Thanks, Los Angeles County Public Library, for my free online course on how to blog.
My new site was blogging along nicely until the teacher began to cover social media. That’s when my blog went silent, despite my best efforts to keep my fingers typing.
Ten years ago, I was among the non-FaceBook minority, the last of the worriers about privacy. Don’t remind me that, post-internet, it’s obsolete. When the topic comes up among friends in the flesh, it’s akin to debates over whether God exists. Faith and denial are at the fore.
… years ago, I opened a FaceBook account under a pseudonym. After a week of being creeped out, I deleted it. Rather, I tried to. FaceBook’s farewell promised to forever and ever and ever and ever keep my info.
They predicted right. Last week I returned to the fold.
I’ve got two books to sell, authored by me. Since, eighty queries later, I’m agent-less and publisher-less, getting them out is entirely up to me. People and internet alike assure me that exploiting social media is the sole answer.
Me a little over a month ago: shudder — pinch nose — one — two — three — I re-enrolled, my profile updated to reflect my real name.
Call it FaceBook fear or FaceBook phobia, for the next long while, my fingers were paralyzed.
Courage appeared a week ago. My personal hero, Jacques Pépin, famed TV chef and colleague of goddess Julia Child, was cooking on TV.
He was probably doing something that included sauteed garlic and parsley in butter, but I can’t remember. The recipe was eclipsed by how he grabbed a piece of steaming hot food as if it were nothing. Did he pop it into his mouth? With only a quick inhale, he explained that one merely need clench one’s teeth to bypass the sting.
Teeth clenched, I made my page public and clicked through its numerous prompts. Jaw throbbing, thoughts riffed ad nauseum on the little and big reasons FaceBook unnerves me. Assume profanity between all words to do with FaceBook. It’s ruined the word ‘friend.’ It allows only one birthdate change, plus there’s no way I know of to hide it. It sends me notices when I’ve signed out. And on and on.…
Yoooo-hoooo! … stranger-friends!
Gnat-like FaceBook notifications flitted one after the other as I ignored them. Determined, I clicked some more. My future audience awaited.
Many many clicks later — 15 minutes worth of them? Half an hour? 45? Time flew, and then…
I needed a shower.
Molars stinging, I checked back in.
My jaw went slack.
Stranger-friends had mobbed my page. It was my own fault. I’m a neophyte, to the extent that I only recently learned that ‘like’ in FaceBook land means more than a simple ‘yeah’ vote. Ignorant to who/what FaceBook stranger-friends truly are.
My page was overrun by peddlers of sex! Worried that kids who happen onto my page might ‘see it all,’ I postponed lunch. The next couple of hours were devoted to unfriending. The volume of them was fatiguing. Rather than double-check each one and risk seeing ever more abnormal body parts and bedroomy adolescents, I became a FaceBook bigot. Brazilians were the first to be unfriends. Next slavs, then non-American looking Africans and peach-faced kids. No more shirtless men, goodbye to come-hither crawling women, and farewell to people caressing anything other than their extremeties.
Ever since, more continue to greet me.
Fortunately, I managed to removed their birthdays and info from my contacts list and calendar. There’s plenty more for me to learn.
On the plus side, a handful of my new friends actually are friends I haven’t seen for a long time. To each of them, thank you for your encouragement.
So far, most everyone who kindly follows my blog are via WordPress and my personal emails.
Now people chide me that FaceBook is passé. They say that
What are your experiences with social media, particularly for promoting books and the like?