I may not be the best person to dispense Facebook advice, since my number of friends remains stuck in the low double-digits and my occasional comments invariably seem to stifle further discussion. But this is not Facebook so I will hold forth anyway.
The main thing thing to remember about Facebook is that, like everything else of value, it’s all about content. Original content. That means we should all occasionally create some, even if it’s only a photo of the morning walk, some amusing thing the cat has just done, or a remark about this crazy weather.
In short, a link to a viral YouTube video with the comment “lol” is not really enough. Remember: We’re all on the Internet too, and we’ve probably already seen the stupid video. We’ve already read the stupid column. We’ve already reposted the misattributed quote. When you share something, include a phrase or sentence expressing your views on it. It will add value. If all you do is repost something widely available, it’s as meaningless as forwarding one of those let’s-not-buy-gas-for-a-day chain letters that used to be all the rage during the early days of e-mail.
Regarding pictures of your lunch or dinner: I would say we’re not interested, but I’ve changed my thinking on this. The truth is, we are. Very much so. Keep snapping away. A blurry shot of something unidentifiable on a plate still qualifies as original content. I’d rather see that than an umpteenth repost of some already obsolete meme. Ditto with pics of kids, pets and amusing signs. If Facebook friends are really friends, what they’re doing and seeing remains interesting. If they’re not really friends, well … there’s a cure for that.
About parroting some inspiring thing as your status, as a way to show solidarity with a worthy cause: I’m against it. You know why? Because that kind of thing tends to substitute for action. It tends to make one feel one has done something of value, when one hasn’t. It tends to make one seem a shallow poseur, whose level of commitment begins and ends with the “like” button. Finally, it tends to make one look like an idiot, when that Martin Luther King quote turns out to have been penned by some liberal arts major from Pennsylvania.
Finally, here at the Warehouse we consider it bad form to post a lot of things in rapid succession. Not just one lo-def Tom Waits video, say, but four or five of them at a time without comment or explanation. This kind of thing creates a high signal-to-noise ratio and is the number one cause of people clicking the “hide” button.
That’s enough about Facebook for now. Now let’s go out there and create some content.