Monday, April 27, 2009

No More Facebook

A few weeks ago, Jim Thomason of Thomas Nelson blogged about On-Line Streamlining, saying he would shut down his Facebook (FB) and Twitter accounts. Don’t ask me why I took so long to write about this, but the essence of his post was that he is stopping these activities because they are time consuming, take away from personal interests, most of the people on FB are an accident of geography and besides, they can follow him on his blog. His last reason is “Most days, my life’s just not that interesting to me, much less to other people.” Yeah, mine neither.

For me, many of the people on FB are family members and church members. There are also those accidents of geography that I haven’t seen in several years. The rest are people somehow related to my writing and a few that just happened to show up. Jim is right; every one of these people could follow me on my blog. Some of them do. But here’s the thing. It isn’t about them keeping up with me. It’s about me keeping up with them. Many of my FB friends don’t blog and I wouldn’t have time to read all of their blogs if they did. I don’t see it as taking away from face-to-face contact, where it exists, but enhancing it. Even with the people I see at church several times a week, it is hard difficult to spend enough time with each one to really know how things are going. FB often provides that information.

We have a tendency, especially those of us who are writers, to focus on how we can get our message out there, how we can get more people to listen to us. Isn’t that what most of the discussion of Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and everything else is about? How can we use them to sell more of our product? When was the last time we just stopped to listen?