Marti's Theory

Posts Tagged ‘Facebook

It all started a few months ago…

I was about to go somewhere cool or do something fun when I noticed a little thought, way in the back of my brain, picturing how I’d post it on Facebook. Another little thought, from a different part of my brain said, “Whoa … that’s weird.” And then both thoughts were gone.  Poof.

But the idea of it kept coming back, as well as the weirdness of it.

Do I REALLY – even if it’s subtle – frame my life in terms of social media?  Does anyone else? And if so, what the heck does that mean??

So I began to notice it more and yes, I kinda do.  And it seems that others (but not all) on my friends list might be doing it as well.  I repeat: NOT ALL. Just some. That subtle little “here’s my life” spokesmodel slant was creeping in to our posts.

Now I’m the first to sing the praises of Facebook regarding my ability to keep in touch with friends and especially with my all-over-the-planet family.  And I’m the first to laugh at how a friend and I tend to FB each other from different rooms in the same location.  And it’s certainly a useful tool to publicize events for my Ed Center and for my Rotary Club.  I love marketing and enjoy the challenge of getting views and likes and — OMG, I’m starting to market myself!

Okay, that’s just strange.

What’s even stranger to me is this:

I NEVER EVEN NOTICED I WAS DOING IT.

Dang.

So I decided to step away from Social Media for a bit.  Not completely, though.  I still play with our Facebook Rotary Club of Lahaina page quite a bit, and with my Lahaina Education Center page a little as well.  I visit groups that I belong to, and use lists a bit.  And I’ll scroll through five or six posts a couple times a day. But frankly, “staying away” hasn’t been that difficult.  Why? Because – and I include myself in this, most definitely – I think we post too much.  If you were here, would we talk every day? Probably not.  So do you need to hear what I am up to, three times a day?  Definitely not.  Frankly, I don’t even care what I’m up to that often!

Oh, I could go off on a number of tangents here, like:

  1. Friends list – do you even KNOW all 500 of them?
  2. FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out – our unique 21st century fabricated nonesense
  3. Oh, never mind #3.  I’ll just post memes about it. (heh heh)

But I think I’ll stop here, and just give you one, no finger pointing, “oh, that makes sense” kind of conclusion–

I think the culprit is the scattershot All Friends or Public approach to posting.  Who in the heck are we addressing, anyway? Often when I post, I’m thinking of a specific person, or a specific group.  So I’m thinking I will explore the idea of more targeted posting. Targeting posts??!!  Oh yikes, marketing strikes again…

I give up.

But before go, I want to ask you one question – have YOU become a sub-conscious self-marketer?  Think about it.

Marti’s all time favorite Facebook meme.

Marti’s second favorite Facebook meme

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In 2007, a young college student named Michael from an online writers’ site told Lori and me about something called Facebook.  We each promptly opened a profile, designated either other and Michael as our “friends” and -for me- it stayed that way for the next couple of years.  Those were the My Space days and, since I lived in a beautiful yet very remote part of Maui, the early days of social media really appealed to me.  It gave me a little mainland fix.

Fast forward a bit.  My Space, which was quite a nice little thing, was eclipsed by Facebook and began to wither away, due to a sudden lack of nourishment and has been on life support ever since.

Since then we’ve learned to tweet and snap and make circles and lord only knows what else. Apparently we are not into cockney accents here in cyberspace, as the occasional “Ello” only echoes through empty halls.

But then there’s Facebook…. the enduring (though not particularly endearing) Facebook.  Why are we all still there?  Lord knows, we grumble about it enough.

I think the reason is  that there’s an accrued investment factor.  Friends, families, grandmothers, exes, co-workers, non-real-life friends that we’ve gathered up over the past decade … have almost all wandered over by now and it’s so easy to have one access point for all these people.  Except for that one word: Almost.  They’re ALMOST all there.  And now the point is starting to come into focus for me.  (I don’t pre-write or plan what I’m going to say – welcome to the circuitous pattern of Marti’s Thinking Process)

ALL of my friends are not on Facebook.  In fact, one of the few people on this planet who holds the title of Marti’s BFF Forever is not and has no plans to be.  And there are others.  A friend who I see weekly and socialize with occasionally is not.  Email, text – yes.  Facebook – no.  I’m continually surprised when he isn’t aware of something that is happening and then remember … oh, he’s not on FACEBOOK.  And one of my favorite aunts?  No FB, no computer.  I actually have to call her on the PHONE.  Yes, it makes calls, I am reminded.

So…

Put these musings together with the fact that I am savoring a reclusive, crotchety phase where I find social media annoying as hell (yes I KNOW what your political opinions are and I knew them throughout the last fifty memes) and simply want to cut down on the inner and outer NOISE in my life and voila … the No Facebook week was born.

How was it?  Well, to be honest – I only made it through five days.  In the beginning, I did log on a couple of times, but didn’t much care and logged out after reading just a few things.  Mostly I only wanted to make the little red numbers go away. So it was easy. But what made me go back to FB last night, two days earlier than planned?  Well. I was home alone, watching an old Criminal Minds.  (To toss in my usual digression – I’d never seen the procedural FBI drama until a couple of months ago, when I began to Netflix it from the beginning. Since then, it’s about all I watch.  Sort of the TV watching version of eating only PB&J sandwiches for a week.)  But anyway… They start and end each episode with a pithy quote that is designed to make the viewer say, “OH MY GOODNESS, YES. HOW RELEVANT AND PROFOUND!”  And I admit with slight embarrassment, that’s usually exactly what happens.  And the closing quote last night was a MUST SHARE.  So I did.  On Facebook, automatically.

Here’s what struck me as the interesting part:  I posted because I had something to share and no one immediately present to share it with.  Does that mean I wanted someone here, in my house, to tell it to?  Oh hell no.  It was a long, people-intense day and right now my little house feels like my own private sanctuary.  BUT … I find it interesting that it was my need to communicate OUT that caused me to automatically log on and share the quote.  And that – I think – is sort of the point.  That, and the whole idea of social media being a double edged sword.    Now I have very strong opinions about both of those concepts, but I’ll stop here and let you think about them on your own. And yes, I know this ALSO means I should probably lay off Criminal Minds for a bit.   And – as always – feel free to comment.  ;- heh.

Marti

Matthew Gray Gubler as Spencer Reid

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