clearly drawn.

Mirka Breen said...

I stay away from political posts and comments on all social media. But I don't expect or require others to. It's a free country, sort of, still. We must try to keep it that way.
But one reason I made my timeline off limits to other posters is to avoid propaganda on what should be MY timeline. Everyone can post what they want on theirs.
I love healthy dialogue, but social media has never had that.
I'm sorry you may feel obliged to leave your hairstylist. I don't have that problem because I don't have a hairstylist :) --(Been DIY for ages.)

Evelyn said...

I'm on FB occasionally, but I don't spend lots of time there. It's the best way to catch news from some of my extended family. Since I avoid most of the political stuff, FB doesn't seem to feed me very much of it thankfully. Last week I did see a very mean political post by one of my friends from the past. I started to just let it go but decided change only will only come if we work at it. So I posted, "I totally respect your right to different opinions than mine. And you know I love you as a friend. But I'm on a campaign to encourage people to post things that unite us as a country, not spread more division and hate. ❤"

Sherry Ellis said...

Facebook has been a great way to reconnect with high school friends. And it's nice to continue connections with people from the blog community there. There are, however, so many strange stalker people that you have to be careful who you allow into your inner circle.

Jenni said...

I like the aesthetics of your Facebook banner. It really says you as an author, which is wonderful. I really just use Facebook to keep up with people from long ago that I don't see in person. It's not my favorite social media outlet, but I think you have set some good parameters for it and have a great outlook on what it's not.

I am thankful, though, that it's allowed me to keep in touch with people I would've lost touch with otherwise. And for the in-person meet ups that have happened because of it as well.