Sunday, July 4, 2010
The Trouble with Facebook
One of my Facebook Friends, also an artist, brought up his shyness which he described as being painful at times. I responded that I'm the same way and that it's difficult for us artzy types to be social butterflies; after all, if we were, when would we get our art done?
Shyness is my natural tendency, and although I've worked hard over many years to overcome it, like cancer I'm not cured of it. It's in remission and can (and often does) return and slap me down.
One day I discovered Facebook -- mostly because a friend from Colorado suggested I get on it. So I did, and once I was there, I discovered a number of Colorado friends who were also on FB. It was great -- I could stay in touch with people I knew all in one place.
I had other motives, too: I made sure my Website URL is in my online profile. When one's Website is mentioned on other Websites, the search engines think YOUR site must be important, and it'll come up sooner in the listings when someone does a search. So FB was another place where I could get inproved SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
I confess...I'm one of those people who gets addicted to Facebook -- on and off addicted, anyway. And as an essentially shy person, it's easy to interact with people there -- not only with people I knew, but with people I met online, either on FB or on other sites and blogs. Some of these are other artists, and others are networking contacts.
Sometimes, though, I have trouble accepting the limitations inherent with FB Friends, especially those who are far away. As one might expect, we can't interact with "virtual" friends unless we make plans to get together and do stuff in the real world.
That's the predicament I'm in. Like the friend I mentioned before, sometimes I'm just too shy to reach out that way, although simply identifying people that I have things in common with has also been difficult. As a married dude, I know I can't get together with other women (whether married or single) unless I'm part of a mixed group. In other cases, I often don't travel much outside of my immediate area anymore due to a chronic lack of $$$ during these down times.
My FB interactions tend to be joking around with the others. But it's hard to form real relationships with people when that's all there is. That's the trouble with Facebook. I often log off feeling disappointed and empty. I'm looking for something I can't get there.
And there's the art thing. Pretty much -- all I do is paint, except for this last January-late May when I was teaching. Then I was focused on science. Geez ... have I turned into a total geek?
Art is often a lonely lifestyle. Maybe I just haven't gotten used to it yet. Facebook isn't the solution, but maybe I'll stumble across something else that is.