Listen, peeps, I know social networking is important to freelance writers as a form of publicity, but if I spent all the time required to keep on top of it, I would effectively reduce my lifespan to one measurable in dog years.
At the moment, I really can’t open the door to it all. Maybe you think I’m kidding. I’m not. I recently took down my Facebook page. Possibly I might have eventually picked up some freelance writing work from spreading myself across the world via its Trojan-like infection of other people’s daily lives, but I’d had it for around four years and it had given me zilch in terms of income. What it had given me was not worth having:
I’ve sent you a Chocolate Heart-Shaped Cuddly-Wuddly Lovey-Dovey Warm And Fuzzy Furry Big-Eyed Bear Request. ACCEPT or IGNORE?
Not enough options. Where’s the “Piss …. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFuh!!!!” button?
On second thoughts, I accept. And I’m sending you my I’m 45 Years Old And You’re Around The Same Age So Frickin Grow Up And Get A Life Angel. ACCEPT or IGNORE?
I’ve sent you a Cause Request. Please sign my petition to help orphaned albino cross-eyed aardvarks in Peru.
As soon as they give me back what they stole from me. Lots of love, Mrk.
I wouldn’t mind if I could keep things sensible. You know, old school acquaintances who are now professional people who might offer me a little freelance writing project, but you can’t be that restrictive and not anger or hurt the hoards of family members you didn’t know you had (or pretended you didn’t) in far-flung corners of the globe.
And their children.
Timmy commented on your photo: You look silly, Uncle Mark.
Mark commented on Timmy’s comment: I don’t know who you are; your parents have never mentioned you. Actually, who are your parents?
And their nieces and nephews. And assorted friends and acquaintances and friends of said friends and acquaintances. Most of whom are, strictly speaking, too young to be operating a Facebook page but have clearly lied about their dates of birth. (Not the most difficult control to by-pass, that one.)
Sorry, you are not old enough to join Facebook. Oh, what’s that? You made a mistake with your date of birth? You’re older. I see. Okay, you can join. Hey, paedophiles, this one’s really a kid!
I don’t know, I suppose one of them might require a freelance writer. They could wire me a few dollars and I could do a tricky school essay for them.
Then there’s all the other Friend Requests. (BTW, can someone please send Mister Zuckerberg a definition of the word “friend”? I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean a stranger thousands of miles away who you’ll never meet or make further contact with but you accepted for no other reason than they requested.) You know how they go …
I like your name on my food. We have so much in common. IGNORE.
My name’s Nigel and I LUUUUURVE that photo of you with your top off on the beach. Be my special friend and then you can view my photo albums, including Thong Shots, Gimp Night, and Kleenex Sundays. IGFRICKINORE
I am a deposed Nigerian king and will at some point request funds from you to finance my glorious return to power, but, for now, I just need a friend. IGNORAMUS.
Hey, you don’t know me but my name is Mark as well. Isn’t that cool? Can we be friends? IGNORE. (Zuckerberg again. Tsk.)
Mark, I see you have a head with a nose and eyes and everything. So do I. How weird is that? Let’s be friends. IGNORE.
Greetings. I don’t have what you would immediately recognise as a head as I am from a small planet in the Pleiadian system. Be my friend or I will be forced to send you my Intergalactic Abduction And Anal Probe Angel. ACCEPT.
I know I will ultimately have to embrace this Social Networking malarkey, especially if I need to get a few new freelance writing clients, much as I reluctantly had to park a computer on my desk several years ago despite not knowing how to do anything more than plug it in. That was a real culture shock; I’d not long before moved from quill to biro.
Honestly, I’d have to say I am pretty professionally naïve to have this anti attitude, but I really don’t know how anyone has the time to deal with it all. Tweet this, Digg that, do what? I really have no idea where to start and I am scared to find out for fear my wife would leave me for ignoring her and I wouldn’t notice she’d gone until four years later when I finally took a coffee break.