Facebook: A Means to an End
My experience on Facebook began when I learned from Problogger and others that it was useful to connect to “social media” when you begin blogging. The idea is that you can call attention to your blog. Boy, was I surprised at what happened next.
Facebook is real people
In the beginning it was hard to meet new people. No one knew me and I didn’t know anyone. I looked around, and thought I would try to take the first step and request that someone be my friend. I saw a picture of a person who looked nice and clicked on it. Facebook sternly advised, “So and So will have to confirm your request. Please only send this request if you know him personally.” I didn’t know the person personally, so I didn’t send the request. But then I read some more and decided that a potential Facebook friend could always turn me down.
I took a deep breath
I sent a request to a person I didn’t already know personally. This person accepted! I had made a friend. It was a person who couldn’t speak English. Our relationship was cordial in the sense that there was never a harsh word between us. There were no words at all between us! So I decided to try to make another friend based on a shared interest.
I made another friend
This friend had other friends and I could see their taste in music, film and books. These people were funny and had good taste. I foolishly followed my heart and sent a couple of friend requests to people who were, by my tastes, very cool. I sent requests to more friends of friends. I posted links to my blogs, too. In the meantime, I began commenting on music videos my friends posted. Yes, they turned out to have very good taste in music.
I love music
Music is, for me, the closest thing to magic the human race has invented. Especially rock and roll music, but all kinds of music have deep meaning, and these people knew it, too. I was reading their comments on what their friends were posting. Unfortunately, music has nothing to do with my blog. My friends kept rocking my world with great music and humorous comments. The songs they managed to find were so good, I was compelled to “like” them. I kept listening and reading and liking and commenting. I posted music I liked. I posted to my wall my blogs, too, despite their irrelevance.
Then something happened that I hadn’t expected
I began to genuinely like my Facebook friends. These were people with big souls, strong minds, and, yes, very, very good taste. That was why I had sent them friend requests. The unexpected part: These were real people out in the real world. We had met semi randomly, but I would check in to see what they were posting. And what they were posting was really good music and their memories of when they first heard the music, and their feelings.
They had feelings
I had read about Facebook in the context of promoting one’s blog. These people I had friended turned out to be expressive, deep, and they loved music. Something really strange happened then. I realized how much good was in the hearts of these people. I didn’t just love the music they posted.
I loved them.
This was not the plan. These people had ruined everything! They weren’t even reading my blogs, and why should they? My blogs were about other interests like writing and how to use WordPress blogging software and product reviews. The basis of our relationship was the sincere love of music, and trivia and jokes. And now I was on Facebook for all the wrong reasons.
If your plan is to get on Facebook to promote your blog, be businesslike in your choice of friends. If you follow your heart and seek out friends the way you would in real life, you may end up with a bunch of friends that you really enjoy for their own sake.
One day it will happen
All the friendliness will build up. One of them will post a word or a song that fills your heart past the brim. And then it will dawn on you. Facebook is not just “social media.” It’s a way to receive gifts of beauty and kindness and humor, and witness the genuine love and goodness in people. And on that day you are screwed! I still post my blogs but love my Facebook friends and love them for being sincere. And I sincerely don’t expect them to “like” my blogs. I expect them to like what they like.