I went to a writing conference yesterday and there was a lot of talk about a “Facebook presence” as a means for authors to keep in touch with readers. Of course, this is a good idea, but I’ve noticed there are several things many people feel compelled to do on Facebook that drives people away. Well, at least it drives me away. You might love them.
1- Stream-of-consciousness posts; You know the type…“Looks like rain today. I hope it hold off until I can take the dog for his walk. My rose bushes are looking pretty good this year. I think I broke a shoelace. Just my luck….”
Arrrgh! Make it stop! I don’t care! No one does!
2- Food porn; Trust me on this one: posting closeups of your breakfast will not make you a fascinating Facebook god. In fact, no one is interested in your food unless it is something unusual. This is especially true for pictures of chili. Chili is wonderful stuff and I consider it one of the basic food groups, but although it tastes great, it is not attractive to look at.
(Full disclosure: We recently posted a picture of a couple of lobsters we got at a new restaurant because our friends had been asking about the place and we wanted to show them what was on offer. I think that was all right. We got some good feedback.)
3- Politics; Why in the name of all that’s holy would you post something that will instantly alienate half of your readers? There is nothing you can tell them that they haven’t heard before and heard better. I find political posts on Facebook annoying even when I agree with them. And for those readers who don’t agree, what do you think is going to happen with your political post? Do you think someone is going to look at your cartoon or oh-so-clever repost and say “Oh my God! Yes, of course! This changes everything. I’ve been so wrong. It’s a good thing they posted this; I’m changing my vote!”
Not a chance; just say no.
Well, there are a lot of other Facebook turn offs, but these seem to be the biggest offenders. Oh, wait; there’s one more….
4- Posting lists of Facebook turnoffs- O.K. So nobody’s perfect.