defriending on facebook

Ah Well, Facebook Again?

It’s Sunday night. I started my leaf clean up today, which is a part of my life that will last from now until December. I have trees. A lot of trees: three acres of them. And I love each and everyone and I’m by no means complaining.

But after working outside all day, I wanted to sit down, relax, and go through my news feed on facebook tonight. I haven’t had much time to do much with social networks because of deadlines and new releases. And what did I find? A scathing rant about politics. And it was posted by someone with whom I’ve worked in e-publishing but never actually met in person.

As much as I like the guy on a professional level, I clicked onto his profile, scrolled down, and quickly defriended him from my list.

Facebook is a social network for enjoyment. I love when people post about public services, like my friend Ryan. He’s always posting about animal welfare and lgbt issues. But he does it in a positive way, and I know he works hard dedicating his life to these issues.

But when I read a raging political rant on facebook, by someone I know isn’t doing anything or working to make the cause he’s ranting about any better, I lose patience. Facebook is not a platform, and it’s not a place where people want to read negative posts or political rants. It’s a place where people want to relax, learn a few things, and have fun. If you want to rant, take the time to start a blog and rant away. But don’t do it in my face (smile).

An Annoying Thing About Facebook

It takes a lot to get me annoyed…it really does. But this is something I’ve been dying to write about for a while and haven’t had time. And the reason for this is because I work every single day, sometimes on weekends. I write a new novel every six to eight weeks, depending. And I’m usually editing and writing short story stand alones in my spare time so I can release a new one every month. This takes time and concentration. And because I love what I do I often put everything else aside to concentrate on my work.

But I have e-mails to read, bills to pay, and everything else that everyone deals with on a daily basis. It’s called life; it’s a good thing. Right now, while in the middle of a new novel, I’m going back and forth with an editor about a new stand alone. On top of that, I’m renting a small guest apartment I have on my property to a brand new tenant and I’m e-mailing him and pulling the lease together so he can get in there a few days before July 1st.

Facebook is fun. It’s a place where I like to relax and meet new people and connect with old friends. I love reading my blogging buddy Ryan’s posts. I can’t wait to see what Lori Perkins and other authors and editors I know are having for dinner or what they did over the weekend. But the one thing that truly bothers me is when authors I don’t know and have never been introduced to start hawking me with their books, and their events. It clogs up my e-mail and takes time out of my day. Sometimes they do it in groups, and I get an e-mail that sounds like this: “Hughy, Dooey, and Yahooy have invited you to the event…” And I normally just click delete and ignore them. If I see this happening several times of day for a period of weeks, I then go to their profile and de-friend them. It’s nothing personal. I have nothing against them. But I’m too busy with my own life to deal with e-mails that aren’t important. And I’d rather spend that time communicating with the wonderful readers who are always sending me e-mails about my own books.

I have this feeling many of these authors think they are doing the right thing. They believe that if they go after fans and readers aggressively on social networks like facebook it will help sell their books. Only it doesn’t work with me, and I have a feeling most people feel the same way I do. I’d rather they send me a nice simple e-mail and tell me about their books. I’d even be okay with a private message on facebook. Author Matt Bartloff recently sent me a private message about his book, TORN FROM NORMAL, and I was more than happy to get to know him this way.

But these cold, aggressive, annoying facebook events and unsolicited sales pitches run along that thin line of desperation, and writers run the risk of turning more people off than on.

Facebook Friends…and De-Friending

In the past year, I’ve signed up with twitter, facebook and a few other networking sites. I do it to promote books, keep in touch with friends and family, and see what other people in publishing are doing. I personally don’t limit any of these sites to just the publishing industry. I’m curious about everyone out there, especially on facebook and twitter. I recently “friended” someone I knew through old friends, and I’m enjoying all their posts. I love reading about what my nephews and nieces are doing (Katie…John Michael…etc…) And my blogging buddy, Ryan Stratton, always makes me smile on facebook.

So sites like facebook cover a lot of ground for me. And I’m learning. So if I haven’t asked to be friends with someone, please consider me a facebook idiot, and don’t take it personally. Same thing with twitter following. I accept all friend requests all the time and if you are following me on twitter, I’ll usually follow you back. And I would never defriend or stop following someone on purpose. It’s just something I would not do.

And there’s a reason for this. Up until a week or so ago, I was reading facebook posts by an editor I’ve worked with for a long time. I’ve always liked him so much I was willing to do anything to please him. If he said, “Make this change,” I’d do it even if I didn’t agree. I loved being in his books, and loved the things he’d written himself. And so I was following him on facebook, enjoying all his posts, too.

And then one morning a week ago, I noticed his facebook posts had all disappeared from my homepage. I figured he was busy and not posting. But by the end of the week I started to wonder. So I searched his name, checked his profile, and found that he’d actually removed me from his friends list. Then I triple checked to make sure I hadn’t made a mistake. But sure enough, he’d wiped me off his list for no apparent reason.

I know I should have thicker skin. I get reviewed all the time and I rarely care what they say. I’m used to taking the good with the bad. But this really bothered me. Here I was thinking we were “friends,” enjoying all his posts, and he knocked me off his friends list without giving it a second thought.

I’ll get over it, but I know one thing for sure. I will never, ever remove anyone from my friend list, on anything, unless I contact them first and tell them why I’m doing it. And if I haven’t friended someone on facebook or I’m not following them on twitter, please understand it’s just my own stupidity and I will do it as soon as I figure out I haven’t done it.