It's just about 1 a.m. as I begin typing this post. Maybe I have too much spare time on my hands, have much on my mind or just like to stay up late blabbering on a computer screen to whomever wishes to read from me.
I'm a night owl. Always have been.
I get my best ideas as my mind wanders and a lot of work done when the house is quiet. After a long day at the torch when my hands hurt, generally the last thing I want to do is to type on a keyboard, but some days/nights I have much on my mind that I want to write.
Reverse psychology, you know. And amazingly when my fingers touch this keyboard, the thoughts just flow and I forget how tired I am.
In the past, during my studio breaks I would go flip through a magazine for inspiration, clean beads, have a snack, answer emails or knit a few rows of a project. Believe me there is ALWAYS something to do around here.
Since mid February though, I became more active on this social networking site.
Perhaps you have heard of this place?
Let's Facebook It...
Anyone and everyone it seems is on Facebook which brings me to the topic of this post. I had joined Facebook around late February 2009 only because by then I had already had a handful of invites from friends touting "you gotta get on Facebook". Even my sisters urged me to go on there so we could share family photos, etc. After Tucson of that year, I succumbed to the peer pressures.
I am usually good about resisting peer pressures, really I am.
So here I was on Facebook. The instant I signed on, all the automatic invites were my "friends" and then a bevy of other mutual friends saw the "friending" and the next thing I knew within a few minutes I had 20 friends. From there it continued to escalate.
I didn't know what to do with this Facebook. I mean I had a blog where I shared tidbits of my life as a beadmaker, jewelry designer, writer, etc. I didn't give Facebook much thought and throughout 2009 I visited my account sparingly. I was too busy being a writer and beadmaker traveling to shows to bother with Facebook. I barely had time to blog here.
Maybe I was asleep or just tuning things out but all of a sudden it seemed the whole world was getting on this Facebook. I started seeing mentions of Facebook on electronic trade newsletters. I started noticing more of my artists friends mentioning it on their blogs. I started hearing radio stations mentioning their Facebook fan pages. I mean there was NO escaping.
Facebook was EVERYWHERE taking over my life even though I didn't want it to. It seemed as if Facebook was this growing entity taking over everyone's lives and what was I doing? Was I missing out on being part of a social networking revolution? As an artist can I sit on the sidelines and just ignore Facebook? When would I have time to even participate?
A year went by and then I decided to take a leap. I began to believe that Facebook could help bring awareness of my work to a whole new worldwide audience. That, I as an artist, wanted to give back to a community by sharing more of my experiences and what inspires me to create. That I wanted to BUILD my own community of artists with common interests. So I set forth on this goal.
In mid Feb 2010 after attending the Tucson shows, I was determined to take a more active role on Facebook. As an artist, who is also a techie at heart, I couldn't let the signs of times ride along without me. I was jumping on a HUGE bandwagon even though I generally stride to a different drummer. And, Facebook was GREAT and there to help recommend "friends". And those who were my "friends" were also there to recommend me more friends. And I found some old colleagues from my past life as an engineer, so they too became my "friends".
I was asked by a few if I would start a "FAN" page. No, I was not going to start a "FAN" page because I barely had enough time to keep up with one Facebook page. I wanted Facebook to be a place I could share some photos and another side of myself that is not here or on my website. It was the most feasible method to share many photos in "albums" with a lot of people at once. There was instant feedback on Facebook, which this blog lacks.
Isn't that what we all crave when we are on Facebook, feedback?
I am AMAZED at my newsfeed these days. I can barely keep up with what all my friends are up to and I feel guilty at times that I can not respond to every one of their "news" because I genuinely do care about my friends.
Then I wonder what I could be doing instead of being on Facebook?
EVERY break from the studio since late February 2010, there I was checking Facebook updates. My mailbox was full of responses or requests for "friending". At times, the activity was overwhelming. I had to do something about this.
Yes YOU, Lisa!!
Have you forgotten your purpose and goals in this life?
You should be CREATING!!
Get off Facebook!
I could be doing a lot of other things but I also know that Facebook is an "investment" - as far as *I* want to take it - on being an artist and sharing my ideas. So I MUST be on Facebook to some degree but I must also not let Facebook take over MY life.
So these are my conclusions after actively spending 3 months on Facebook:
I've decided I don't want to go on Facebook to tell the world the minute details of my life. Who really cares? I will just visit now and then to share photos from my trips that I believe may inspire other artists. I will just visit again if I happen to be on a trip and had the most amazing meal at "so and so" restaurant so that YOU can visit too. Or I will post about an article I've written so you'll know what magazine to pick up next, if you enjoy and follow my work.
The day to day activities of me working hard in the studio... well that is really boring news.
Do you really need to know if I am happy, sad, tired, inquisitive, philosophical, etc.?
Really? (Said in a tone, as on SNL)
There is living and then there is LIVING.
It seems we are stuck in the mode of "reality shows" where we desire to get a snippet of others' lives. Facebook feeds this in each of us. I admit some people live quite interesting lives. There are so many photos that are not secured, you can see EVERYTHING on Facebook unless you know how to tweak the privacy settings and navigate safely. There lies one of the biggest problems people are lackadaisical about, the ability to secure their own privacy and learn Facebook.
Tune in hourly and on a busy day my newsfeed is 300+ long. How can you really get to know a person from news feeds (unless they are already your friend in real life). It's just a slice of their life.
So if you are a "friend" on Facebook and start noticing that I'm not really there or why you don't hear from me much, come back here to read this post.
I'm LIVING, not living.
I have a gazillion things I'd like to do with the time I have spent on Facebook. Yes, Facebook is time consuming but I won't say all of it was a waste of time. I've enjoyed looking at my friends photos and seeing art being created. That is the best part of Facebook, connecting with like-minded artists, whom you would never otherwise meet in real life from ALL over the WORLD!! But I definitely don't want to contribute to the news feed clutter. I can only guess what some of you folks think about perhaps MY past news entries.
Besides between my website, this blog and Facebook, you'll know this girl is always up to something. There is only so much time in a day even if I don't sleep to get things done. Also, if you really miss hearing from me there is always email or the phone.
(Although I am generally in the middle of torching in the studio to answer phones. Nevermind, email me to call YOU back instead.)
Lately there's been so much news about how Facebook is disregarding their user's privacy, etc. etc. stepping over the bounds. But you know, YOU are in control here and are responsible for what you post in a PUBLIC forum. NOTHING is truly private on the Internet. What you share on Facebook is for all your "friends" to see and read whether you know them well or not. Even private emails and photos can be forwarded.
There is even a "quit Facebook day" (TODAY! 5/31/2010) proposed but of the few thousands that might quit, how many come back later? Facebook is like a drug. Does the loss of ten, twenty, thirty thousand or more members make a difference to the over half a billion people in this world that is on Facebook today? No matter the weaknesses of Facebook, it serves one major purpose. It brings people together and provides them an "audience".
What is ultimately sad about Facebook is not the privacy infringements on their users but that some of their users don't know how to communicate outside of Facebook in REAL life. The computer screen is their facade to create an identity which they wish to believe. I'm just saying this is the case of "some" not ALL people. I have really great friends I know in person on Facebook.
I have always loved the face to face interactions where you can see the other person's facial expressions and hear the inflection of their voice. I mean when I tell a joke, a "hahah" or "LOL" can only go so far online. And I *DO* have an excellent sense of humor.
But on the other hand, I've met a few wonderful people (quite unexpectedly) that I would not otherwise have had the pleasure of meeting if I was not on Facebook. Because in real life, our paths would most likely not have crossed, so Facebook has it's pluses. But on this other hand, I've met a few interesting characters that I wished I never came across too. I've dealt with those situations the "Lisa way".
So "Let's Facebook It" is a balance of time and in moderation Facebook will not take over your life (unless you want it to). Facebook should never take over anyone's life. If it has, then it's up to you to change that.
I'm making some conscious changes and tweaking my own behavior.
Facebook will not take over THIS girl's life.
No way, Jose!
Yes, NO way!
I'll have more to share about the business aspects and positives of Facebook from some industry leaders...
... but on a future post.
This girl has to get some sleep!
Good night/Good morning