Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Disclosure Of No Importance...Or Maybe A Lot (Sticky; Scroll Down For New Posts)

     First, a reminder: My “public” email address is:

     I check it once per day, usually in the early morning. And now, the reason for the reminder...

     Some years ago, well after Facebook had gotten established as a power on the Web but well before its current near-universal reach, another writer advised me to get on it and “get involved.” At the time he and I got along with pretty well. Just to spare you any speculation, there aren’t many such persons. Nearly everyone who’s gotten to know me more than superficially has backed away from me. I know the reasons for that, and in my opinion they are entirely defensible, so I don’t take it amiss.

     So I registered for a Facebook account. Three days later I deleted it. The other writer noticed and asked why. I told him. It marked the end of our interaction.

     Fast forward to 2016. Another writer with whom I’m amicably acquainted asked why I’m not on Facebook. (No, I can’t honestly call him a friend. A friend is someone you love and who loves you. Someone you can call at 2:00 AM with an urgent need, and who will do whatever it is you need done with no questions. I don’t have any of those.) I gave him the reason that had distanced me from the writer I mentioned in the paragraph above. May God bless him and keep him, we’re still in touch, though I wouldn’t doubt he thought it over for a bit.

     The aforementioned amicably acquainted writer – let’s call him AAW, just to save keystrokes – said that Facebook had been invaluable for promoting his books...that he could attribute at least half his sales to the promotion he did there. He urged me to get back on. So I did.

     Well, about three weeks later Facebook disabled my account. They were purging conservatives at the time, and something I said probably drew their attention. They did it subtly, by asking me to verify my identity. I sent them copies of my driver’s license. They never responded, and that account, tied to my “main” email address, remains disabled to this day.

     That’s Facebook for you. It’s a haven for children, idiots, and social justice warriors – yes, that opinion is the reason my Facebook-enthusiast friend ceased to communicate with me – and if I weren’t interested in the promotional possibilities AAW hinted at, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But as I’m the next best thing to a hermit, publish exclusively under my own name and aegis, and can no longer go to writers’ conferences – I can’t fly, for medical reasons – I find it hard to sell books. I wanted whatever promotional power I could derive from Mark Zuckerberg’s frivolous “social media” site. So I created an account under the name of my readers’ favorite character: Louis Redmond. To this point, Facebook hasn’t detected the ball-under-the shirt play.

     However, I’ve just been reminded why I deleted my original account there. Facebook sucks you in. You start to spend lots of time there. It suggests “friends” to you: almost exclusively people have never met and will never meet. You start scanning its puerile, left-leaning conception of a “news feed.” You get into arguments with imbeciles and SJWs. (Yes, the intersection is a non-null set.) More and more of your time and energy goes to such things. After a while, you find that you can’t bring yourself to close the browser tab on which Facebook is open. It would be like cutting off the world and everyone in it...however much you might value that collection of miscreants.

     Even now that I’ve retired from wage employment, I don’t have time for that sort of foolery. Among other things, I’m a working writer: both in the realm of fiction and here at Liberty’s Torch. My days are full, both from that and from other involvements I’ll forbear to specify. Besides, I’m an old man. I can’t afford to spend my time reading trivia, arguing with the brain dead, or scanning Facebook’s “friend” suggestions. I have no idea how many days are left to me, and to spend any of them at Facebook would be a waste.

     So I probably won’t be going back there, no matter how many books it might theoretically help me to sell.


xmaddad1 said...

Well Fran, I must be the exception to the Book-of-Face member. I only use it to post enjoyable pictures of my latest grandchild and keep tabs on my 'friends and family', all of whom I know and have interacted with personally.

ligneus said...

Well I don't know you but I'm sure you're not an 'old man'. Just not possible.

Bob T. said...

Linked-In is no better, unless they've done some serious QC work since the last time I bothered to login. The idea as originally marketed (and quite possibly conceived) was for Linked-In to be a site for professionals in their respective fields to network with each other.

The similarities between Linked-In and Facebook were apparent even in those early days. Facebook "likes" map to Linked-In "endorsements", and so forth. It was easy enough to anticipate that people outside my field/specialty with whom I was associated socially (church, my wife's work, etc.) might ask for a "connection". What I was too naive to anticipate was their reactions when I politely declined their connection requests for the obvious reason, i.e., they didn't do what I did for a living, and vice-versa. In other words, no beneficial aspect to either party of enlarging our respective professional networks by adding each other. You'd have thought I dropped trou and mooned them.

I briefly had a Facebook account under an assumed name so that friends having pictures they wished to share with me had a convenient way to do so. The advent of the so-called smartphone pretty much eliminated that reed-thin justification for having an account, so I closed it. At this point, I'm proud with some justification at being among the barely more than 1% of the U.S. population that doesn't have a Facebook account. Perhaps the percentage is a bit higher these days, but at the point I bowed-out, that was the figure being touted.

Christian Mountaineer said...

True friends are valuable. The friendship of David and Jonathan is a great example. Notice the strength of their friendship - I Samuel 18:1. And when Jonathan died, David grieved - II Samuel 1:26. Friendship can even develop within a family. We can see the commitment between Ruth and Naomi - Ruth 1:16-17. What makes a friendship valuable is the permanence of the relationship, rivaling the relationship of family - Proverbs 17:17. A friend is not a casual acquaintance. He is someone who sticks by you even in difficult times - Proverbs 18:24. Friends can improve you - Proverbs 27:17, friends help you - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. For us to gain friends, you most be willing to offer friendship. Not everyone is worth having as a friend!

Kye said...

I can understand why a man in your position and profession would want and could use Facebook. I tried Facebook a few years ago and it grew so fast I cut it off never looking back. Suddenly I was "touched" by people from grade school for heaven sake. Who needs'em? Perhaps just using it as a tool and ignoring the bull$hit could help. But if it helps you make money you need to figure out how to turn the table on Zuckerberg and use his creation to "zuck" him.

MMinWA said...

I thought I had a friend like that. Once. He got into trouble, was jailed with a very high bond. He asked me to put my, at the time my life's accumulation of work, downtown Denver's building up as surety. I did, he showed, did his sentence and that was that. Until year's later, when I needed a solid, take a guess.

As for selling your books, all you had to do was tell me Innocents was available as a book. Got it yesterday and read it until I fell asleep. Great stuff man.

1104wrhmr6r said...

Don't worry about it. I frequently post links back here and ravel about your books.

Unknown said...

I started a blog several months ago and was told Facebook is a great source for sharing my posts and acquiring readers. I have attracted a few readers but for the most part I keep Facebook posts friendly and fun. Arguing with liberals on any level via an internet platform is just not fun for me. I like to engage in civil discussions and well, there just isn't much civility associated with today's liberals. Keep up the good work Francis, I read your blog regularly and just about always find your posts enlightening.