Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Am I the Only One?

I hate Facebook. Every time I use it something has changed. Every time I find a Facebook feature I love, it disappears. For example:

Messages. For a while messages were identified with large letters. Click on MESSAGE and, as you might expect, you would find not only a link to send messages but a link to open the ones you’ve received.  Then the link was moved to the sidebar, and then to somewhere that keeps changing in the timeline.

Pictures and Albums. On my personal page I put up birthday photos and wanted them out right away. Well, Murphy’s Law in action, nothing I did made those photos available even to my close friends and family for over a week.

Friend Requests.  Did that function vanish with the entrance of the Timeline?  I’ve been looking for it for several weeks and just recently found a function in the right hand sidebar, but it only lets me invite, not receive requests.

Home Page Posts. Why do I seem to get more posts from acquaintances and friends of friends than from my closest friends and members of my family?  Not that I don’t appreciate the more distant drop-ins, I just want my closer visitors to show up more often.

Which brings me to Privacy Settings. Say, I want to limit access to family AND close friends. Sadly, I can only click one. And if I want to know WHO is included in each list — well, good luck.  I know it’s there because I’ve found it a few times accidentally, but getting back to that place whenever I choose is another thing altogether.

*It not only asks for, it Demands my birthday, including the year. On my author page it Displays my entire date.  Not only is it none of Facebook's business to do any more than require members to certify they meet minimum age requirement, there's every reason that they shouldn’t collect this information, the most relevant being that it’s a huge invitation to identity thieves.

Overall though, the biggest reason I hate Facebook is that it makes all the rules. Your choices as a user are to do it their way or do it their way.

This is the place where you might -- and rightly so -- be asking why I don’t just stop whining and drop out.

If social interchange was the only reason I went on Facebook  I would do just that . . . but it’s not.  Presently I have two pages —  a Community Page for Bootcamp for Novelists and an Author Page for Connie Flynn. Soon, I’ll be adding another Author Page for my mystery writing pseudonym.  The thing most people don’t know is that these Pages are powered by my personal page, and I can't keep them separate. 

The demand for professional people to have a Facebook presence is intense. Traditional publishers expect their authors to build Facebook pages for their brand identity and for their books. Independently and self-published authors depend on a Facebook presence because readers expect it. It’s quite possible that the Facebook presence doesn’t sell books or make anyone famous — it’s a big pool and it’s not easy to rise — but the reason I do it anyway is that I’m afraid not to.

So there you go . . . this rant ends in a pathetic crash confession and a pitiful please for company for my terror. So am I the only one out there who feels tyrannized by the social giant? Have you run into hassles on Facebook? Do you also hate it? Are you staying with it for fear of losing relevance or being forgotten?  Let me know, commiserate with me, share your own sad story.

Or maybe you love, love, love Facebook. If so, what do you love the most? Does anything annoy you? Or are you a total no-holds-barred adoring fan? Tell me, I'm interested.

In the meantime I’’m committed to understanding and getting along better with my new best friend (that would be Facebook [sob]).  Wish me well.

And have a great May.
Connie Flynn

.  . . werewolves are back, you'll find them in the shadows. SHADOW ON THE MOON & SHADOW OF THE WOLF.


Cathi Lombardo said...

I'm right with you, Connie. I hardly navigate the site - did the stupidest thing, thinking that I was condensing my family and close friends into one section, but discovered what they comment on, take pictures of and load into their FB, etc. ALL get loaded into my email address! Yikes! it takes TIME to read (okay, at least I'm caught up on their 'stuff') and more time to delete! I often comment to anyone who listens, that my niece spends more time on FB than she does finding a job! Wait! Maybe she can parley her FB time into a job! What a concept!

Oh, I just found out that after YEARS on FB and not getting my "comments" to others listed, all I had to do was hit "enter".... sheesh.

Standing right next to you - Cathi L.

Connie Flynn said...

Cathi, You made me laugh out loud. That's exactly how I feel. Your niece should write a column for clueless Facebookers and maybe even act a mediator with management so they'd try to make the site make sense. Okay, foolish me . . . and on top of being clueless.

Thanks for dropping off your comment. It made my day.

LilMissMolly said...

I find that the new FB timeline is confusing to see what is the most recent post.

Connie Flynn said...

LilMissMolly, hello.
The Timeline confusing? You bet. Everything moves around each time a new post hits. Thanks for stopping by with your two cents.

Sharla Rae said...

Hate Face book. Hidden menus waste my time and I haven't agreed to any birthday share requests because of all the personal info they want and don't need. This is not a friendly meeting place at all. Instead, when I get done hunting up what I'm looking for I'm so mad, I sometimes get off without making a single comment.

Bette McNicholas said...

Hi Connie: I feel better knowing I'm not the only one who is confused. I thought it was my age.
Although FB didn't require me to put in my birthday, yet. But when I saw your, I was so depressed. I was in 6th grade the year you were born!
I have been writing blurbs under my book covers--if you make a typo after you finish, you have to delete & start over, no editing.
Also, after you type the blurb & leave the page, the blurb disappears. Someone must know how to use these features...

Connie Flynn said...

Sharla and Betty,

Thanks for commiserating with me, especially Sharla because she can navigate Wordpress. Although I will give Wordpress credit because their help function is actually helpful.

Thanks for dropping in ladies. And thanks for listening to my rant.