How I use Facebook

Note: This is a new series of posts based on idea fodder suggested by other bloggers. I’ll call this my “Inspired By” series. Chris Brogan‘s list of 100 blog topics inspired me today.

Source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved.

Source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved.

Facebook is both a connector and a divider for me. It’s one of the few social media sites where I can catch up with most of the people I hold dear. It’s also the place where I see some ugly underbellies. The truth always outs people, doesn’t it.

The good about Facebook usage

  • I get to know the personal side of people I meet professionally. Now I know who the dog lovers are, who’s got a secret badass side, and who thinks deeply and lives passionately.
  • I can keep in touch with cousins and other far-flung family members who I seldom see in the flesh.
  • I get a feel for my tribe’s thoughts on top news topics and I often hear new perspectives and additional information.
  • I get giggles from the silly memes my friends and family share.

The bad about Facebook usage

  • People assume its contents are distributed reasonably. They are not. Because of Facebook’s algorithms, the average user only sees about 6.5% of the posts published by his/her Facebook friends. (Facebook is trying to drive people to pay for their posts to be more widely distributed. They also say it’s so we see only the most “relevant” contents. Whatever, Facebook. Let ME be the one who picks whose posts I want to see.) The result is that I don’t always see things posted online, and people get the impression I’m derelict in duties if I — for example — don’t attend a funeral they posted about, when in truth I didn’t see the news. The only workaround that I know of for this is to create a friends list with everyone on it and follow that list for new posts instead of just looking at my Facebook feed to see what’s being discussed. I *always* forget to to that, though.
  • I see some hateful comments, ignorant views and unsuspected reservoirs of vitriol from people who seem perfectly nice on the surface.
  • People post willy-nilly without doing even cursory accuracy checks. Then they get huffy if you give ’em a link to a Snopes.com article debunking their conspiracy theories or shrug you off by saying, “You know I never check anything.”

How I use Facebook today

  • I check my Facebook page at least daily and usually more often than that. I try to go back in my Facebook feed for the previous 24 hours so I don’t miss much, and I keep my Facebook page set to show the “Most Recent,” not the “Top Stories” (as Facebook judges, anyway). I follow my favorite groups faithfully and scan the others that I also follow as time permits.
  • I also have a Facebook pseudonym account so I can enjoy more private online conversations about topics like relationship issues, personal development, health issues and other things that every single person doesn’t need to understand about me.
  • Facebook also helps me connect with my business contacts, who I see on my regular Facebook account under my real name but who are on the “Restricted” friends list so I can choose who sees my posts. For example, not everyone who works with me needs to be alienated by my political stances that I’m passionate about (such as pro LGBTQ rights, pro reproductive freedom, and anti-Trump), my potty mouth, and my my dark humor.

So tell me: How do YOU use Facebook?

 

 

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Writing prompt for July 1, 2015: Favorite prompt?

Source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved.

This pretty much looks like my “To Read” pile at any given time in my life, lol. Source: Flickr.com; some rights reserved.

8421501433_d514a7b626_oIntro: I’m not sure this writing prompt exercise is going to be just the ticket for me; 60 seconds is pretty much a blink of the eye. But here goes with the One-Minute Writer Prompt for July 1, 2016. I’ll give this daily writing exercise a week and re-evaluate. This is Day Five.

Topic: “Favorite prompt. TOMW has been running for EIGHT YEARS now. What was your favorite prompt to respond to?” (Aw. I have only been using this writing prompt for a few days so far, and I haven’t identified a favorite yet. So what should I do?  … Pondering …  I think I’ll find the prompt for my birthday and use that one. The one for March 29, 2016, was “What are you reading (or writing) right now?”

My write-up: I’ve kind of lost my zest for reading lately. Since I went through the valley of depression during 2008-2012, and then some relationship issues afterward (things are better now), I’ve not been much of a reader. That’s been a profound change in my life. Books have been central to my entire life. When I was a kid walking to my grandmother’s house from my bus, I used to even walk with a book in front of me, to the amusement of my grandmother’s neighbors watching me stumble along the sidewalk. These days, I have to work much harder to have the attention span for reading a novel-length work. But I’m currently paused on reading “The Girl on the Train,” a January 2015 book by Paula Hawkins. It’s well written but there are so many sad parts in the book. Not sure if I will finish it.

My thoughts after today’s writing prompt: Booooo to me. I can do better self-care than this!

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Writing Prompt for June 30, 2016: Photo of decrepit carnival ride

8421501433_d514a7b626_oIntro: I’m not sure this writing prompt exercise is going to be just the ticket for me; 60 seconds is pretty much a blink of the eye. But here goes with the One-Minute Writer Prompt for June 30, 2016. I’ll give this daily writing exercise a week and re-evaluate. This is Day Four.

Topic: Photo prompt. Tell your story.

Posted at The One-Minute Writer website by Carla Hurst Chandler.

Posted at The One-Minute Writer website by Carla Hurst Chandler.

My write-up (I took a fictional angle this time): She wished her mother hadn’t rented an apartment right next to the abandoned amusement park. Sometimes when the wind blew, the old metal structures creaked and moaned. Worst of all was the kiddie train with the rusted metal face on the front car, facing the apartments and always looking at her window with its one good eye. She asked her mom to go over there and help her move it so it would face away, but her mom just stared at her, took a long drag on her cigarette and blew out a bark of laughter with the smoke.

My thoughts after today’s writing prompt: I love the creepy atmosphere of this photo.

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