The Daily Dose (November 15, 2011) My Beef With Facebook

Hello, hello, hello.  Happy Tuesday and welcome to The Daily Dose.  Since we have so many new readers, let me take two seconds to explain the lay of the land here at My Own Space.  Everyone please pull out your calenders and a pen.  Mark the following information as “totally urgent”.  Thank you.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: we have new cliffhanging blogisodes of whatever story we’re working on.  As you know, we just finished up “I Wish I Could Go Back To College”.  Pretty good conclusion, right?  I’m wearing a cap and gown and parading around my apartment as I type this.

Tuesday, Thursday: we have what I call “The Daily Dose” which is very simply me talking about whatever is on my mind that day–no blogisode–no cliff hanger.

National Holidays and Weekends:  No new posts, instead I give you that time to catch up on your reading!

Confusing?  It’s not really.  Just set your clocks to show up here every weekday and you’ll be fine.  So far everyone has an “A” for the day.  Let’s get cracking with today’s Daily Dose!

Where’s the beef?  Here’s my beef.

When I started my blog, I did it to have a space of my own, yes, but another major reason I did it was to wean myself off of Facebook.   Here’s why.

I have a beef with Facebook

I have a beef with Facebook

In 2007, when I was pregnant with Beatrix, I joined Facebook.  I loved that I could post daily gripes about pregnancy and get immediate feedback (like, “Toughen up, Wheatley!”).  I was one of the first of my friends to sign up, and people sometimes called me a Facebook Pimp because I sold it so hard to my friends.  I HATE to be lonely, and Facebook is a fantastic way to get in contact with old friends and share information, and so on and so on, I don’t have to sit here and type out all the benefits of Facebook.  The day I gave birth, my Facebook was exploded with pages and pages of congratulations.  Rob and I read through the messages while holding hours old Beatrix, so moved and astounded that this new social media thing-a-ma-jiggy could make us feel so warm and fuzzy.  Messages from friends we hadn’t seen since grade school.  Our friends from work.  All cheering for our new little girl.  Amazing.

But I do want to talk about the downside.

You guys, we are losing a lot of precious information on Facebook.  Because of the way Facebook is currently set up, there is no good way to organize the information.  There is no search engine.  There is no way to jump back in time and read a post from a year ago.  So what, right?  It’s just Facebook.

Here’s the problem.

"Mommy, is this my baby book?"

"Mommy, is this my baby book?"

So much of our life is documented and celebrated on Facebook, and we no longer have hard copies of anything.  The thing that really got me was one day when I was working on Beatrix’s baby book and it was–empty.  Why?  Because EVERYTHING is on Facebook.  The day she was born, I posted pictures and everyone sent me congratulations on Facebook.  I can’t scroll back to January 30, 2008, at least not easily….it takes hours to get there…..you literally have to just keep hitting “see older posts” and go through three and a half years of wall posts.  It would take hours and hours to do it, especially if you have a really active page like mine.  Beatrix doesn’t have baby cards from friends in a hard copy.  They’re all on Facebook.  I didn’t even write down the day she took her first steps because I posted it as a status update and after 25 people commented in congratulations, it just disappeared in the running scroll of my Facebook life.  Her history disappeared.

The good news? Pictures and videos are well organized, so as long as you put the picture in an album (and not just post it to your wall), you’ll be okay to have them in the future and be able to find them easily.

But it’s ironic, isn’t it, that our kids are so well documented, but they won’t get to see it.

That’s part of the reason I started this blog.  I wanted a safe and organized place where I can put all my keepsakes.  It’s my giant online scrap book.

Does this strike a chord with you?  Are you worried that you’re losing things on Facebook?  What should you do?  Well, I’m no expert, but I can make a suggestion.

Start a blog like this.  My original blog was on WordPress.com, and it is really easy to use (I recently upgraded to

Move your Facebook party to a more secure location

Move your Facebook party to a more secure location

WordPress.org–which is more complicated) Blogger is another favorite and user friendly.  Or Weebly.  You don’t have to share it in a big public way like I do, you can set the privacy settings any way that you want, but be sure to write down your passwords and put them someplace where people can find them if something happens to you.

What should you save?  I strongly suggest that if you have a special day–whether you get a new job, or it’s your 30th birthday, or it’s the day you have a baby–SAVE IT. Recently Facebook lifted the restriction on cutting and pasting, so highlight the page you want, copy it, and paste all those Facebook wall celebration comments into a word document, or onto a blog.   Even better, put some pictures with it, and print it out or save it on a hard drive.  If you are feeling really ambitious, take an hour and write a little something about how you are feeling that day.  You’ll be glad you did. If you are a parent, do it for your kids.

Let’s not lose anymore of our life to Facebook.  Take it back.  Print it out.  Keep it.  I’m going to take my next few weekends to scroll back through my Facebook page and print out all the special memories I’ve had since I joined in 2007.

You do it, too! If you have a better idea, please leave a comment in the comment section so we can all benefit from it.  I don’t claim to be a Facebook or blog expert, but I play one in this Daily Dose.

Just some food for thought as we all navigate the 21st century.

Join me tomorrow as we start our new series, One Day More the story of the events surrounding and including my three month trip to Singapore with the Broadway musical Les Miserables.  I’ll give you a hint.  It starts with a giant natural disaster.

(Blogisode One of One Day More starts tomorrow!  Same time, same place!)

 

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About Sharon Wheatley

I'm a mother, an actress and a writer. I'm glad you're here.
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One Response to The Daily Dose (November 15, 2011) My Beef With Facebook

  1. Anne Marie says:

    Sharon, I continue to marvel at how well you can turn the stories of your life into cliffhangers. Even more, I am impressed with the way you can take the stuff of every day and make it entertaining. The teensiest things. Admittedly you have great material to work with between you, Rupert, Beaz and Charlotte. Still, not everyone has the talent or sense to celebrate their own narrative so cleverly, entertainingly and in such good humor. Consider me a groupie. :)

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