In 2009 I wrote a blog post about what I considered to be a new or newish phenomenon: Facebook.
Etwart says: hashtag cultural studies
I predicted that all other entertainment media would suffer from Facebook's appeal: that everyone's ability to tell their own stories with instant publication to their online community would mean we would turn into a society of micromythologists.
We would, in other words, all be famous for 2 or 3 seconds, as long as it took for our friends to read our posts.
That turned out to be not true at all.
Facebook, or my Facebook feed, anyway, has turned into the equivalent, not of a smorgasbord of personal stories, but mainly into a "shopper": the old-time term for a free extra edition of the newspaper, with a few editorials and features, but mostly advertisements.
It's not that no one is telling their story anymore. Just that nearly everything else has crowded that out.
I'm a culprit. Those of us selling our own books are energetically plugging them on Facebook.
I also have musician friends advertising their gigs; artist friends plugging their pieces and shows; and there are plenty of fundraisers out there as well.
Not to mention the "Suggested Posts" and the pages I've "Liked." Much of that has to do with spending money. Except maybe for that Steampunk thing I Liked, which started flooding my feed with pictures of leather corsets.
And of course, the nonstop political stuff.
Very few friends simply share their lives: two exceptions are Linda and Cathy, who have challenging home and family situations. They use Facebook as a place to vent, to ask opinions, to seek help and support, to laugh, and to celebrate good news.
Linda and Cathy are the features and editorials in the old-time shopper that Facebook has become for me.
I love newspapers and will read them "cover to cover" given time. Even a shopper can be entertaining.
But you get tired of being pitched to all the time. That's why I've stopped advertising my book on Facebook. I just don't see giving the same 150 friends the same opportunity to buy something they've already passed on.
So here is the light bulb, which you may already have been screaming at your computer screen: instead of adding to the Facebook ad noise, why don't I share stories from MY life?
Goodness gracious. What a concept. I might just have to try that.
Or stop complaining.