September 7, 2016

Facebook: When is Enough Enough?

I recently got an email from a friend, regarding my Facebook posts, saying, "...enough photos of your view!"
If you're a Facebook friend of mine you've undoubtedly seen them because, yes, I've moved to a new apartment that looks out on the lakefront and Michigan Avenue, and I'm enamored of the view, so I post early and often. (Just in case you're not a FB friend, here's a sampling.)
Facebook is an interesting phenomenon; it's a place where you can post most anything you want; pictures of your kids, your food, your pets, your new job, the house you're trying to sell, your vacation, your feet on vacation...
You can rant about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton or taxes or the CTA; you can state your political leanings where the whole Facebook world can see; you can laud someone's accomplishment, or tell us how humbled you are to win a big award; you can insult someone you disagree with, you can give us daily updates on your dying pet's treatments, and on and on.
I have friends who make incendiary remarks about the President, calling for impeachment. I don't think that has any place on FB. I have others who post nothing but pictures of themselves. I admit, I don't understand the fascination with one's own image, but...whatever. And then there are the ones who post daily updates on their medical conditions.
I don't necessarily want to read/see these things but we are all the arbiters of what's appropriate on our own Facebook page.
Some years ago, when my first book was published, I posted a lot about that on FB; talking about book signings and other events I was doing, posting links to good reviews, telling people about radio or TV (local cable) interviews, letting them know when it was on sale on Amazon...
People may have thought it was too much back then; too much about the same thing. Being published was a very big deal to me, but even I thought all that posting was excessive. It embarrassed me to do that kind of self-promotion, but the thing is, if you're lucky enough to have a traditional publisher, they expect that of you (unless you're JK Rowling or Nicholas Sparks, and then they'll do it for you). And if you self-publish, you'd better do it, because no one else will.
Back then a friend of mine, someone I considered my best friend, someone I'd known for 50 years, thought it was too much about me and my book. Hubris, she called it. She could have unfriended me on FB, or just ignored my posts, but instead she unfriended me in real life; ended our relationship. Of 50 years. Over Facebook.
That was devastating to me, and unfathomable.
Yes, that's extreme, but it's a choice. There are others: you can "hide" those posts that you feel are redundant, you can "unfriend" those people, or you can simply scroll past the things you're tired of looking at or reading.
We all get to decide when enough is enough.
That said, when I wake up in the morning and see the view outside my window I'm enthralled. Every day I tell myself I'm not going to post another photo of my view, but then I see this miracle outside my window and every day it's another version of spectacular, and I can't help myself.
So, if you're tired of seeing my pictures, I get that. It's new for me so maybe at some point I'll stop. But if you get tired of it before I do, just scroll past.
Unfriend me, if it really bothers you, but don't break up with me in real life. Over Facebook.


Karen Gillis said...

A very interesting topic, Sam. I want to let you know a couple things....I love your morning pictures and that you are getting so much joy and delight from your beautiful new place in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I suspect a lot of people who complain about things are very jealous people and they should have the decency to hide it by saying nothing, if they can't say something good! Your piece here on the subject is a good policy to follow in a civilized world where this wonderful technology allows being in touch with a wode range of people, by mutual choice and to mutual benefit. What can be wrong with that? Enjoy, my friend!

Sophie-Simon-Ingrid-Joe said...

I am a friend in life and on Facebook, I love the photos!! And I loved seeing you so happy about your book. So Post Away! These comments may look like they are coming from my cats Sophie-Simon-Ingrid-Joe, but they are from me, Barbara :)