I’m avoiding Facebook for a while. Here’s why. I started a Facebook account when I first got involved in social media. (Publishers say you have to build a platform.) The instructions were very basic and I checked my feed once a day for a total of about 5 minutes. I still do that. Some people contact me on Facebook, and often I don’t see it. In fact, I seldom open it after 6:30 a.m. I’m pretty easy to reach on the internet. I have a blog and a Twitter account, Linked-In, Goodreads, and Academia.edu. They all send me email notices when someone messages me. Facebook doesn’t. Also Facebook keeps telling me people have sent friend requests. It was manageable up until recently.
I thought it was because of the Incarcerated Christian podcast. (There’s another one coming up on Tuesday!) The next day I started to get 20+ friend requests a day. You’ve got to build a platform, right? I tend to accept friend requests because I spend very, very little time on Facebook. Then more requests came. And more. And more. Just yesterday I had 846 pending friend requests. That’s a lot of clicking! I was going to have to hire an assistant just to say “you’re all welcome.” Or maybe, “why not follow me on Twitter?” I would devote my 5 minutes on Facebook to clicking friend requests. I quickly grew bored with it. Then the friend requests started coming from other academics. “Cool!” I said, “people I actually know!” But when I clicked on the “Accept” button it said, “Friend request sent.” No, no, no! That’s not what I wanted to do! I was responding to a request sent to me, not the other way around.
I quickly clicked out of Facebook in embarrassment. I don’t want a bunch of academics to know how needy I am—that’s just for you blog readers to know. I know Facebook sends updated instructions from time to time. I don’t have time to keep up with them. If they just sent me a tweet I might read it. My main social media channel is this blog. You can read it on Facebook, or Twitter, or even Goodreads. I think it also shows up on my Amazon author profile page. I may be needy but I’m not hard to find. So I’ve decided to retreat from Facebook for a while. The price of building a platform, it seems, has gone up with just about everything else.