BE MY FRIEND?
by Deborah Elliott-Upton
“Even though we’ve changed and we’re all finding our own place in the world, we all know that when the tears fall or the smile spreads across our face, we’ll come to each other because no matter where this crazy world takes us, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we’re not all still friends.” — posted by many, many people on Facebook with no one claiming or denying they actually wrote this quote.
I don’t think it’s just me noticing Facebook has turned into quite a phenomenon. Most people are on the social network, even if they don’t “use” it often. What I find overwhelming is the number of people talking about books. Of course, a large amount of my cyber friends on Facebook are writers, but many are good ol’ plain everyday readers like us. And they talk about the books they are reading. How cool is that?
Nary a day goes by that someone doesn’t post what page of a certain book they are reading and when they’re done, we get either a thumbs up or down reaction via words on the screen. I like this. It’s like being in a very large book club, except without rules. Especially that we are all reading the same book at the same time.
I like when friends ask for suggestions for their next book to read, too. Word-of-mouth has always been the best advertisement and it’s always good to have a recommendation from a good friend before you buy anything.
Isn’t it interesting to find so many people still enjoy solitary reading? Taking a mind adventure via the pages of a novel is such a lovely break in the hurry, hurry, hurry routine of the 21st Century lifestyle.
Writers mention their problems with stalled plots, editing and finding the right agent — or any agent — to look at their work. There is much encouragement and sage advice being shared. I like that, too. Nothing is worse than feeling alone when the writing isn’t going smoothly. It’s nice to know others have been there and made it through and we can, too. I like that though we seem to be a nation of “It’s all about me” people, that isn’t the reality for the most of us.
We may have been all caught up in our own little worlds, but when 9/11 happened, we pulled together. Not just as a country, but as individuals throughout the globe, horrified how a few can harm so many so easily when it is so unnecessary.
A few of my friends are holdouts to social networks, but are relying on the old tried-and-true methods of marketing. I’m here to say: Facebook has proved itself as a valuable marketing tool, too. I like that it is easy to notify so many people by a few keystrokes about a conference, a new publication or other event. I like that charities are saving money on advertising (wouldn’t you rather the money go to the charity than an ad exec’s account?—That is, unless you are the ad exec )
I like that my Facebook friend asked about having a short story idea and wanting to turn it into a screenplay and if that was possible. I commented that she should write the short story first and see what happens. Many short stories are made into movies.
I also use Facebook to tell people about such great blogs as Criminal Brief where they can find like-minded people discussing writing and reading short mystery fiction. I’m hoping CB is becoming a phenomenon too . I’d really like that.