So I broke down and made a Facebook thing…

I’ve resisted using Facebook for years, mostly because I have a huge problem with the privacy policies. I’m really happy using a combination of Twitter, Tumblr, and Google Plus to do all my social media public life stuff, and I don’t really want to add something else.

But I’ve talked with friends who I trust and respect, people who create and produce awesome things for the Internet, and they have all told me that even if I don’t like Facebook personally, having at least some kind of Facebook presence is an important part of our public lives, especially because there are thousands and thousands of people who get online and never really leave Facebook… so I asked Felicia Day to help me figure out Facebook, and with her help I think I made the privacy things work as best as I can, so I can have a Facebook… thing. Page. Whatever. Like This. Something.

I know that a PR person would tell me to “spin” this as something I think is totally awesome, and brand something and interact with synergy excitement Bieber, but the truth is: I feel weird and not entirely comfortable doing it. I feel like I’m compromising something I’d rather not compromise. But I’m there because I know that even though I’m not crazy about Facebook, a lot of people are, and it’s silly to ignore all those people because I’m a cranky old man. Also, being on Facebook affords me some business opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have, and being able to support my family is more important to me than shaking my fist at a windmill every day.

I told my wife, “I know that I’m an adult, because I made a compromise that made me uncomfortable, because it was in my family’s best interest.”

Then I said, “But it still feels weird.”

So I have a Facebook thing, which I hope to turn into something cool, or at least interesting. If you care about that sort of thing, now you know about it.

Just so you know what to expect if you subscribe to it:

I have currently connected Twitter and Tumblr and occasionally my blog to the Facebook thing, so all my things are in one place. This means that there will occasionally be a huge flood of Twitter things or Tumblr things posting here automagically. Also, I say "thing" a lot. 

I'm happy with this, and I honestly like having one place on the Internet that holds all of my stupid things together. I realize, however, that not everyone shares this opinion, and if you're one of those people, you should probably unsubscribe; no big deal.

 A few other things you should probably know:

  • I'm opinionated.
  • I love hockey.
  • I'm a progressive populist.
  • I'm a secular humanist.
  • I have zero patience for people who are dicks, and I block pretty ruthlessly.
  • I love science.
  • I don't really censor myself. I swear a lot.
  • Occasionally, something will show up here from my Tumblr that's NSFW.
  • I'm probably going to disappoint you in some way.

I've been there about a week, and I don't completely hate it. I read as many comments there as I have time to read, and I'm not able to respond as often as I'd like.

However, love it when some silly or stupid thing I did sparks a conversation between people who have nothing in common other than reading whatever that thing is. Maybe some of you will become real life friends, and come to a w00tstock together, and then you'll be all, "Hey, we met because we both liked that thing, and now we're here together." Then we'll all high five, take a picture, and post it online.

Okay, that's all. If you still want to subscribe to it, I hope it's worth your time.


17 thoughts on “So I broke down and made a Facebook thing…”

  1. First off – I read your blog pretty regularly and love your work – it always feels a little weird leaving comments though, especially if I don’t know you. BUT, I can completely appreciate your dislike of FB and especially appreciate it coming from someone with a large public/internet presence. I have a personal business and it took several of my friends + my significant other to convince me that having an FB page is an excellent way to market yourself. I still don’t use it very much and I role my eyes every time people reference it as their source of personal information (if I don’t know your relationship status before you change it on FB, I don’t really care). Sorry for the extra long comment, and *thrrrpt* to FB. Thanks Wil and enjoy the cruise!

  2. I found your facebook page first and I was like “wow, this is really accurate for a fake page” so I came here to check to see if it was really you. YAY! Now all we have to do is drag you kicking and screaming to play WoW! MWAHAHAHAA!

  3. Don’t feel bad, Wil. There are so many that chase after you with that it’s silly to jump into them all. I kind of WANT to jump into Twitter(tm), but I just never seem to want to enough to poke all the magic buttons that make it happen. I’m happy you’re going to be there as FaceBook(yet another tm, bucko) is the place I’ve lit upon that gathers all my interests together. Yes, it’s weird. Yes, it has odd policies that seem to change more often than the weather. But.. it’s kind of a devil I seem to know now. See you in the funhouse.

  4. Wil – I’ve been reading the blog for a little over the year, and I like it a lot. Especially because of posts like this.
    Thank you for talking about such things interestingly, honestly, with a sense of humor, and a little bit of persnickety-ness.

  5. I must confess that I am disappointed. As you briefly mentioned, there are issues here that go beyond just not liking the platform.
    The only effective way to protest those issues is not to use facebook. But nobody really cares if Joe Nobody doesn’t use facebook. Celebrity / Influential holdouts are worth a hundred Joes.

  6. I assume being the all knowing Wil Wheaton that you know about this, but just in case.
    I suggest you get a (If This Then That) account to cross post without bother. (And it is also great for other awesome Internet automation!)

  7. You’ve joined the cult of Facebook. It’s not as horrible as we all make it out to be.
    Besides, I think we’d all rather you have a real page that belongs to you than a gazillion fake ones that are made by a bunch of crazed fangirls (fanguys?). Just sayin’…

  8. Welcome to Facey Page. I think it is a good move, lots of businesses and celebrities get positive exposure that can enhance their business/career.
    I have an account but I don’t use it much. I got on originally to keep in touch with old high school and college friends but every passing acquaintance, distant relative that I don’t know, or client from work started to try and friend me. Then they wanted to chat all the time, then I had to spend a lot of time moving people to the “can’t see me when I’m online” list. I got tired of it and now I only log on when I get notices from college and high school friends.
    I don’t need the internet to grow my business and I don’t really want clients as after hours internet chat budddies – they might learn my secret identity :)

  9. *snickers* I was wondering when this was going to happen. I had to dump my Facebook for various reasons, but I’m considering setting something up that is “fed into,” like I do with Linkedin. I’m there, but I’m not . . . if that makes sense. I like the “ghostly’ness” of it all while reaching more people at the same time.

  10. I may have to steal some of your bullet points for my own disclaimer. Well, really all of them except the one about Tumblr, since I’m older and crankier and don’t know how to use that (scratch that, I think you might be older, but not by much and I’m crankier), and the hockey one, because I do not understand the ice sport.

  11. I finally gave in and signed up with FB in an effort to have more connection with my extended family, because I love my mom.
    I quickly decided to post a daily gratitude there, because it was positive, revealing without being TOO revealing, and something to do with the thing.
    The connection with the extended family thing didn’t go too well; I ended up getting dumped by one cousin, and I dumped two other cousins, and studiously avoided one aunt-in-law, although I DO have more contact with one uncle and one cousin.
    The daily gratitude thing worked out really awesomely, though, and I still do it. I’m really not the sort of person that does that sort of thing, if you know what I mean, but it turns out to genuinely, if subtly, improve my general outlook and it really is a nice way to share bits of myself while only occasionally over-sharing. (Apparently, being grateful for the curve of my husbands naked shoulder was TMI.)
    I did get sucked in by the FB games for a while, but I’m disciplined enough to reach a certain point and then go, “Okay, done”, and I don’t touch them anymore, but it was a bad few months there! I think you’re safe, though, since you completely and utterly do not have the time.
    I’m glad you’re there, because I like you, but I do hope it stops feeling icky soon. It’s just a thing. They have stupid policies, but so do lots of places; they can all be worked around, which is the important bit in my book.

  12. From one cranky old man to another, it seems to be a necessary thing. I have friends I cannot email any more, they facebook all day long. I agree with your stance on privacy with facebook, but as you have found it is the way our world is going, like it or not. Just remember, your true fans will come to you, so post the good stuff here! :)

  13. Yay Wil! Now I don’t have to sign in to a Twitter account I don’t actively use to read your stuff. Awesome~
    I think it will vastly improve your online presence. I know very few people that are resisting to use fb – in fact, I’ve gone out of my way to look up something from a mass communication book from a few semesters ago. You may find it interesting:
    “Between 2008 and 2009, the number of Facebookers tripled to 300 million socializing in 40 languages. By 2010, its 124 monthly visitors accounted for 44% of all Internet sharing of links photos, and videos – 5 billion pieces of content a week.” (Baran, Stanley J. Introduction to Mass Communication: Media Literacy and Culture. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.)
    Best of luck, Wil! I have subscribed and will no doubt be sharing your genius with my friends 😀

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