Depressed? Is it Facebook?

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Are you into Facebook? I heard on the radio the other day that sixty-one percent of Americans have a Facebook account. That is pretty amazing. We can’t even get sixty-one percent of Americans to go to the polls and vote on Election Day. I can hear somebody out there saying we should have elections as easy to vote in as Facebook is to sign on. You need to find the Facebook page of your representative or senator and suggest that. Of course we might not want him or her facebooking since it can be addictive. We seem to have to get on there to check what everybody is doing.

But for writers like me, it’s even more. It’s a way to reach out to readers. Blogging is another way. Twitter another. Then there’s Shout Out, My Space, and heaven only knows how many other social networks. Writers are encouraged to have an internet presence. Some writers have such a great internet presence that they become popular even before they write a book. Then of course when they do release that first book, they have all these followers out there ready to snap up whatever they’ve written. You might even be asked how many Facebook followers or friends you have when you submit a book proposal. So writers do facebook and collect reading friends.

But it’s not only writers. And while it is true that Facebook has taken America by storm, it’s not only America, but the world. Chinese leaders made the news by shutting down Facebook for a while. Other countries have done the same when they think revolutionary thinkers are gathering followers through Facebook posts. The amazing thing is that ten years ago, if you had said facebook, people would have wondered what you were talking about. Some kid – naturally enough – came up with the idea, figured out a way to get it going and now here we are checking our Facebook walls before we eat our toast in the morning. We want to see those new baby pictures. We want to tell our friends about the double chocolate fudge cupcakes we made last night. We want to celebrate with like minded fans when our team wins and cry on each other’s shoulders when they lose.

We want to have fun, get our mind off our troubles and oh yeah, let our friends know about those new books that are like our babies. New and precious and needing somebody to hold them in her hands. Of course to do that we’ve got to be positive, beaming, fun and engaging.

It’s sort of like those Christmas newsletters. I don’t mind newsletters. I like them as long as they don’t go over a page. But nobody tells the bad things that happened over the year. They brag about the good happenings. Writers are the same. We’re not going to brag about the reviewer that gave us one star or claimed we didn’t know one end of a pen from the other. We’re going to brag about the reviewer who said we had a lyrical voice and a story that enchants and keeps the reader reading way past her bedtime. We might moan a little on Facebook about this writing chore or that such as editing. But some writers post their amazing number of words for the day. They get fifty plus comments for every posting. They can probably do handstands. One-handed handstands. For fifteen minutes. Holding their breath.

And so, it’s only to be expected that someone has decided we can get Facebook depression. You see everybody else with the picture perfect life. The grandma with nine grandkids. And you, you can’t even get your son off the couch to go apply for a job so he’ll have the money to take out a potential mother for those beautiful grandkids you need. You see your writing friend who just announced to the Facebook world that she won an award, was on the bestseller list, was featured on Oprah, had a starred review in Booklist, or whatever amazing thing that has happened to her or her book. You want to be happy for her. And you are. You really are, but you can’t keep from thinking about your book. Your story. Your nonexistent interviews or booksignings. And so we get down. Depressed by Facebook good news. Other people’s good news.

So what do you think? Do you sometimes feel some Facebook envy or depression? Maybe you con’t even play the Facebook game. Maybe you’re too busy writing that book – the one you’re going to be bragging out on Facebook soon. Because you’ll have to jump on Facebook after that book comes out. :o) Thanks for reading. Someday I’ll get a dozen or two comments. Good comments. Good reviews. I know I will. If I can keep from getting depressed first. 🙂

Have a great rest of the week.