Friday, August 10, 2012

Socially Inept, But Oh So Comfy Cozy

A couple of months ago, I reactivated my FB account, which was directly due to the fact that my publisher is very keen on using the social media to market and promote their business.

One of the first things that I did shortly after reactivating, was to purge a few people from my circle. It wasn't due to me being upset with them, 'cause I wasn't, but more due to the fact that I really had nothing left in common with them anymore.

The second thing that I did, which was the easiest, was to purge a boatload of pages. Most of them were for business that I no longer patronize, but a few were entertainment oriented.

Line 21
 After I had finished doing those two items, I got busy retooling my profile. And no, I did not activate that nasty Timeline feature, because that is what drove me away in the first place.

I added a new avatar:  yes, that wonderful little cover pic that makes people look thrice and comment either very positive (wow! she's hot!) or slightly negative (holy cow!); and tweaked my privacy settings so that people could read, but not comment unless they were friends, and find me on FB (but not on a public search engine).

The next thing I did, after settling down to a comfy routine of pretty much posting links to my blog and the occasional extreme right of center events that is the world of moi, was to start expanding my circle of friends with people I have something in common with.

This time around, it was easier to do, since a lot of the suggestions that FB were throwing at me were fellow writers that I already knew. I also picked up a couple of non-writers as well.

There were two unintended consequences to me going off on a friendship splurge. One was that I gained a wider audience for my blog, as I happened to get a few more page views and two, I gained a few more followers as well.

Over the years, I made it a point that I wasn't trying to accumulate followers for my blog simply to become Mr. Popularity. I was trying to accumulate followers because I wanted people to know the real me, and build up a base of friends and readers who wanted to stop by because they truly liked what I wrote. And I like to think that I've succeeded.

Now believe it or not, there is a downside to all of this. While I've been relatively fanatical about my privacy, which is to be considered very odd since I have a blog that is filled with all kinds of juicy tidbits about myself over the years, during my first stint on FB it allowed me the freedom to say what I want when I want. This is not the case now.

Now is having to watch what I say. I do this a lot on my blog already, because I don't know who might be reading my blog at a given moment, so the last thing I want someone to do, is to use what I say to get me into trouble (for now).

So now I have to apply the same philosophy on what I post for status updates or what I might contribute to a FB friend's discussion thread. Six degrees, or in this case, 16 degrees of separation.

In spite of that small bout of self-censorship that I have to contend with, I'm really starting to get into the groove of enjoying FB for what it was originally intended to be, and not what it has morphed into.

And that my friends, is the only way to stay comfy cozy while socially networking, because quite frankly, socially networking is just that, nothing more and certainly nothing less.

And if you want a FB friend who doesn't play games but simply posts at the most five or six status updates per week, then by all means, check me out. I don't bite, I don't bother people, and best of all, you can subscribe to my status updates, just like you would do a blog.


  1. I don't have facebook, I've just never wanted to be to public. I'm not someone that has an interest in finding old friends, or making new ones or the superficial comings and goings of my family. I get enough of that on the phone as it is. :D

    I can see for many it is a publicity tool though. :)

  2. I post a fair amount on other folks posts, but don't post a lot of my own.

  3. Everything you had to do simply wore me out just thinking about it. Besides I didn't think anyone had a choice about the timeline. I thought it was a requirement. Maybe some of my smart grandchildren can help me clean up my facebook,

  4. Joe: I can completely understand and appreciate your rational behind not being on Facebook.

    If certain things didn't go "boom!" in the past year, I wouldn't have gone back on myself.

    But things did go boom and thus, I need to be on FB. Doesn't mean I'm on all the time, on the average I'm on about a half hour a day.

    Charles: I'm pretty much the same way. If you look at my posts this time around, it's mostly blog links and the occasional nonsensical status update.

    G.A.: Originally people didn't have a choice, but I believe there was a settlement with the guv'ment over privacy issues that required them to make it an opt in.

    One way to clean it up is to hide all the gaming updates that your friends have. That alone will reduce your newsfeed by some 50%.

    I have about 100 games hidden on mine.

  5. I totally would if I did FB! I know what you mean about not knowing who might read - my family knows about my blog (sigh.)

  6. I cheat by using BBMs FB id when I'm over there. Mostly I just check on my family updates with cousin's nieces n nephews. I don't like posting there. N that first FB signup page asks your birth-date, which I won't divulge!

  7. I just check FB about once a day - I like seeing what the kids in my family are up to. :) I'll look for you next time I'm there.

  8. M: I deleted the redundancys that you had inadvertantly made (figured your computer must've hiccupped). Fortunately, while my family knows about my blogs, it's a bit too high up on the food chain for them to deal with, if you know what I mean.

    Snaggle: They use that mostly for security purposes to see if you're of legal age. Certain websites do that in order not to fall afoul of any legal restrictions about underage people using their product. Enforcing it, however, is another different animal all together.

    Lynn: Thanks.

    While I don't check once per day, my little checks add up to about a half hour per day. Usually if I have to do some writing or blogging, I will stay online just to see what pops up that I can do for a break.

  9. I hardly put up anything on Facebook other than links to interesting articles, because my account is under my real name. I only feel free when I'm anonymous. Maybe you need a second account under an assumed name!

  10. S.R.: Not this time around.

    Had multiple accounts (4 to be exact) when I was in the chat rooms and by the end, people knew who I was simply by looking at where my ISP was originating from.

    People still know who I am, and I'm comfortable with that, simply because the only things that I post are stuff that people already know about.

    Absolutely nothing new goes up that people don't already have an idea about.

  11. I'm hoping that no one person is tech savvy enough and invested enough in finding out my real name to try and put two and two together.

  12. S.R.: It all depends what you have on your profile for info. If you have minimal, then it should be pretty difficult to find out. More so if your avatar is not a picture of you. I know with the new Timeline feature, FB is mining every single thing that you've posted and making it pubic.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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