A friend and I had a marathon phone conversation today. Three hours. We used speakerphone. With your hands free you can type, search for a book on Bessie Pease Guttman on the shelf, or wash a couple of dishes. Brilliant. Some technologies are delightful. Others are not.
Our conversation ranged from writing and the procrastination of writing (how we can build up projects so much in our heads they become perfect and so impossible to put on paper), how writing for an audience isn't really what it's all about, how lighting a candle is better than cursing the darkness, the peril of being too needy, our children, our husbands, and then finally, Facebook. I've come to the conclusion it's a technology no one really needs.
We agreed that everyone else's lives look so much more interesting than ours on Facebook. Losing 45 minutes of time browsing the FacePlace pages of others means opening ourselves up to looking at other lives as if they were more interesting than our own. They aren't. Clicking our way into and out of the doors of Facebook's pages leave us feeling empty, sad, and worthless. There is nothing fulfilling or rewarding about it at all. Late at night you may find yourself knee deep in a friend-of-a-friend's photo album thinking "If only I had a bunch of friends like that. They all look so happy!" or "Maybe I should lose some weight?" or "Why wasn't I invited to that party?" It's a downward spiral of bad feelings and general malaise. You log off feeling like you just ate a pizza, some Cheetos, and drank several Cokes all on your own.
One of the rules to Marketing with Social Media is this: If your website doesn't push a vice (think 7 deadly sins here and see which one or ones apply to FacePlace), no one will visit it.
So here I am editing this rant of a post in a space where I feel safer because no one but my mother and the occasional true friend reads it, and I'm pretty sure they love me, warts and all. I'd rather be read less than trapped in a whirlpool of fun mirrors.