I’m Just Not That Social

When I started this blog last year, I also decided to explore social media.  Although I’m very introverted and had never had any interest in it before, I thought it might be helpful to have a location where I could interact with readers outside of the blog itself.  So this spring, I joined Facebook for the first time and created a public page.  I imagined this page becoming a space where readers could ask me questions and comment on posts, and where I could in turn ask readers for feedback, get ideas for future posts, share photos and ideas that didn’t make it into full blog posts, and share links to other sites I found around the Internet.

But I was never really enthusiastic about the idea.  I had long avoided Facebook and I felt almost embarrassed to admit that I was now using it.  People I scarcely knew started sending me friend requests and, while I felt happy to add someone who I genuinely cared about, I felt bad saying no to the others.  And I didn’t really know what to post on my page.  I found it hard enough to come up with ideas for blog posts and the time to write them, let alone think of shorter posts for Facebook and find time to update my page.  I thought of sharing updates about my current writing projects, but works-in-progress for a writer really aren’t that interesting.  If I was a visual artist, I could show you photos of my work developing, but since I’m a writer, what would I share?  Screen shots of Microsoft Word documents?  Daily word counts?  How many adverbs I deleted today?  If I was an established writer who went on book tours or taught classes, I could post updates on those things and let readers know when I would be in a certain location, but I’m not yet an established writer.  And I certainly did not want to bombard readers with updates on every little aspect of my daily life.

I tried following the Facebook pages of some other writers and bloggers who I admire, but I just couldn’t get interested enough to even remember to log in to Facebook regularly, let alone actually interact with anyone on their pages.  It just felt like a lot of little updates about a lot of little things that I didn’t really care about (much the same way I feel about Twitter as well, based on the few times I’ve checked it out).  Maybe there are some interesting conversations going on in social media, but at this point I feel that I just don’t have the time, energy, or interest to search them out.

Maybe I’m just not that social.

I deleted my Facebook page and my personal account this weekend, and it felt like a relief.  Now I can stop worrying about what I should be posting and I can stop feeling bad about not posting enough and not having enough people “liking” my page.

For the few readers who did take the time to press that “like” button, thank you very much.  While I’m not ruling out the possibility of future experiments with social media, I will not be joining Facebook or any other site again until I have a much clearer idea of how I want to use that space and what I want to get out of it.  But I still want to hear from you!  Let me know that you’re here by leaving a comment or sending me a message privately.  How do you want to interact and connect with me?

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8 Responses to I’m Just Not That Social

  1. pamelake says:

    I don’t tweet either – do what feels right to you. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts. It is okay if you do not post every day or even once a week, or month. You write and I will read. :)

  2. Alison Lilly says:

    I actually envy you. I have this abiding anxiety that if I disappear from social media, people will stop reading my blog all together. But honestly, for the most part participating on social media causes me a lot of stress, and when I’m away from it (like on vacation in some blessed wilderness away from wifi!) I don’t miss it for a second. The sense of relief and liberation is wonderful. I’m trying to work up enough spine to just delete my accounts, but so far all I’ve managed to do is delete my bookmarks so that I have to manually type in the address. Baby steps…

    In any case, I’m a huge fan of your writing, though I don’t comment very often. Just wanted to drop by and lend my support. :) Keep on writing!

    • Heather says:

      Thank you, Ali! It was relatively easy for me to delete my account because I had never become hooked on it in the first place. But when it comes to other things, like reading blogs every day, it’s harder. I don’t want to stop reading blogs, but I am trying to cut down on the number of blogs I follow – although it is a slow process.

  3. Thanks for sharing this perspective. Quite a few people I know have been significantly pruning and pulling back on the social media involvement (and tech/tron exposure in other areas, too). I’ve been pruning and discerning as well for the reasons you share. ~ Jamila

    • Heather says:

      I’ve also noticed others cutting back on social media, which helped me to feel okay with making this decision. I do think that using social media as fine, as long as it’s in moderation and doesn’t take away from the time you need to devote to more important activities – something that I think that more people might be realizing.

  4. Jephi L'ente says:

    i’m here…i had liked your FB page…i have to admit i’ve not been on FB for an entire year yet and am feeling a bit overwhelmed…have been thinking about reigning it in…i also enjoy your thoughtful posts.

    • Heather says:

      Thank you so much for liking my page, Jephi! And I’m also glad to know that I’m not alone in feeling a bit overwhelmed with Facebook. Thanks as well for reading! I really appreciate your support.

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