Monday, May 6, 2013

Confessions of a Facebooker

It's probably been suspected by some, but I plan the vast majority of my Facebook statuses weeks in advance. With some posts (like those about historical anniversaries), I even plan months in advance, and schedule them for particular days.

There are drawbacks to doing things this way, as my statuses lack the spontaneity of some of my friends; but there are some definite advantages as well. When I have a string of posts about one thing (films I watch, or Spanish practice, or political jokes), it can help to spread them out a bit. Posting them consecutively would make them seem boring and predictable, or make it seem like that's all I ever post about. (Some might think that already, but this perception would be greater if they were not spread out.)

I often find it useful to post about my religious beliefs on Sunday, so that my statuses are in keeping with my Sabbath Day observance. Sometimes events like historical anniversaries or presidential inaugurations will cause me to post about something else on Sunday, and there are sometimes days other than Sunday when I feel inspired to post about religion; but as a general rule, I post about religion on Sunday.

I often find it helpful to talk about historical events that interest me on their anniversaries, as the anniversary itself is a newsworthy event. ("X years have passed since such-and-such event ... ") Historical statuses are also interesting for me to write, and they save me the trouble of having to come up with more of something else. Scheduling them weeks in advance (and adhering to the schedule) can also make me appear to have "an insane memory," as one of my friends put it. (What seems like remarkable memory is really just planning and follow-through, but either perception is welcome.)

There are times when I post things with more spontaneity. While not entirely spontaneous, my political posts are more likely to be posted soon after writing them, so that I can talk about a newsworthy event while it is still current. I posted my blog piece about the electoral college soon after writing it, to take advantage of the current interest in the institution after the election.

Posting about personal things is a more rare event for me, and I tend to post only about the more significant personal events in my life (classes starting, new jobs, grades, etc.). (I don't count the films I watch or the Spanish practice I do in the "personal" category - I consider these posts focused more on the activity.) Like everyone, I have a few Facebook friends who post too much information about their personal lives, so there may be some value in this; but sometimes I err on the side of too little personal touch. I try to focus personal posts on the positive aspects of my life. I try to minimize bad news as much as possible. Whether I do the optimal amount of personal posting, I leave others to decide.

Once in a while, a day comes when I do not have anything planned. For those days, I have a backlog of random movie quotes (particularly from comic movies) that I can choose from when I'm drawing a blank. ("Probably some local fisherman out for a pleasure cruise at night through eel-infested waters.") Some might enjoy these posts the most, and it's interesting how the statuses people like the most are usually comic in nature. I can almost imagine someone saying "I wish you drew a blank more often; your movie quotes are a lot better than the other stuff you post." I admit it's hard to compete with Hollywood for entertainment, but I enjoy posting about the other stuff, too, so I'll probably continue saving those statuses for rainy days of low inspiration.

So those are some confessions of a Facebooker. I hope this glance into my personality has been of interest to someone.

Other personal posts

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