Is it Foolish to Avoid Facebook?

by Elisabeth

Almost a year ago I did a search for “blogging lessons” or something like that in Google. I had been flirting with the idea of blogging for years. I stopped and started. I talked about it to my friends, who all nodded and smiled, and likely thought “just do it already!” I bought WordPress for Dummies. You get the picture. I did everything but actually make myself commit to an idea and start writing! Fortunately I went for my first tarot reading ever, and it was such an amazing experience that I managed to nail down the topic of my blog, as well as gain understanding on why I had spent the last 9 years in Montreal.

I forgot about that Google search until yesterday, when the mailing list that I had signed up for emailed me that this coveted online course was coming up. While I’ve started a blog, I haven’t made it sexy yet. It takes me an excruciatingly long time to learn interfaces, even the “intuitive” ones. So I was excited to finally have pointers and a workshop coming, all for the low price of $150. Writing and wine always seem like worthy indulgences.

I began marking dates in my calendar- both the course date and the “registration opens date.” I learned my lesson after missing the pre-registration for my favourite festival by only marking in the “tickets go on sale date” in my day-planner like an amateur. My day planner gets pulled out several times a day as I shift things around and visualize all of the things I can do, or get done with my time. Planning makes me feel POTENT, ABUNDANT, and MAGNIFICENT. I feel more confident and content with a plan, even if I don’t execute on it. It’s how I get through life.

Sometimes, however, I get a little too excited pouring over planning and forget there’s more to plans than planning. There has to be room for life to happen. Or in this case, I needed to read a little further to see what exactly I was planning. It turns out that the course is given solely on Facebook.

I’m not on Facebook. I’ve proactively avoided Facebook all these years. I’ve missed out on “friending,” “liking,” relationship status, and Farmville or Candy-whatever all these years and been fine with it. Arguably, I’m better for it. My real-life social network remains intact and is thriving. Sure there are people from the past that I’d love to see again or get back in touch with. Moreover, I’m happy about all the people in my past that I was able to leave in early chapters of my story. I planned to ride the wave of social media and get on some platforms post-Facebook “sometime in the future.”

But now I have a blog. I planned it, but I didn’t plan all the fallout of having it. I want it to be a good blog- better than it is now. I want lots of readers, guest contributors, and to one day show up at a restaurant and say “hi, do you mind if I interview you for my blog?” and then the proprietors bring out some older-than-I-can-afford bottle of chilled Sauvignon Blanc while I’m seated out on the outdoor terrace in the sunshine. But you can’t plan out those moments- they happen in real-time, organically, which is why they kick so much ass. Maybe I need Facebook to realize my blogging dreams?

But maybe I don’t.

There’s not a day that has gone by where I’ve regretted the fact that I’m not on Facebook. Even my activist brother has succumbed to it’s charms. My best friend and I are holding out- but he’s given me notice that he’ll be opening an account soon- when he moves to Victoria.

What do I do? One of my friends says that Facebook is old news. No one’s using it anymore. It’s on its way out. I vacillate between being mad at the blogging course for forcing my hand, and then rethinking my entire stand on FB. Is FB the future or the past? Can I have a successful blog without it?

The jury is still out. I have until June 1st (registration day, and also the day I move to Vancouver) to figure this out. I’ve decided I’m not joining until I feel good about it and I’m not there yet. If anyone has advice, I’d love to get your perspective!