I have too many social media accounts. I literally cannot keep up with them anymore, and I keep thinking about letting Facebook go first. I know I’ve missed thousands of notifications across the sites and I’m starting to feel really bad about it.
But I don’t think I can let go of any, but Facebook in particular. I never visit the site itself. The only person who does is my mother, because I logged her computer onto my account so she could keep up with family news, and she has a standing invitation to “like” any posts she wants. My account is also linked to an email address I let go after I came home from Ukraine in 2011 to a few thousand spam emails I couldn’t be bothered sorting through. So I never even get my notifications. I do cross-post from other sites, but that’s it.
This becomes a problem when I get home from a couple of months in Europe to old messages along the lines of: ‘I see you’re in Barcelona. So am I! Want to meet up for coffee tomorrow?’!!
Authors use Facebook, Twitter (which I also hate!) and Goodreads to promote their books, and while I got sick and tired of the Cover Reveal Party!!, Release Party!!, Twitter Event!!, Goodreads Event!! spam from authors nonstop (note to authors: my idea of a party isn’t you telling us to buy your book!), I sort of just ignored it all and deleted the messages.
I know exactly when my frustration with Facebook turned into hate.
It was when extreme right-wing radio shock jock Alan Jones (Australia’s Rush Limbaugh) went to a political function in 2012 and joked about killing the Australian Prime Minister and dumping her body at sea.
I made a comment on my timeline about it, and the problem was that the executive who lost his job after providing the body bag was the son of someone I knew. And even though I hadn’t been in contact with this woman for over a decade and was not “friends” with her on the site, she abused me through Facebook’s private message function. (I blocked and reported her and haven’t heard from her again, but if you’re still stalking me: hi!)
Note: the so-called Liberal Party in Australia is actually the conservative party! (Yes, we make no sense.) But no matter what side of politics you fall on, this was an appalling and unprofessional thing to do.
I have two problems with Facebook. The first is obviously that you have no idea who is stalking you.
And the second is that it’s too bloody hard to keep up with the separate parts of my life. Family, friends, ballet friends, book people, Ukrainians.
Twitter is a nuisance, but I continue to share links there because a huge proportion of my followers are people looking for English language updates on Russia’s war in Ukraine. I don’t really bother with it much beyond that, for the same reasons.
I don’t think I can let Facebook go at this point, but I thought I should warn people that the only social media sites I really use anymore are Goodreads, Instagram (my brother made me!), and Pinterest (when I feel like wasting time).
I don’t know how authors manage to do it.