how i use facebook

This piece was harder to write than the Twitter one, probably because I use Facebook for a bunch of different things.

My Facebook is mostly public. I'm a relatively private person. The reason it's public is because I love talking about news. Most of my Facebook posts are news - probably due to my longtime position at Newsvine, but I think it may stay that way forever. There'll be the occasional brag on my family or engagement announcement [did I tell y'all I was engaged?] but those will have more limited privacy settings.

Social media rewards elation and horror in its rhythms and algorithms, but I've always gravitated towards sharing things that make me puzzled. Facebook's new reactions are what inspired me to finish this long-dormant draft. I like - ha! - the versatility of the "like", which can mean "I feel you", "that's great", or "I read this" as necessary.

Facebook is most gratifying when I'm talking to a bunch of people [no matter how discouraging Facebook commenting design continues to be, it can be overcome in the name of a long discussion because it has the most habit-forming notifications in the business]. My wall isn't a safe space and it isn't an echo chamber - I'm fortunate to have friends I disagree with, and my friends' friends comment with some regularity.

For a long time, I had a policy that I had to have met all of my friends - that word is still weird, but it's the right word - in person. That's relaxed a bit as I've realized that the internet and real life overlap a lot for me, but I wouldn't friend a stranger without convincing myself I'd like to meet them. [Feel free to follow me if you don't know me and maybe we'll get to know each other; that's happened a couple of times.]

I'm also much more likely to beseech people via "flare gun" wall posts - to join a cause, use a ticket, or recommend me something - on Facebook because I know my audience and they know me.

I'll respond to messages but prefer email or whatever Google's calling gChat now.

This is how I aspire to use Facebook: I'd like to port some of the longer facebook discussions I have to - my side of them, anyway! It's an opportunity I've missed for a long time, and much as I like having those conversations, I shouldn't keep some of my best writing cordoned off there.