by Elena Greco
January 23, 2018
This past week, suddenly coming to an awareness that things have changed—as sometimes happens when things change gradually—I’ve been considering what I want my future participation with Facebook to be. My life on Facebook has been important to me personally and professionally, and I wanted to consider this very carefully.
When I joined Facebook nine years ago I loved it. It was a great way to communicate with a large group of people with a personal feel, and I enjoyed the interaction I had with my Facebook Friends, as well as their Friends. It allowed me to get my professional work seen in a way that email just can’t accomplish. It allowed me to see the work of others, often exposing me to new people and new ideas. It allowed me to connect with people all over the world, people I feel a deep resonance with, people I never would have met or even have known existed if it were not for Facebook. For that I am grateful.
Lately, progressively over the past year, that has changed. For one thing—an important thing—I am no longer having interaction with other people; people just don’t respond to my posts. There could be several reasons for that, one of which is that they are perhaps not seeing my posts. It also seems that my Facebook Friends are not on Facebook as much or at all, given what I see, or rather don’t see, in my Notifications feed (I don’t use the Newsfeed). Maybe the continuous barrage of political posts has driven people away from Facebook. Whatever the reason, I don’t enjoy feeling that I’m alone on the ocean of the Newsfeed, with nary a Friend in sight.
In addition, I believe that part of my job as a writer is to serve as a watchdog, an informal (or sometimes formal) commentator on the state of things, in a manner that serves either to raise awareness of issues, to educate in some way, to provoke people to reflect on important ideas, to amuse or entertain, or to instigate an intelligent conversation amongst ourselves about current relevant issues. Since I’m no longer getting interaction with others on Facebook, I am unable to serve that function now.
Most importantly, as the number of years I have left on this planet are rapidly dwindling, I want to monitor carefully how my remaining time is spent. I want it to count. I want—and very much NEED—for it to fulfill my goals and purposes here. Facebook is taking too much of that time, with too little return now.
Don’t you hate it when people only go on Facebook to promote themselves, without interacting with others or giving anything back? They just advertise at you ad nauseum, and post endless selfies, and don’t ever reciprocate by Liking or Commenting on your posts or promotions. I’ve always found that to be repugnant, and I’ve always tried not to be one of those people, instead posting daily with bits and pieces that I hope give others some value or enjoyment. I have occasionally posted upcoming musical events and links to published writing, but I’ve always made sure that I give plenty away for free, and I’ve always tried hard to provoke and promote discussion and interaction.
But now I have reluctantly decided to be one of “those people.” I can’t afford to waste time now, and I have a LOT to do while I still have the time. And, given the lack of interaction now, Facebook is not a good use of that time.
I will still post links to articles and books that I write, in case you might want to read them, and I’ll post links to upcoming EGMP events and workshops (EGMP is my music company), because I think what my company offers is important to both audience and company members. In order to see those links, you’ll need to Like the respective pages and take the Notification option. Otherwise, I’m afraid Facebook will bury them, and you will no longer hear from me at all. I’ll post those pages in the near future so you won’t be left in the dark.
So it seems that my time on Facebook is … no, not coming to an end! But rather, it is going to be greatly reduced now and take on a different character.
Instead, I will use the time to write. I will keep up with news in several feeds and write weekly (or so) on pertinent events and issues. Those articles will be posted on my blog, and I will post them on my Facebook Writer page. I’ll also offer them in my curated newsletter so you can see or read them in one place every couple of months (email me if you want to receive it and don’t think you’re on my mailing list; if you haven’t received one in the past, you’re not). I will finish the two books I’m currently writing, Home Again (about trauma) and Vocal Collaborators, get them published on Kindle, and, hopefully, find a print publisher.
I will use the time to read. I’ve been a voracious, insatiable reader since I was four years old, but in the last couple of years, I find that I’m only reading a book a month, if that, due to time spent on Facebook. Reading a book uses the mind and imagination in ways that Facebook, and even television, cannot possibly do. It stimulates me mentally, psychologically and emotionally, and provides fodder for future writing and creating.
I will use the time to help others who might benefit from the holistic and integrative healing and counseling work I do. I had to stop doing that for a while. Now I want to offer it again to any who might want or need my help.
And most importantly, I will use the time to make music, my reason for being. I have many concerts left to give, and for the past eleven months, I have been rehabilitating my instrument after a devastating injury last year. I want to use every possible second to make music now, using my instrument to its fullest while I still can.
So this is farewell, not goodbye, as you’ll still see me a bit on Facebook, albeit in a very different role, that is, as a promoter and disseminator of my work. I really hope that those of you who MIGHT have enjoyed some of my posts or writing in the past, or who value our acquaintance or friendship, will correspond with me through email. I do have Messenger and texting also if you prefer them. I very much value friendships above all. Good health and best wishes to all of you!
See Elena’s bios for more information about the author.