Last year I wrote a column called “Confessions of a Facebook slacker.” In it, I confessed my initial fear of joining Facebook because of the extra time I thought it would steal from me. But after signing up, I admitted to reaping huge benefits from my free membership despite putting very little time into it.
Not much has changed.
Now, almost a year and a half after joining, I’m still a Facebook slacker and I’m still doing none of the things that have been recommended to me by the experts.
According to what I’ve heard, I’m supposed to update my status with an interesting quote about four times a day.
Currently I update my status about twice a week: once when I have posted a new comedy skit on my website and again when I’ve posted a new column.
Apparently that’s not interesting or interactive enough.
“You need to pose a question,” advised a marketing guru that I’m friends with. “All you do is announce things. That’s not very engaging, and, frankly, it’s boring.”
“You need to stay top of mind,” another social media savvy friend instructed. “A dull posting a couple times a week won’t cut it.”
“But isn’t it enough that I was creative with the articles and skits I posted?” I asked.
“No,” was their answer. “In order to get more benefits, you need to put in more effort.”
I’ve been meaning to do that. Really I have.
Recently I requested the friendship of my dad’s dance instructor even though I’ve only met him once. His response was to decline. “For me, an email connection does not qualify as a friendship,” he replied via email. “I prefer quality versus quantity.”
Apparently he had an experience with Facebook that he didn’t like when a new Facebook friend suggested all of his friends for him. My guess was that his new friend was suggesting friends for him in an effort to help him and his business get more exposure. But my dad’s dance instructor was reluctant, not knowing the individuals or their motives.
And that’s where the usage of Facebook can differ a great deal.
Some people are very exclusive with it and only like to include their close-knit group of family and friends for sharing on a more private level. Others, like me, prefer to use it as an all inclusive way of communicating.
And while more and more people seem to be utilizing it the way I am, there are still many others who like to use it in the more exclusive way in which it was initially intended.
Dad’s dance instructor is a very nice man and wanted me to know his reason for not confirming my Facebook friend request. He felt a non- reply or a “˜no’ seemed cold and icy. But with me he needn’t have worried.
I learned a long time ago that there are two faces within this Facebook phenomenon: the “˜exclusives’ and the “˜inclusives’. So if you’re one of the “˜inclusives’ like me and you’re feeling insulted that someone hasn’t confirmed you as a friend like my pal was the other day: please stop. There’s no reason to be offended. They’re probably just using Facebook in a different way.
Naturally, if you’d like to be my friend on Facebook I’ll happily accept you. I just can’t promise I’ll get any more interesting with my status updates. Right now, being a Facebook slacker seems to suit me just fine.