MY NEW SOCIAL MEDIA AND WRITING HOME
By Elena GrecoTypical reading time: 3 minutes October 26, 2023 After a lot of searching, I’ve found my new social media and writing home and want to share it with you! I’ve been an active participant on Facebook since 2008—fifteen years now!—and used to love the ability it gave me to connect with people, both new acquaintances and people from the distant past I’d lost touch with. In addition to being able to share my creative work and events with lots of people, I frequently posted political and social links with my own commentary, and I often got quite a few likes and comments to my posts. Facebook felt like a community, one I was a part of. Those days are gone. When I occasionally post something on Facebook now, almost no one likes or comments, and it’s pretty clear that my post is not seen by any of my 618 Friends. What I see now on my Timeline are oodles of advertisements, along with pictures from a couple of groups, namely cat and architecture images. While I very much like cats and buildings, it’s just not a good use of my time, and I miss the camaraderie we used to feel on Facebook. Worse, several Facebook friends have very recently had their account suddenly disabled or removed without warning or reason. They have been unsuccessful at reaching anyone at Facebook to retrieve the hundreds, even thousands, of posts, pictures and videos they lost and, just as importantly, the many friends and followers they’ve carefully curated and acquired over the past decade or more. Given that they are performers, and Facebook was a major point of promotion for their events and brand, and many event pics and videos resided in their account, this is a huge loss. In addition, a certain famous entertainer I follow recently also had her profile disabled without warning or reason; because she knew someone who knew someone at Facebook, she was eventually, after much stress and lost time, able to restore the account. This same entertainer has, time after time, been placed in Facebook jail (i.e., not been allowed to post for a period of time) after some bad actors reported her completely benign post to Facebook and Facebook immediately put a halt to her posting, without even looking at the post to see if there was anything objectionable about it. (I strongly advise anyone with a Facebook account to download all data regularly, including Friends and pictures. Go to Settings & Privacy –> Settings –> Your Facebook information –> Download profile information.) Obviously, Facebook is no longer a safe place for performers and other creatives to advertise or share their work, since it can disappear in a puff of smoke, and it no longer has a friendly feeling of camaraderie, which was its major selling point originally. It’s also filled with advertising. I tried writing on Medium for a time, for the purpose getting more exposure for my writing, but once their management and focus changed, Medium became quite punitive to writers who don’t have thousands of followers, and there was no way to increase my exposure. And their customer service became quite dreadful. In short, it was an unfriendly place to be. I deleted my Twitter account the minute Musk purchased it, and I was never fond of posting there myself anyway. It wasn’t the sort of place where real interaction took place, better for news and media than individuals. Instagram is a place to post and view pictures, but I don’t find that communication between other posters and me is possible. I wanted a new place on social media to call home, something to replace my old friend Facebook. I tried out all the platforms that have sprung up as substitutes for Twitter and Facebook, but none felt comfortable to me. Then I found Substack. I began by creating an account and subscribing to a handful of free political and creative newsletters. The newsletter posts come to you in an email, and you can click on the title to read the post in the Substack website. Once you’re logged in to the Substack website, you can Like and Comment on the posts, and you also have the option to save others’ posts in your library. And there’s a Notes feature that works very much like Facebook, in that you can share (restack) links yourself and like or comment on others’ links in a thread, and you can also share posts, yours and others’, on other social media. You can choose just to participate in this way, similar to the way you participate on Facebook. If you want to write, you can also create your own newsletter and choose to offer it free or at various price points. I used Substack for quite a while before I decided whether to stay. Once I started writing my own posts there, I was thrilled to discover that it’s super easy to copy and paste from another source, formatting is a snap, and Substack sends you lots of useful information to help you get the most from your writing account. Substack ticks all the boxes for me: no advertising, no censorship, no penalties for not doing whatever it is they want you to do, no sudden account suspensions without warning—with resultant loss of years of work, some great writers, both political and creative, great customer service, and a place for me not only to post in serial form, but to share and comment on political and cultural posts, as I used to do on Facebook, and for others to have the ability to like and comment on my shared posts. I invite you to Follow me on Substack and to Subscribe to my Newsletters! Click here: Elena’s Substack (https://elenagreco.substack.com) Welcome to my new writing home!