I’ve made some upgrades to the blog to integrate it better with Facebook and it’s got me thinking about how I use Facebook as a writer and the current mess mine is in. You can now comment on blog posts with your Facebook profile, or if you follow me on Facebook, comments you post on links over there get automatically copied to the blog. I’ve tried very hard to ensure that I’m not violating anyone’s privacy in the process but as it’s Facebook there’s probably some God-awful loophole. So if your FB profile privacy is a major concern, probably best to comment in the blog’s native comment system rather than use the Facebook bit.
My main motive was one of laziness. I keep forgetting to link my posts there and this upgrade will do it for me. And plus, if comments are replicated, it helps me look popular with lots of comments
I’m also aware that as part of the larger picture, as a writer I need to get out there and publicise myself through engagement (rather than just shilling) but whilst I’m comfortable with other forms of social media such as Twitter, I’m really unsure how I should proceed when it comes to Facebook.
I don’t post anything to FB that would cause embarrassment but after a cyberstalking incident last year, I’m a lot more cautious who I add as friends.
As a general rule, if I’ve met you, we’ve had some sort of conversation and you didn’t end up hitting me or are looking to cause me trouble, I’m more than happy to add you.
I don’t play the ‘friends game’ where people try and amass the largest number of friends. I hate it when I get random social media requests and can’t see any connection; either same causes, same groups, or same circle of friends. I’ve had it on Twitter where someone adds me simply because they’ve self-published their book and think I can be ‘used’ to help them promote it. Please note that there are two levels of self-publishing in my mind: those that get edited and those that don’t. A number of friends have done the former which I support. But when I see that someone has thousands of friends and has no reason for a fanbase, I do worry it’s just a land grab.
There are people I have as friends on FB who I’ve never met, had great conversations with or who post incredible links and content. My life is certainly richer for those.
I do have a potty mouth and I don’t want to censor myself, so anyone who is obviously a child (as opposed to a young adult) won’t get added, more for their protection than mine.
The problem is that I have a large number of awkward situations where there are a number of people who I really should be FB friends with, and for some reason I’m not. We have the same friends, chat all the time on Twitter or at events, even chat on mutual friends statuses and yet it’s like we’re silent waiting for the other to initiate the friend request (which I hold my hand up and say I am terrible at doing). We’re probably each thinking “well I always considered us real friends. Perhaps they don’t see it the same way.” That or they think I’m an asshole and don’t like to tell me
So I find myself treading water because I should be adding those people and I’m sure I’ll forget someone and offend. My Facebook social media is a mess as a result, a Gordian knot that needs a sword taken to it… some when… preferably soon. It’s so much easier with Twitter where it’s all public.
So if you write, how do you handle Facebook? What do you think my best policy going forward is?