Tag Archives: facebook

Farewell Facebook, One Year Later

Farewell Facebook, One Year Later

One year ago today, I deleted my Facebook account. (I laid out my reasoning in this post.) I haven’t gone back, and I’ve had little temptation to return. Since it’s been a full year, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on my decision and share what I’ve learned over my last year without Facebook.

I’m still in the ecosystem—much like Amazon or Google, it’s hard to remove yourself from Facebooks grasping tentacles completely. Instagram (from Facebook™) is still in my life, and I share work there frequently. I also use WhatsApp to connect with friends outside of the US. But, if alternatives rose up or if these apps no longer brought me value, I’d consider leaving either of them. Instagram, in particular, hasn’t gotten better.

Much of my suspicions from a year ago were proven correct, and I’m in a better headspace because I’ve left. I don’t have to read cruel, insipid, bigoted, or racist diatribes that were disappointingly common. I’m no longer marketed products I don’t want. My work isn’t walled off in strange little corners. I don’t have Facebook hounding my wallet in a vain attempt to “boost” posts for my “audience.” I don’t have to worry about my private information being stolen or sold. (Not just a Facebook problem, I realize.) Succinctly: I no longer have to engage with nothing for the sake of nothing.


“I no longer have to engage with nothing for the sake of nothing.”


The wicked trick of social media is convincing you that it’s essential. That you’ll lose contact with friends, colleagues, and loved ones if it’s removed from your life. That you’re somehow missing out if you’re not engaged. It sows FOMO to encouraging engagement. Reality couldn’t be further from Facebook’s “truth.” If anything I found the opposite is true. Facebook isn’t essential. This has been the best year on my blog since I started doing this eight years ago. My audience is still here, and I don’t have to wonder if my readers see what I share. It’s all visible. Nothing is hidden. Likewise, I’ve made time for the important things. I’ve stayed connected with relationships that matter. My interests have expanded.

What one chooses in regards to their social media presence is personal. My path might not be right for you. If Facebook brings you joy, then stay on Facebook. But if it doesn’t, then why are you wasting your time? As for me, I’m glad I left. Happy even. It was a big step in decoupling the behaviors built into social media. (Something I wrote about a few weeks ago.) Now, when I sit down to work, the old muscle memory isn’t betraying me by sending me into a path of wasted time and squandered emotional energy.

As I said a year ago: things can always change. Perhaps with a shift in leadership Facebook could turn itself around. Companies change, ten years from now, it’ll be different than it is today. Who knows what the future holds? I have no regrets in leaving, and honestly, I wish I had taken this step sooner. It’s been a good year.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

A Little Experiment

A Little Experiment

In the last month, I’ve conducted a little experiment. Namely, when I feel the desire to write a tweet/post/comment in reaction to some bit of news or an event—I don’t. Instead, I’ve begun to write any of my thoughts in a separate document for myself. I get them out of my head, but I keep them private. It’s been personally freeing and creatively invigorating. I expend the emotion, but I don’t need to double down on knee-jerk hot takes. This has allowed me to process better. Now, I find myself reflecting rather than just reacting.

One of the great sins of social media has been its empowerment of inanity. We’ve convinced everyone that every little thought matters and that every emotion is somehow sincere and deserves the world’s attention. That’s just not true. Every little thought doesn’t matter, and emotions lie. But, social media encourages this behavior. It removes critical thought and nuance and often leads to chaos and cruelty. It’s a never-ending cycle, the ouroboros eating itself. One that doesn’t leave the world a better place. Instead, it reinforces tribalism and disregards compromise, consideration, and compassion.

This isn’t to say I’ve cut out social media altogether—I haven’t. I’ve just shifted my focus. Lately, most of my posts have either been the promotion of something I’ve made or written—things I put more thought, research, and effort into than an off-the-cuff post or tweet—or I’ve used my little soapbox to promote someone else. Mentally, it’s put me in a good place. I think it makes for a better web. It’s gotten me to become more action-oriented. It’s removed the performative aspects that are commonplace (and encouraged) in social media. And, I’ve decoupled from the perpetual train of instant opinion. In doing so, I’ve found that I’ve become more thoughtful and empathic in my day to day interactions. I hope, ultimately, this makes me a kinder person.

That’s all a net positive for me. If it sounds interesting to you, I would encourage you to give it a shot. As far as experiments go, I’d say this has been a successful one.

Farewell Facebook

Farewell Facebook

Today, I clicked delete on my Facebook account. It was a long time coming, and I’m not sad to see it go. Facebook has become a behemoth in the last decade, an irresponsible behemoth that created unethical systems used to prey on its users. Participation felt like a taciturn approval, and I didn’t want to validate that sort of behavior any longer.

For creators, Facebook has changed. A once vibrant landscape has slowly walled creators off onto Pages where our projects and content was no longer seen by the very people who were interested. It began to urge us to “boost posts”—five dollars here or a ten spot there. But boosted posts rarely returned worthwhile engagement. Promoting Pages often yielded poor results—likes and shares from shell accounts generated by click farms. Practices Facebook claims don’t exist, but the evidence says otherwise. I’ve watched friends with thousands and thousands of followers grow frustrated as engagement slipped away and the site became a meaningless money pit.

It was also a distraction. Yet one more place to waste time doing nothing. Over the last few years, I’ve shifted away from social media and doubled down on blogging. I love this blog. Here I control my content. If anyone wants to see what I am working on they just have to visit. I share newsphotos, thoughts, and opinions all the time. I get traffic. I get emails from readers. It’s not hidden by algorithms or walled off on some buried Page. It’s all accessible, and that’s glorious. It’s the old web, sure, but it’s reliable.

Things can always change. Microsoft isn’t the same company it was in the 90s. Apple isn’t the same company it was in the late-80s. Facebook ten years from now will be different than it is today. Under new leadership perhaps Facebook could turn things around quickly, but in the meantime, I’m not holding my breath, and I’m not wasting my time. I got books to write.


Dead Drop: Missives from the desk of K. M. AlexanderWant to stay in touch with me? Sign up for Dead Drop, my rare and elusive newsletter. Subscribers get news, previews, and notices on my books before anyone else delivered directly to their inbox. I work hard to make sure it’s not spammy and full of interesting and relevant information.  SIGN UP TODAY →

Where to Find Me & How to Contact Me: A List

Where to Find Me & How to Contact Me: A List

“How do I contact you?”

I’ve been getting this question a lot over the last few weeks. I realize it can be daunting. There aren’t many places I don’t have a social media account. I keep an updated page listing all of my accounts and it is always growing. However, I tend to favor some more than the others. To combat that, I figured I’d write up a list focusing on my priorities when it comes to communication. After all, some places are better than the others. So, if you want to contact me, here’s where to start:

  1. Email
    I check my email daily, and I try to respond to everyone promptly. With other forms of communication, I don’t have notifications turned on. Email is the one exception.
  2. Blog
    This is where I share the most information. I also make sure to approve all legitimate comments and I try to respond to any direct questions.
  3. Twitter
    This is my primary social media platform. As “they” say: my DMs are open.
  4. Goodreads
    Yo, it’s Goodreads. I like talking about books, so I hang out there. Ask me a question.
  5. Instagram
    I’m not as active on Instagram as, Kari-Lise (nor as popular.) But I do occasionally post, and I try to respond to comments.
  6. Facebook
    Honestly, I hate this site so much. But it’s a necessary evil. So I am there, begrudgingly but rarely. Because of that reason, it can take me a few days to respond to messages, but I will eventually get around to them.
  7. Snail Mail
    I check my P.O. box once or twice a month. While I’m happy to mail you free swag, I don’t take the time to send a letter for every one I receive. I’m sorry. The address is on my Contact Page.
  8. Pinterest/Tumblr/Snapchat/Periscope/Etc.
    These are tools for me. Not useful forms of communication.
  9. LinkedIn
    LOL

This list is subject to change, and should that happen I will make another post. For those trying to get ahold of me, I hope this helps. Thanks to those who are reaching out. Writing can be a lonely profession, and it’s always encouraging to get a message from a reader. Y’all rule.

Bell Forging Cycle Avatars

Bell Forging Cycle Avatars

Are you bored with your current photo on Twitter or Facebook? Looking for something different? In between events this weekend. I had a few moments so I put together some free avatars you can use for your social media accounts. You can find the full list over on my Free Stuff page alongside cool backgrounds and info on how to get free swag packs. Hooray!

Once there, you’ll be faced with a choice, and you must choose your allegiance wisely. Will you lace up your boots and join Bell Caravans, find a spot in the multi-level City of Lovat, or will you side with the aggressive empire-building policies of the City of Syringa? The choice, dear reader, is yours!

Think I’m missing something? Would you like to see a Cedric’s Eatery avatar? Sardini Market? St. Olm’s? Shoot me an email or let me know in the comments below.

Friday Link Pack 02-06-2015

Hear ye, hear ye! Today is the day of Frigg, or as we now know it, Friday. That means it’s time to share a few links I’ve found over the last few days. Some of these I mention on Twitter, if you’re not already following me there, please do! Have a link I should feature in the upcoming link pack? Click here to email me and let me know! All right, let’s get to it…

Writing:

Wordslingers: An Interview With K.M. Alexander
I’ve done a few interviews in the past. But I have to say my interview with S. Lee Benedict has to be one of my favorites. He asks me some of the best questions I’ve ever been asked during an interview, ended up being a lot of fun. Also make sure you check out Benedict’s own novel, The Heart Thief.

S. L. Huang On The Subject Of Unlikable Women Protagonists
Why do the unlikeable protagonists always have to be men? In her guest post for Chuck Wendig’s TerribleMinds, author S. L. Huang makes a case appealing for more varied female characters.

To Kill a Mockingbird sequel Go Set a Watchman coming in July
In what has been heralded as the greatest literary news of the year Harper Lee returns to literature after  55 years. And you thought George R. R. Martin was slow. (I can’t take credit for that joke, this fake GRRM twitter account can.)

Oh Noes, The Sky Is Falling
Despite the hand wringing from Publishers Weekly about the decline in science fiction sales, writer Amanda Green explains how science fiction isn’t dead, it’s more alive than ever. (Also, who cares what the Publisher’s Weekly frets about, tell the story you want to tell.)

The Real Science Of Science Fiction
Great piece from the The Guardian on the co-dependency between science and science fiction and how each influences the other.

Art:

Overlooked Details: An Artist’s Journey
A short documentary from filmmaker Scott Wilson about what it takes to be a creative. It’s not just talent. It will never be perfect. And success is not a destination. Starring my wife, Kari-Lise Alexander, our friend Steve Leroux, and even little ol’ me!

Sam Wolfe Connelly: Winter Selections
If you follow me on Pinterest you’ve seen some of Connelly’s incredible and creepy paintings before. Beautiful Bizarre Magazine highlights some of his latest works and some of his classic pieces. I love this stuff. [Thanks to Kari-Lise for sharing this with me.]

Random:

The Creepiest Things You Can Do on Facebook
Yep, this made me laugh. Also, filed under: things I’m going to try out with my sister-in-laws. (They don’t read my blog, so I’m safe.)

The NFL Cleanse
Over the course of a single week, Ruth Baron ate all sixty-two of the fast-food meals advertised during the playoffs. RIP Ruth Baron.

The Psychological Difference Between $12.00 And $11.67
A fascinating look at the effect of pricing on people. Something to consider when you price your own creative work perhaps?

Royalty, Espionage, and Erotica: Secrets of the World’s Tiniest Photographs
Photo Sharing isn’t a new concept apparently, eat your heart out Instagram.

Lovecraft Story of the Week:

The Crawling Chaos
“It is the end. They have come down through the gloaming from the stars. Now all is over, and beyond the Arinurian streams we shall dwell blissfully in Teloe.”

Opium’s a hell of a drug.

Gif of the Week:
Googly eyes solve everything!