Facebook: IMHO

It’s no secret that I’m a FB addict. Well, maybe that’s a strong word. I couldn’t run my business, write my blogs, teach my classes, take care of my home and husband and dog, and everything I do if I spent all day on FB. I usually sign on around 5 am every morning while I’m having my coffee and the house is quiet, and read what everybody’s been up to and make a few posts of my own. Then I check in for a minute whenever I need a break from paperwork or laundry throughout the day, and since I pop up frequently, it probably looks like I’m there more than I actually am. Okay, I’m in denial, I’m an addict 🙂

I get a kick out of FB. I also get a lot of benefits from it. I’ve gotten several teaching jobs on account of FB. Just today an editor of a physical therapy journal in another country asked me to write an article about massage for his publication. I have about 1700+ massage therapists on my page, and just recently started a public figure page for myself. I also have a page for THERA-SSAGE, my business. So, I do consider myself somewhat of a FB authority, and here’s a few things I’ve noticed:

People share the most personal things on FB. Their battles with cancer. The births, and deaths, and weddings in their families. Their divorces….I’ve seen several nasty ones play out for the FB world to see….the accusations of infidelity, the name-calling, the using of children as collateral. I saw that going on recently, and couldn’t keep from laughing when I saw the person getting offended at some of the comments people were making.

If you post something on FB, you should assume that you’re throwing it out there for public commentary, because you are. You are the one inviting advice, sympathy, or devil’s advocate when you moan that your wife left you or your husband is having an affair. You might as well take out an ad in the paper or put it on a television commercial, because that’s what FB is…it’s mass media, except it’s interactive.

Then there are the constant complainers. There are some folks, that every post they make is negative, about how bad they feel, or how their job sucks,  or how their relationship is bad or how they don’t have a relationship. These same people, when they are commenting on someone else’s posts, make negative comments to every one. They are self-appointed critics who will snark about whatever photograph, story, article, or status report they respond to. Never a kind or positive word. Their families are probably grateful that they now have FB to whine to…it’s probably cut down on some of the actual whining in their home.

There are the beautiful people on FB…those people who only share love and light and positive quotations and affirmations of health, wealth, and beauty. There are people who are selling something with every post. There are people who are sharing valuable information like news and research articles, and sharing jokes and cartoons, and having political rants. FB can be a powerful tool for activism, too.

Since I don’t play Farmville or any of the other games on FB, I’ll just give those a cursory mention, but if that’s your idea of entertainment, there it is.

There’s been a lot of griping this week about FB changing their pages yet again. And I was personally griping this morning about all the people posting that FB is about to start charging and that they saw it on the news. Not a one of them saw it on the news, because it wasn’t on the news, but that’s like a lot of other stuff on there that people share without checking on Snopes.com. I’ve seen the same prayer request for someone who was supposedly hurt yesterday going around for two years. Prayer isn’t ever a bad thing, but chances are pretty good that the person is dead or better by now.

IMHO, the good thing about FB is that you are in control. Yep, you really are. In fact, the past couple of days I’ve noticed Allissa Haines telling people why they’re about to be un-friended. You can’t tell sexist jokes and remain on her page. That’s her prerogative, and it’s yours. If you don’t like the content people post, one click of the mouse, and POOF! They’re gone! Don’t like people cussing? Don’t like people that advocate for gay marriage, or people that love/hate Obama and say so? Don’t want to see Mafia Wars or Flower Gifts or any of that other stuff on your page? CLICK, POOF, GONE!

Don’t want people to comment on your divorce, or answer honestly when you say “Do I look fat in this dress?” or “Should I marry the guy who doesn’t brush his teeth and still lives with his mother, or wait for the other one to get out of prison?” Don’t post it on there.

I’ll see you on FB. Be nice and like my page, please please please! And if you don’t like me anymore, CLICK, POOF, GONE!

7 Replies to “Facebook: IMHO”

  1. Hey wait, I didn’t say I would unfriend! I said ‘Hide from my newsfeed’ about the religious zealot thing.

    I agree that the most powerful part of Facebook is exactly what you pointed out: the user is ultimately in control of what they read. I rarely ‘unfriend’ but I ‘hide from my newsfeed’ pretty often. Because while I may not want to see the daily posts of someone who consistently whines about everything, I like being able to proactively visit their page occasionally and check in.

    At times I’ve looked back at my posts and been disappointed with myself, for being too snarky, bitchy, whiny. I’ve also looked back and been really proud of some connections I’ve made and perhaps some good stuff that I’ve caused. It’s a mixed bag. I kinda feel the same way about old love notes to my high school boyfriend, so I guess it’s the same old story in a new format, right?

    If we learn something about ourselves, and hopefully about others, I think it’s a damn good use of our time.

  2. I stand corrected by Ms. Haines! I failed to mention that option….you can “hide” people without un-friending them. That way you’re not exposed to their sexist jokes, or generally whiny comments, but you can check in on them once in awhile.

    I think FB is a diary of the human collective. I’m glad to be there. And god, save me from finding any letters to my high school boyfriend…I definitely wouldn’t want them to turn up on FB!

  3. As much as I enjoy FB time, and have definitely grown my teaching business and my coaching programs, I also see it as a huge ‘procrastinator and avoid-er’ of real life for a lot of people.

    If this interaction was not online, but in person, the analogy is exactly that of walking out your front door (to your home or business) and chatting with the people in your ‘hood. It is great fun to catch up, see what the buzz is around town, find out how old Mr. Crocker is doing, and did Furball do ok at the vet, but at some point ya gotta go back inside and get things done.

    I’ve taken days off from FB and other people have asked me how I could stand to miss so much… it’s pretty easy. Kind of reminds me of when I was in high school and college and watched the soap opera, Days of Our Lives… those people were fun to ‘follow’ to see how their lives played out, but at 1:00, the TV turned off, and I was back to ‘real life’…

    FB has it’s place, but I’m concerned for those (not you Laura, but young people for sure) who really do have an addiction or use it as a replacement or excuse to not participate in LIFE!

    (Is it good for people in real-life when they spend so much off-line time not being fully present but instead thinking about what to post next online?)

  4. Guess you heard by now that Paul Lindamood got the “boot” at NCBTMB! Guess he wasn’t doing such a hot job after all?

  5. I love the noir feel of this cover it’s amazing! Plus I love, love, love Vicki Petersson’s writing. And thanks for not killing any puppies, lol!

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