Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

The FaceBook Experiment

on July 30, 2015

waiting

Between 2006 and 2007 two things happened, my daughter moved out for college and everyone on earth fell in love with Facebook — that is, everyone except me. I was spending eight to ten hours a day on a computer at my case management job. I didn’t want to look at a digital screen any more than that. Besides, it seemed like a young person thing. I had passed the forty year mark and thought it would take too much effort appear hip enough for Facebook

A year or so later, I got curious and asked my daughter about the website everyone in the world was on. She told me to stay off. Said it wasn’t worth my time. Her response sounded fishy, but I complied — figured it was for the best. I might nosy around her page, get all parental and screw up the good mother /daughter relationship we had.

Four more years went by. I developed an interest in writing about my nursing experiences. I started a blog. Adding Facebook to my travels into the world of social media made sense. And, as a blogger, I was feeling pretty “hip”.

I filled out the “About” page thoughtfully, quoted a loved Ayn Rand passage and made a political statement that put me in the category of extreme Bipartisanism.

Within 24 hour, twenty or so people “Friend requested” me.

My heart swelled.

Several were people from my prior job. Some were church friends. Because I was a remote worker and had a different set of work hours, it was a challenge to see these friends in real life.

The Like button became my way of saying “Yes, I’m here. I’m listening!” Friend requests came daily.

At the end of my work day, I signed on to the web page and saw all my friends, read comments about how their day was going, what they had for lunch, their funny quotes and cartoon captions. It was the perfect Band-Aid to working remote. Every now and then, someone aired their dirty laundry. It felt like I was visiting friends at home. I felt connected. Some I was able to meet up with on the weekend, if nothing else, chat with them on the phone. I understood the FB addiction.

It took me six months before I linked my blog to Facebook — partially because I am not proactive when it comes to even the simplest computer technology, and also because I initially saw my blog and FB as two separate parts of my life. But because I was writing about personal insight and experiences at work, I figured it made sense to connect the two. Why would my friends not want to read it?

I posted and linked my first narrative : The Top Ten Things They Don’t Tell You In Nursing School.

No response from FB. Some people told me they couldn’t sign in. My bad. Embarassed, I took a break from linking my posts.

Then I made friends on WordPress. Chefs. Poets. Farmers. Moms. Survivors. Musicians.You name it, people who wanted to read what I wrote.

They commented back. And it meant something to me. That’s when it hit home. The blog is my voice, not just a platform to practice writing.

I tried linking to Facebook again.

No response.

I shared stories about patients that made me laugh and cry. Posted and linked.

I expressed my thoughts about workplace issues. Posted and linked.

These are all things I would share in person with people that know me.

I described and posted what it felt like to have your heart falter, miss beats, and the sense that you are having air sucked out of you. It was one of the most vulnerable periods of my life.

My WordPress family, they yelled out. They read. They heard, and they responded. I love them for that.

My Facebook page was quiet, cricket-like quiet.

The friends now felt like holograms, fading holograms. I was confused. I went on to see several of these people at social gatherings. At one event, a longtime friend overheard me talking to a new acquaintance, and said “Oh, you have a blog?”

What?

Oh Facebook…

I must have waited too long.


13 responses to “The FaceBook Experiment

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    Screw Facebook! 😉

    • Susan says:

      Yeah, if it weren’t for a long distance family member who posts pictures of her wonderful daughters activities, I would visit the site like Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving : )

  2. DM says:

    I have intentionally chosen to keep Facebook and my blog separate. I have a lot more freedom expressing myself that way. I know it would change what and how I write if I thought a few of my facebook extended family members were reading along.

    you are not alone when it comes to the techy stuff…It took me several weeks of blogging before I found out, that even when I would leave comments on other peoples blogs the link back to mine was not working. It wasn’t until someone told me they tried to click my icon, and nothing happened that I got wind of it.

    • Susan says:

      I’ve decided to go midway on this and only occasionally link the post to FB.

      Thanks for sharing about the techy stuff! It’s definitely not my foray.

  3. I link my posts to Facebook and as to how many people on Facebook respond depends on the post. I get much more response from my more personal essays for sure. I like Facebook because it helps me keep in touch with many lifetime friends who live across the country. When I post a link my FB friends comment on FB.

    • Susan says:

      Part of my confusion/ frustration is that recently I posted a new photo of myself up at the top left ( in the header) and got forty responses. The “oh what a nice picture” and ” you look beautiful” comments, yes, they are flattering, but I don’t want to be just a pretty face.

      Insert picture of nurse stomping her feet on the ground here.
      I want my friends to care what I think.
      They’ll regret the next party I attend. I won’t stop talking. They’ll have to muzzle me!

  4. First of all, I needed a GPS in FBLand, LOL. Dork. Secondly, I’m hardly on it. I’m actually a recluse and try to dodge the invites & requests. =)

  5. joey says:

    Oh my goodness. I relate totally. Few of my friends read my blog. At least, per likes and comments. However, way more friends read on occasion, because they talk to me about it in person when we see one another. Some people are like, “Oh, that thing about the giraffe was you? I really liked that!”
    Oh.
    Mmhm. That was me.
    One of my friends reads at least a dozen other blogs and asks me if I’ve read them, but doesn’t read mine. I should not take that personally. LOL
    I stopped linking to my personal page about six months ago. Some people thought I’d stopped writing.
    I can’t even get all my friends to like the blog’s FB page.
    Gah.

    • Susan says:

      Yeah, it’s going to take a while to get over the friend that said, “You have a blog?”. I’ve decided that I am going to link some of the funny work stuff only to FB. Some coworkers could use a different perspective than the one they have!

  6. Nancy Riley says:

    This is one of my favorite posts of yours. Facebook is fun and it does seem to be about a certain depth. But it seems best at the small talk level of communication..

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