Thursday, January 20, 2011

Face-to-Face vs. Facebook

Facebook might help you connect with the people in your life, but it’s also a huge party with a bunch of people that lasts forever.  There's the nervousness over how you present and what people will think of you.  There are background folks you barely notice, the person who won’t stop talking your ear off, the klatch of recent marrieds and recent parents, the people you really want to talk to but hook up with all too briefly.
There's also Becky's father.  Becky's sister set his profile up for him.  When Papa Q discovered Facebook took actual time, he said no way.  This gives him a certain mystique in the virtual world.  A profile people can approach for friendship that will never answer, because the password is a distant memory.  He is the Garbo of Facebook, discussed on my blog, bandied about on updates, tagged in our pictures, but never glimpsed directly.

This approach could work for me.  

Virtual identity is supposed to be great for a writer because you can use your strongest asset to present yourself.  Little did I know, no matter the distance between what I write and who's reading it, the distance from myself to myself is the same; all the insecurities and social awkwardness I feel in life follow me online.

I see the future, the distance from neighbors and family, the little cocoons built around individual lives, or couples or families, the growing suspicion of the Other.  We make friends safely online and forget how to interact in person.  The mechanism between mind and verbal communication which creates charm will atrophy.  Face-to-face interactions will become stilted, uncomfortable, borderline creepy.  A smile from a stranger will become a thing of suspicion, greetings something to ridicule.  

Given how crazy the world can be, some people see this as self-preservation.  Given how lovely the world can be, I think Stranger Danger should never overshadow the Kindness of Strangers.

Anyway, why not find me on Facebook and friend me?  When publishers are trying to decide whether to take a chance on this unknown writer, I'll need body count.  


  1. Facebook you? God! No Thanks.

    Talk to you. Actually talk to you?


    p.s. References for aspiring writers available on request.

    p.p.s. at a reasonable cost.

    and the comment verify was 'unlike'. How very Facebook.......

  2. I am a fan! I will send you a "friend request" right now!...Aaron, you need to write a novel or a column in the newspaper. You are a writer others NEED to read and get-to-know....

  3. A friend of mine called Facebook the root of all evil, and she has plenty of ammunition to back her up. Yet daily, I find more authors contacting me there than

    As far as networking, I'm calling it a necessary evil.

    Al, if past co-workers are any indication, you'd need to live stateside for a year or two before I could understand your brogue (insert smiley-face emotion here, or something). And if I had to guess, I'd say you'd have a history title published before I have a book with Barbie (Mattell, not Klaus) as the protagonist published.

    Cristina, thanks. I've been asked to write for Moxxi again, as well as a DadsMiami (not much of a stretch there; I know both the founders). I figure doing a lot of free writing here, there, and THL will one day lead to a paying gig, as it has for some of my friends.

    Again, as a late-bloomer, I'm fortunate to be in a business where aging is a good thing.