Facebook is Sinking

So. After being told by all the presenters at SFWC that one must have a Facebook presence . . . Other writers are announcing they're leaving and/or at the very least reducing their usage of the site.

Also, teenagers no longer think Facebook is cool.

Well, that's the problem with catering to a fickle consumer. And teens are terribly fickle.

Meanwhile, I've been doing less and less on Facebook and Twitter because, hey! Real life! It's out there, keeping me busy. So busy, in fact, that I can't actually be bothered to take the time to tweet or post a status about everything I'm doing. Funny how that happens.

And I'm not interested enough in what other people ate for dinner, or what cute thing their kids did, or in seeing pictures of places they went, to check in as regularly as I used to when I was bored, either.

Let's face it (and I've said this before): Much of social networking is about hearing yourself "talk," and being the star of your own show. It's reality TV in cyberspace, everyone editing their lives to showcase the greatest possible amount of drama. Or, alternatively, boring their presumed audiences with narratives about their housework, errands they've run, etc.

Then there are the people who use social networks as a platform for causes, or to shill their wares. (I'll admit I'm guilty of this one in terms of promoting my books, scripts, sites. But I try not to be too obnoxious about it . . . And as an aside, did you know it takes an average of seven discreet moments of exposure to prompt someone to act on something? That means it would take some combination of a tweet, a Facebook post, a magazine ad, someone mentioning it, seeing it in an e-mail, reading a review, and seeing it mentioned on a blog to get someone to buy a book or see a movie or contribute to your Kickstarter or whatever.)

Anyway, is it any wonder Facebook is sinking? Everyone is tired of everyone else's drama or lack thereof, and they are dissatisfied with the lack of interest everyone shows in their lives. You do the token "Like" thing now and then, but really? You don't much care, right?

The one thing I've found Facebook good for (besides letting people know when and where my books are coming out) is keeping up with people at a distance. Now instead of typing a bunch of e-mails, I can post a succinct status update that lots of people can see. And I can customize who sees it, too. (Apparently a common reason for leaving Facebook is lack of privacy and/or control of one's data.)

But that's a personal thing. I abandoned my "official" author Facebook site because I couldn't get any use out of it. I'm sure that's my fault somehow, not understanding how to "leverage" the system and bend it to my will, but whatever. My book sales are good, my screenwriting is going well, so I can't complain that no one "Liked" my Facebook page. Well, I can, but to what purpose?

Facebook will really need to rethink its uses, and its users, if it wants to survive.

1 comment:

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I'm with you about Facebook and Twitter. Who has the time? I have a busy life. It drains enough of my free time to write my blog and my novel. I am beginning to tire of THE FOLLOWING, too. Emma should have gotten lead in the head. :-)