Saying No To Facebook

indie author handbook

Indie Author Handbook

Those of you who know me, must be saying what? Renée is giving up Facebook?  No, that’s not the case – I still believe in having a Facebook fan page, but there are some issues that I want to address…

Facebook For Your Business

As I said above, I still believe that indie authors should have a Facebook fan page.  If nothing else, it gives you a place to advertize yourself, create back links for your author page and/or blog, and it makes you look professional (hey, even bigwig authors are now creating Facebook fan pages).  If you need a refresher about what a Facebook fan page can do for you, read about it on the Promoting Your Books page.

Facebook For Personal Reasons

Here’s where I get to the crux of my post.  I believe in how Facebook has set things up, at Facebook - Are Friends Really Friends?least from the standpoint of creating personal and professional pages.  Your personal page, in my opinion, is for your family and friends.  And here’s where I’m sure I will differ from some, especially those of a younger generation.  I think it’s a stretch to say that I’m friends with someone I don’t know, other than that we’ve connected on Twitter or my blog, but I’ve never talked to you on the phone or skyped with you, or even better, met personally.  As a former counselor, I believe it’s very difficult to create relationship (which is the crux of friendship) with others just through social media – for the most part, you have to meet someone, talk to them, relate with them on many levels to truly be friends with them.  Again, I realize there are exceptions, and I’m sure some of you will disagree, but please don’t blast me in the comments about how wrong I am :).  We can agree to disagree…

Facebook Friends

facebook friendI also recognize that the term friend is going through a redefinition, if just in social media.  That’s okay.  But lately I’ve noticed something odd in my personal Facebook profile.  I’m supposedly friends with over 200 people, most of whom I’ve never met.  Many I know little about, other than that they are authors.  I friended them out of guilt – in other social media outlets, I’ve said hey, I have  fan page, would you like it and they do, and say hey, will you return the favor?  Only they don’t have a fan page, just a personal profile.  Initially I let guilt dictate that I should friend them.  But then my news feed fills up with posts about their family, anniversaries, and so on…but I don’t even know them!

My Facebook Rules Going Forward

It’s time for me to put up some boundaries around my Facebook personal profile.  I am happy to like your professional page, and would appreciate the return favor.  But as for my personal profile, here are my thoughts:

  • if I don’t know you, other than that you’re an author, I more than likely won’t be Facebook friends with you
  • don’t ask me to reciprocate likes when you don’t have a professional page – get one and I’ll like it, but don’t ask me to be friends with you
  • it’s nothing personal, I just want my personal page to be for my family and friends
  • if I unfriend you, it’s nothing personal, I’ve just determined I have no idea who you are – if you want to connect, do so through my blog, Twitter, or Facebook fan page

PS – I’ve noticed this type of behavior on LinkedIn as well – asking someone you’ve never met to connect with you there.  The difference is that LinkedIn is professional in nature, and as an author, I don’t mind connecting with other authors there.  However, I have been asked to connect with some whom I’ve never connected with anywhere, on Twitter, Facebook, my blog, or wherever.  Those I turn down.  I have to recognize you from somewhere, otherwise it’s just spam to me.

Thanks for understanding.  What are your thoughts on Facebook?

About Renée Pawlish

Award-winning author Renée Pawlish writes the bestselling horror book, Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the Reed Ferguson mystery series, short stories and non-fiction ghost stories.
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13 Responses to Saying No To Facebook

  1. I found this post *very* interesting and relevant. I too (like “everyone” [in a first world sense]) am struggling with how much time to devote to social media. The thing is, I’ve met many people who’ve become friends by your old school definition–and I worked as a psychotherapist, and so have this one, too–via FB or Twitter or one of the others. So for now at least, I don’t draw that line. But it’s drawn in the sand, and constantly shifting so as I say, I greatly appreciate the post.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      Thanks for your comment. Like you say, it is a line in the sand, and it’s hard to know what to do. And I didn’t even discuss the potential dangers of friending people you don’t know…

  2. Tasha Turner says:

    I have over 1000 “friends” on my pen name persona and I’ve been asking people on my real name to move over to my pen name personal page. I never know who will turn out to be a reader of my book, someone who recommends my book or me as a social media coach to a “friend” of theirs. On my real name personal profile I have over 900 “friends”. I have never considered FB a private personal space. I created lists so I can limit who sees things to just family or IRL people – mostly travel plans. I created other lists for just gaming friends to see things so the rest of my friends wouldn’t be annoyed with my game posts. I’ve liberally used clicking on someone’s name and limiting what I see of their posts and recently FB made that even easier by allowing me to hide content across the board (love this feature).

    I guess it comes down to why you are on it and what you want to accomplish. I love meeting people and have had so many referrals that I wouldn’t want to lose that. FB keeps messing with pages making it harder and harder to reach the people who like your page. Plus I see social media as building relationships and I’m not sure I can do as good a job of that using just my FB page. I’m much more casual and well just me on my personal profile. On my FB page I’m more professional and brand aware. So I don’t think making the change would work for me in how I approach social media.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      That’s very interesting. Thanks for sharing how you use FB, it’s enlightening. And I agree that FB’s changes to the fan page makes it a challenge at times.

  3. Saw this in Triberr and had to come read. I think your rules are fair. I’m careful who I follow on Google+ as I get a lot who follow me but I have no idea who they are.
    And I really say no to Facebook, as I don’t have an account and never will. Of course now that the IWSG has a group on Facebook, everyone is bugging me to join.

  4. Your honestly is refreshing. The term friend to me signifies a relationship of immense value, a treasure. I do wish our language had another term between friend and acquaintance that was indicative of people I feel thankful to have met over social media but who, in truth, I have no worldly experience with, thus no real knowledge of. I often feel a great weariness after having interacted on this social media level. It is not a criticism of those with whom I’ve interacted, but that social media doesn’t offer much of true connection. I feel it is leading us away from connectedness, not toward it, and for me awareness of a true sense of connectedness is tantamount to life well lived. Keep following your heart, Renee. It never misleads you.

  5. Lily Bishop says:

    I agree with you, and I struggle with Facebook. I created a fan page, but it’s not very active. I post updates from my blog and occasionally something else, I think I have 50 likes. Whoo hoo! The new algorithms make it difficult to get your page out there and I can’t afford to pay for advertising at this point in my career. Here’s one of my problem with the FB fan pages. I wish that I could like people’s fan pages under my pen name persona. If there’s a way, I don’t know how, at least not from the app on my phone. I might like them in an “I’m supporting you” kind of way, but I don’t necessarily want their stuff in my personal feed. Whereas if I like an author page just to show support and I want them to like mine back, it seems difficult to manage that exchange with a pen name.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      Yeah, Facebook can be a challenge. Good luck to you and thanks for your comment.

    • Tasha Turner says:

      If you are logged in as your page you can like and comment as your page. I’m able to do this from Safari – use the gear to choose which persona you want to be. I’ve been doing this lately and have gotten some likes back & it may be easier to read/manage feeds. This only works page-to-page. I don’t know if there is a way to do this using the apps. I hate the apps and use browsers for stuff even on phones.

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