My uncle’s birthday came and went a few weeks ago. Just before it, I received (of course) a Facebook reminder. Obviously, however, wishing him well was a bit difficult…. given he’s now dead.
Unlike so many others, I didn’t write anything on his wall. He’s not on his PC in his home office (as he never got to the mobile device stage), and he’s never going to read it. Seeing so much of what was scribbled on it, I remembered this I’d written in 2014:
That photo is 6 years old, taken just about now in another early March. To be exact: it was on our driveway, March 5, 2010. It popped up the other day thanks to that Facebook “memories” stuff. (I find I’m not “liking” that much. It keeps unexpectedly and unnervingly sharing memories of DEAD PEOPLE with me! Do you have that happen, too?)
Hard to believe this nearly “snowless winter” how that much snow does usually come down in the Catskills.
While, yes, I do point to “personal” matters on here and other “public” social media, I usually do so as an adjunct to what’s in my novels. Something that might surprise you: I’m not a very “public” person. I just want my novels to be enjoyed.
I have two Facebook accounts. My main one is under my real name and is “personal” – visible to friends (in the pre-Facebook use of the word) and family. The rest of my social media – my (still underutilized, I know) Facebook author page, my Twitter, and of course this blog – revolve around my “public” persona (such as it is).
I think most of us understand there does seem increasingly to be a blurring of the remaining “boundary” between the private and the public, and we accept that. Yet as part of that, a distinction between “home” space and “work” space seems rapidly being eroded, too. Facebook has become one of those places we see it.
I’ve got nothing against making new “friends” who could become friends eventually. (A few from social media have, so I have allowed them into my “private” space.) Still, there is a line someplace. Case in point: last week, I’d had a Messenger exchange with a relative, and I opened (in this excerpt) by mentioning yet another older relative of ours who is very ill, possibly terminal:
As you may know, this blog has been the center of my authoring universe since my very first post back in (what seems so long ago) 2013. I’m only (again) starting to come to grips with my official Facebook page, which has been up a few months. Up to now, Facebook has really been mostly just an extension of this blog:
I’m visiting briefly with Dad again – after driving down from the Catskills here to the Poconos in Pennsylvania, 2 and 1/2 hours away. Last night, he was having a snooze in front of the television. When he sleeps, I don’t disturb him. (Understandably, he’s often miserable and stressed since Mom’s death.)
Earlier, a commenter on a several months’ old post on here got me to thinking. So with Dad sleeping, I thought why not FINALLY figure out how to “Like” Facebook pages from my Facebook author page?
Ah, trying to keep a secret when there’s Facebook…. and novelist uncles who forget and post things to your wall that you had made absolutely clear to him you didn’t want all of your family and close friends to know.
As you may know if you’ve popped by here regularly over the last year and a half, I write under a pen name. That’s because some of what’s in my novels is based on real-life people I know, and some of them are also Facebook friends of mine under my real name. So I had not been rushing to use Facebook for my books even under my pen name in order to minimize the chance I’ll be “unmasked” by them as an author.
But once my Harper Collins published uncle became fully aware of what I’ve been up in to writing, I’d started to have second thoughts. Most authors are now on Facebook, and – more importantly – readers seem to like it and expect it. It’s an integral part of the social media “office furniture.”
So, yes, I give in. It’s overdue. Here’s a screenshot of it during “construction”:
Regarding About.me. You may know it. If you don’t, the best way I can think to describe it is it’s, I suppose, a bit of a “flashier,” more “artistic,” and informal version of LinkedIn. (I don’t use LinkedIn.)
I have noticed a recent trend on About.me. Unless someone has chosen to browse anonymously, you can see who views you. I’m finding my page is being viewed over and over by quite a few people who never interact with me whatsoever.
I mean never. Perhaps they drop by here; but I never know if they do because they never “like” posts or comment. Maybe they read my Twitter feed; but similarly I never know because they don’t “follow” me or even tweet “@” me now and then.