My unhealthy relationship with Facebook.
It seems like every day now, something about Facebook upsets me. I don’t understand it. I don’t know how it became so popular. It’s only merit is that EVERYONE is on it. I only maintain an account there for people to be able to find me if they need me. But I can’t follow it at all. There are people I would love to be able to keep up with, but I just can’t figure out how to do it. Twitter is easy. Every time anybody I follow on Twitter says anything on Twitter, my phone makes a noise. I look at it, I see what they said, and I can reply to it or not. This worked easily over text messaging, even before I had a smartphone. I’m in the loop on Twitter!
With Facebook, I’ve tried Motoblur, Facebook for Android, Tweetcaster, Seesmic, and also various apps for my old Blackberry. They all behave exactly the same way. Nothing sends me an alert except a direct private message. By the time I remember to check in on my Facebook timeline, I find 300 requests for diamond pickaxes and manure, interspersed with 18 hour old messages about someone’s new baby with a mile long comment thread because everyone else found out about it within minutes and that I didn’t get to participate in at all. Sometimes I post a status that I really want friends to see. No one ever replies. Sometimes I find lots of replies and shares of posts that I made on this website and which I never meant to go to Facebook. I post here because I want to read the comments here where I can see them.
Another fun time is when I do try to crosspost something to Facebook on purpose, and it never shows up there. I log in to Facebook, and look all up and down my timeline for it, and find nothing. So I ask someone for help. They click on weird stuff I never would have tried. They appear to be clicking at random, like they don’t know where they are going, but eventually find a page full of copies of the post I have been looking for. If it got buried that deep, how do I know if anyone else ever saw it? Why do I have more than one timeline on here anyway?
That leads me to the final problem I wanted to bring up. Under no circumstances have I ever been able to get the same list of notifications to show up on the website and on mobile. Some on one, some on the other, and some on both. There is no rhyme or reason to it. As long as this kind of stuff continues, I’m going to continue to be frustrated and upset with it.
I frequently think about closing my account and being done with all the grief. Then I think about Mrs. Lollar finding me there and inviting me to sing at West Texas Music Academy’s fund raiser. Not everyone knows this about me, but I constantly think back to my junior high and high school days in choir the same way Al Bundy did with his high school football career. It may not be healthy, but it’s true. Kantorei was one of the great high points in my life, and getting invited to sing in WTMA’s ensemble made my whole decade!
Just a few months later, I accidentally ran across Cody Tumlin’s work call on Facebook for The 39 Steps, which he was directing at the Permian Playhouse. Of course I went! I was so excited, I nearly injured myself getting to the car! And just when I’m so happy getting to work with Cody and Ken, in walks Lori Gregory, and later in the project, Carl Evans. These are some of my favorite people in the whole world, they live one town over, and I NEVER get to see any of them! I know this sounds ridiculous, but it’s just how I am. From just getting to hang out with them, my happy levels were at such dangerously high levels, I couldn’t really process them anymore. I have no idea what that looks like from the outside, but I probably acted like an idiot. I floated around on cloud 9 for weeks. And this was all thanks to Facebook.
So I stay torn. One one hand, I can’t stand all the crap it puts me through on a daily basis, but on the other hand, I can’t stand the thought of missing more opportunities like the two I mentioned. I might be happier if someone could really teach me how it’s all supposed to work. How does everyone else sort through the junk and find the good posts in real time? How do I get people to see the posts I want them to see from me? It’s a social network! I’m supposed to be connecting with people. But I’m only seeming to do that on an accidental basis at this point. Help me?