Monday, October 19, 2009

Fine to be finally on Facebook, finding friends

I fought Facebook and Facebook won.

See, I saw the social networking site as a place for college kids, as it started out, and frowned on it, too, because of an unfortunate, trouble-causing, illicit substitute profile a crazed acquaintance put on my daughter’s Facebook profile once upon a time.

So, I had not put up a Facebook profile. I had no Facebook friends; I couldn’t Facebook anyone or write on anyone’s wall. I was one of only two people who didn’t raise hands as Facebookers when social media was the topic at a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) meeting earlier this year. The other person was a young lady; I wondered then what her excuse was.

But, in my continuing effort to learn social media and have a cyber communications presence (and have a place to promote this website/blog) and tired of being seen as a digital dinosaur when I can Google, e-mail, and otherwise digitally communicate as well as anyone, I took the Facebook plunge last week.

Today, I have 57 friends and counting. I found so many friends and acquaintances from my former lives – as a Fairfield High School and Auburn University student, from days as a reporter and even from my most recent career in corporate communications. The long-lost include my ex sister-in-law and my junior high school best friend. I've not seen either in 30-plus years. I’m having lunch today with another long-lost Fairfield person. And, you never know when one of these long-lost friends might know about a potential job for me, as I have learned that networking is as important as a resume, maybe moreso. Plus, my Facebook friends include my children, my nieces, my nephews and my non-ex sister-in-law.

It took maybe an hour or two to put together my profile, and that included creating photo albums (one for my immediate family, one for friends and family, and one for music and recreation, mainly so I could post my prized picture of me and Billy Joe Shaver). I loved that part, having been a newspaper photographer in one of those former lives.

I’ve learned, however, that the time consumption comes later, after the profile, when friend requests come in, along with the need/compulsion to comment, write on walls or Facebook mail them. Time spent in a mostly social-only pursuit would be the downside, if I can find one. Time spent checking Facebook is added to time spent checking e-mail and job searching and away from my writer self’s current goal of writing at least 1,000 words a day on my almost-through-with-the-first-draft novel.

The book with its working title of Mojo Jones and the Black Cat Bone is waiting on me, even as I spend time today posting a blog on my website and flipping back to e-mail and my Facebook page to see if I’ve been friended, or have messages or hearts or comments. Plus, there must be time for the on-going job search and daily job board checks and follow ups. Thank goodness I don’t actively Twitter. I might never get Mojo back where he belongs.

Still, after less than a week as a Facebook participant, I can see the advantages and wonder now why I fought Facebook so long. It was about perceptions, I suspect. Now it needs to be about time management and priority setting, tasks I have much experience in as a career-long multi-tasker.

But, isn’t most of our life’s work and play about that, finding time for what we need to do and what we want to do?

See you on Facebook.

Picture of the week: Rising moon at sunset over the Alabama River, Dallas County, Alabama.

Song of the week: Blind Willie McTell, Bob Dylan.


  1. Love your lead and so glad you finally gave in to Facebook!

  2. Enjoyed the Blog. I too was a reluctant Face Booker. My college age son kept telling me about how many of his friends parents were "friending" him, and how weird he thought that was,... certainly didn't want to be weird. I have only been on about a month, and am ashamed to say I am becoming addicted.( they will proably start a 12 step program for people like me!) After dropping off the face of the earth 35 years ago, it is really nice to reconnect. Good luck on the job search, you are a gifted writer.

  3. For the next three weeks, prepare for Facebook to be a time sink.

    After that, things will slow down, as people who you once knew get re-acquainted with you.

    It will get better after the initial hump.