Getting More From Facebook : 20 Useful Tips for Authors and Normal People Too

How to eliminate everything that sucks about facebook.

 

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Choose your “friends” wisely.

If you think someone on facebook must be popular and interesting because they have 5000 friends, think again. Most likely they or their “people” are just too lazy to clean out the dead accounts on their friends list. Lazy might be an overly harsh choice of an adjective as I found out when I took on the monumental task of visiting more than 90% of my 3000 “friends” profiles to see what they were about. It took hours per day for weeks but what I found out and the actions I took would make flakebook entertaining for the first time in my four year battle with it. In all likelihood, these mostly writer types I accuse of being layabouts above, are smart enough not to care too much about social media and only show up for a short time each day to feed the insatiable beast.

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Why make the effort to clean it out?

A few months back I was oh so close to deleting my fakebook account completely, but I stopped just short of doing this in favor of re-purposing MY site into an “entertainment channel” for myself and the lucky few “friends” who survived what I now refer to as:

The Cleansing or Friend Pocalypse 2019.

Why did I put MY in upper case letters? The answer is simple really; many of us forget that our facecook account is ours to do with as we please. Authors often feel an obligation to accept friend requests from just about anyone who sends one in the naive hope these people will become readers of our books. Worst of all, you probably think you will hurt someone’s feelings by unfriending them, when in truth, they probably don’t care and may never know.

I dumped just over 2650 “friends” in about three weeks and here is the data I collected:

  1. At least 50% of those were abandoned accounts.
  2. Approximately 50% of the abandoned accounts have been high-jacked.
  3. Sadly, you will find out some people you once engaged in conversation with have passed away.
  4. 5% were deactivated accounts.
  5. Not one person objected via DM to their termination.
  6. Your followers are not related to your friends list.
  7. Post engagement went up.
  8. My news-feed is now full of posts which actually interest me.
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Rant, whine, whinge, complain. . .

Authors in particular love to complain about their posts not being seen or interacted with, and how facelook limits the number of our friends who can see our posts; yet they never consider how this corporate giant is, or should be, motivated to send our posts to our dead “friends” accounts in order to save big on server usage. If there is no interaction on a post, server costs go down. The 7% claimed maximum post reach is quickly cut in half most of the time by your dead accounts, and it is conceivable that some days our posts get shared into the news feeds of nothing but these dead accounts. It’s way easier to blame facenook (I love to every chance I get.) than it is to clean out all the dead accounts YOU FRIENDED. Yes, your “friends” list is your responsibility; ergo, your post reach is a reflection of how well you manage your facetook account.

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Because I no longer care about the publishing dream we are sold, I have turned “unfriending” into an art form.

Here is my criteria:

Mutual friends with my ex? GONE!
Mostly political posts? GONE!
Mostly religious posts? GONE!
Mostly kids and pets? GONE!
Mostly book promotion? GONE!
Unanswered birthday messages? GONE!
Infrequent posting? GONE!
Over the top patriotism? GONE!
Allowing people to post ads on their wall? GONE!
A whiff of racism? GONE!
Over the top sexism? GONE!
Posting in languages other than English? GONE!
Posting violence? GONE!
Posting animal cruelty even if you are an animal lover. GONE!
Unceasing negativity? GONE!
A lack of engagement: Likes, Comments, and Shares? GONE!

I wasn’t as merciless as the list above might make it seem, although I did relish terminating vocal Trumpeter supporters and old rich white guys whose view of the world is just too f-cked to bear. I must also confess how much I enjoyed unfriending real best-selling authors who I envied for catching a break but who turned out to be boring as shit. In fact, I visited over 90% of the profiles I dumped looking for reasons to keep them. If you made me laugh, made me think, posted something meaningful, or showed yourself to be a caring person with some depth, then you probably made the cut.

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Where did all these fake or abandoned accounts come from?

In most cases, the author contracted a P.A. or book marketing services company to create and manage their profile and possibly pages, but when the term of the contract was up, these authors found out they did not own the account. From that point forward, the promoters continue to post there from other accounts they create, leaving you to scroll back months or years before you find a post from the author whose page it was. This wreaks of a scam by companies claiming they will get your book in front of hundreds or thousands of readers, when in fact most of us unfollow these accounts as soon as the first ad for sunglasses appears. If you are a budding author, create and manage your own accounts and consider what you may leave behind. Do not allow other people to post to your wall; let them tag you instead.

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There are different levels of cleaning.

A Level 1 Cleaning is just scrolling your friends list and deleting the deactivated accounts. This hour or so will make room for new friends.

A Level 2 Cleaning is the dumping of all the people you unfollowed. Why keep them if you don’t like their posts? This will take a few hours.

A Level 3 Cleaning means going to profiles to see if they are real and active accounts managed by the author. For most of you, this will happen over time as this can represent days of work if you have thousands of friends. Keep notes on where you left off, and keep at it because these accounts are hurting your post reach.

Level 4 is a total reboot. I downsized to create a small but interesting group who entertain me. In the process, I scrapped three pages as well, due primarily to abysmal engagement, but also to eradicate all evidence of my former significant other. I visit these remaining friends profiles when the mood strikes and I’m usually pleasantly surprised with their posts. It’s like having 350 pen pals.

I will leave you with some facebooking 101 tips.

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Be really careful of the groups you join.

Just sit back and watch what goes on in the group before actively participating. If you see gossip and drama, RUN AWAY!!!

Only some of these are author specific:

  1. “Friend” readers—NOT AUTHORS OR WRITERS (at least not too many)—people who review, blog, promote, and talk books. i.e. members of book clubs.
  2. Activity (posting) and engagement (commenting) is key for both you and anyone you “friend”; otherwise you will never see anyone interesting to check out as a possible new quality “friend”.
  3. “Friend” ONLY people who seem real, who fill out the About Section of their profile, and ideally who show pics of themselves, friends, and family etc. Of course authors writing under a pen name may need an exemption from this rule, but you can get a sense of their legitimacy by the size of their following, their number of mutual friends, and how long they have been around.
  4. NEVER TRUST ANYONE OR ANYTHING YOU SEE on f-ckbook, or anywhere else online for that matter. This is a world of pretenders who, except for a rare few, do not know the first thing about being truthful. Lies and deception rule their pathologies.
  5. UPLOAD content daily to your Author Page. i.e. a good morning meme, and share it to your profile’s wall. This will increase your page reach.
  6. Update your Status daily on your profile, ideally with something amusing or interesting which can be shared publicly. Status updates are seen more than posts you share to your wall.
  7. INVITE people to Like your Author Page. Before long you will have a following who will read the tweets and blogs you send to your page. I made the mistake of creating followers of my public posts from my profile’s wall instead of creating an Author Page right from the start.

Best of luck.

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An Unsent Email

I am still disappointed and even more disgusted than ever by the things I have discovered since we split up.

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Long ago, at the beginning you said: ‘Sometimes I have trouble knowing right from wrong.’ I should have seen this for what it is; a common trait among sociopaths, but instead I intervened in what I now see as your karmic destiny.

In another conversation, you told of being called a succubus, yet you did not really mind this worst of all slurs of your person. In fact you seemed to like the idea of playing the part. As a so-called life-long “religious” person, this should have been the ultimate affront to you because of the morality your church has been preaching to you for years, apparently without success.

“A succubus is a demon in female form, or supernatural entity in folklore, that appears in dreams and takes the form of a woman in order to seduce men, usually through sexual activity. The male counterpart is the incubus. Religious traditions hold that repeated sexual activity with a succubus may result in the deterioration of health or mental state, or even death.”

Is the above really who you want to be?

The “shoe” fits, princess. My career was slowed by making you a priority in my life—dealing with your endless problems. My health suffered as a result of the concern, stress, and time you took away from making badly needed money. And wow, did you screw with my mental state. It took longer than the two weeks I joked about when we were “together” to get over you. It took two months.

I don’t care that you have not paid the outstanding amount owed to me. In my rage I was as cruel with my words as I was capable of, and you have obviously used this to rationalize stiffing me. HOWEVER, what is not acceptable is you have not paid at least one of our mutual friends, and perhaps others, now that you have a life which affords you the opportunity to repay those who fell for your bullshit.

Get your crap together and pay your debts before you do end up in hell.

(This one is really just for kicks, shits, and giggles because I needed to blog something here. I do not hold out any hope the party in question will suddenly develop a conscience. Peace out!)

Get caught up on my latest relationship misadventure over on my book’s site.

This week on my Ms. Creant blog, I show how our social media walls can reveal a great deal about what we are feeling.

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Rationalizations: What To Do When The Internet Is Down

First thing this morning my neighbor sent a text to inform me the Internet is still down, but they claim to be working on it. Apparently a major cable was cut last evening leaving our entire area without service.

Thanks for the update., I thought to myself as I ran my morning self-diagnostics to see if I was fully functional before getting out of bed. I worked out yesterday so you never know. Out of HABIT I turned on my computer anyway and headed to the coffee-maker.

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As I stood in the kitchen waiting for The Nectar Of Awakening (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL), I pondered the importance of the Internet to him because he is a well-to-do guy who loves his toys. His home is run by Google and he likes his fully-automated lifestyle, and I don’t think he likes it when I speak of the potential for abuse of the users privacy. He only has his phone now. All that is good in his life has perished. Perhaps this is why he sent this out of character early text which woke me from some badly needed sleep.

Coffee in hand, I sat down on the couch and drank the entire over-sized first mug while staring blankly at the Windows start up screen. The only thought I can recall during this semi-conscious period was: They chose a nice shade of blue.

What will I do this morning? Maybe go for a walk? Too cold. Read? Eyes still too sleepy and brain not receptive to input. Write something? There it is. But what? We’ll wing it.

Anyone who reads my crap knows of my contempt for the Internet and my fervent belief that it is a mind control weapon employed against the oblivious masses in the final stages of our enslavement. Yet, it has also become a part of my ROUTINE to have my coffee while scrolling twitter and chatting with online friends.

It was not always this way. I remember having a satisfying life before all this book writing nonsense took over.

Here is an example of RATIONALIZATIONS running wild:

I RATIONALIZED this CHANGE IN MY BEHAVIOR by TELLING MYSELF this was necessary to launch and promote my book. I further RATIONALIZED I should continue promoting my work beyond the one year period I had originally planned for as there were still occasional requests for interviews and the like coming in. I continued my RATIONALIZATION to stay on social media because we were entering the peak selling season. That’s no time to quit. My latest RATIONALIZATION, after almost four years since I first appeared on social media, is I now have a handful of people whose words and thoughts I enjoy. It would be wrong to abandon them.

Or would it?

A flaw in my thinking just made itself known on mug three. I am PROJECTING my character traits onto them; people I have never met. I ass-u-me they share my values: morality; ethics; scruples; sense of decency etc., when in truth, I really have little hard evidence to support the mental picture of them I have created in my mind. It is hard enough to discover the TRUE NATURE of people we meet in real life, without compounding the problem by believing what we see or are told through an electronic medium.

Recent─all too public events─began with provocative hurtful posts which I could have been spared from seeing. I retaliated. That was wrong. The enraged are not in touch with rational thought. Things escalated from there into a tangled mess of unimagined proportions. If you witnessed any of it, my apologies. I now have first-hand knowledge of the gossips, spies, stalkers, trolls, and double agents we have all heard about when chatting about facebook dramas.

I am disgusted on many levels by many things, but mostly for allowing myself to be temporarily lowered into The Pit Of The Petty (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL) where the worst parts of humanity reside.

Unchecked RATIONALIZATIONS can lead to DEMONIZATION or even DELUSION.

I am only guilty of the first two. I plead temporary insanity. I have and continue to work hard to be fully conscious and self-aware, and I pride myself on my ability to stay grounded in reality. This heightens your powers of perception so you can see things for what they are, and not how you would like them to be. However, this trait will not be considered endearing to anyone who lives in a fantasy world of imagined futures. Normally, I am so good at this people have called me a mind reader, or suggested I have them under surveillance, or even that I can predict the future. In truth, once you have really explored WHO YOU ARE and wrestled your demons into submission─with only occasional escape attempts─you are given a gift of heightened sensitivity which is composed mostly of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Some call this being loving or caring; I just call them good people.

Humans like to think of themselves as complex creatures when in fact most human behavior is transparent and predictable to the few of us who bother to know ourselves. Once you know the best and worst you are capable of, and even though your self-control can slip at times, you can make shockingly accurate assessments of people as well as predictions of behavior and consequences.

To the superficial and narcissistic, life will always be a mysterious sequence of tragic events. They create petty RATIONALIZATIONS of their abhorrent behavior with statements like: “The heart wants what the heart wants.” or “We are only human.” or “They told me to do it.”. . .

Every single one of the seven billion souls on this planet are capable of moving beyond this most basic form of existence. I sincerely hope the readers of this will be some of those who do.

This was the second time I became embroiled in a facebook drama. There won’t be a third. Farewell facebook friends and followers. It was quite an experience which I can no longer RATIONALIZE.

Keep in touch by email if you like.

My Current Attitude Towards Facebook and Other Pointless Endeavours Summed Up in a Single Photo.

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I love Iron Man and many of the other Marvel films.

The appeal is obvious—aside from wishing we were genius billionaire philanthropists—there are times when we wish we could take matters into our own hands; to be a lone gun-slinger, dispensing our own brand of justice or seeking retribution. Alas, until “civilization” slides a little farther into the abyss, or we have nothing left to lose, we must  settle for watching others wreak vengeance in film and video games; living vicariously through them. But oh how we wish sometimes. . .

Your Beliefs Create Your Reality. Part 8

Are “solid” people disappearing?

I know that if I choose to BELIEVE this, the universe will conspire to make this my REALITY so I fight this negative thought despite the overwhelming mounting evidence which seems to surround me. If I were to make this a personal belief, it could forever change me into someone I do not like. I could become bitter, resentful, and wary of the intentions of the people I meet. Truth be known, I am wary. I accept this about myself and simply view it as a defense mechanism―a result of living a long life among other humans.

What is a “solid” person?

Everyone will have a slightly different answer depending on their life experiences and their personal code of conduct which reflects how well developed their super-ego is. Freud first used this term almost one hundred years ago to describe the part of us that is supposed to moderate the wants of our id and ego. Some call it a moral center or compass, but it is also made up of the ethics and scruples taught to us which are also key components to a conscience. When we assess whether or not a person is “solid”, we are JUDGING them based on our own set of values.

People usually want to surround themselves with people possessing similar values but we cannot expect others in our social circles to live up to the standards we set for ourselves or else we set ourselves up for disappointment―a mistake I keep making.

I set very high achievable standards for myself, even though those standards often require a significant effort on my part in order to clear the bar. I have always wanted to be a good person―a “solid” person. When I was young and naive, just a couple of years ago, I actually thought most people wanted the same for themselves. However, life has a way of showing you just how wrong you can be.

Traits of “solid” people:

  1. They are honorable. Their word is their bond. It means everything to them.
  2. They care. They will drop everything to help a friend, loved one or even strangers.
  3. They give. They are grateful to be in a position to help.
  4. They remember everyone who ever helped them.
  5. They have your back. They know your worth. They stand up for you when gossips attempt to assassinate your character when you are not around.

I am fortunate to have a few such people in my life. Sadly, the number has dwindled over the years as the true nature of some fair weather types was finally revealed to me. If we are to use the above list to JUDGE others, we absolutely cannot fail someone for not achieving a perfect score. There are caring, giving, appreciative people who just cannot keep commitments they make, usually because they lack the organizational skills to keep track of their lives. While these good people may not live up to our Utopian expectations, they are nonetheless well meaning. They will frustrate us when they fail to come through on time, but the point is . . .  they do come through eventually.

Some say: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

If we must KEEP SCORE in order to gauge the quality of these relationships, I believe we should measure intentions vs. deeds expressed as a ratio. You can very quickly separate the talkers from the walkers in this way.

If you are over forty and have to deal with millennials or younger people on a regular basis, you will be frustrated by what appears to be a total lack of honor―where their word means nothing. Give them time. Eventually they will see the importance of being honorable. Until then, keep an eye on their intentions vs. deeds ratio before you say they are not solid.

 

 

Blog 17: The Irrational Rationality.

HUMANS CAN RATIONALIZE ANYTHING.

Somewhere along the way, I was researching the various religious faiths that showed the number of followers for each. When I added them all together the number came to around 4 BILLION or 66% of the globes population. With that many do-gooders on the planet, you would think that the world would be a much better place than it is.

Here is why Earth is not a paradise.

HUMANS DO NOT PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION TO DIRECTIONS.

HUMANS RATIONALIZE DIRECTIVES INTO GUIDELINES.

HUMANS RE-THINK, RE-WORK AND RE-INTERPRET RATIONAL DIRECTIVES TO SUIT THEIR OWN IRRATIONAL AGENDAS.

More than half of the world’s population is familiar with the following section and most have at least heard of the other lists that follow.

“The TEN COMMANDMENTS”:

I am listing the version that I was taught as a child and will comment on some of the more significant RATIONALIZED versions that are being taught. The order that they are presented has been changed over the years by different religions.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

“Thou shalt make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down to them: …”

“Thou shalt take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; …”

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

“Honour thy father and thy mother.”

“Thou shalt not kill.” This has been changed quite significantly to “Thou shalt not murder.” by some.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

“Thou shalt not steal.”

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

“Thou shalt not covet… any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”

HOW DID YOU SCORE?

I passed the first two with flying colours. I failed on the third and forth. I passed the fifth and sixth. I passed the seventh using the RATIONALE that I have never been “technically” married. I failed on the eighth, passed the ninth and probably failed the tenth at some point in time.

I have a solid 5 with perhaps as high as 7 out of 10. I can RATIONALIZE that this is NOT BAD.

TEN was just too big for humans to comprehend and with so many it created too many disputes about how to interpret them.

Apparently, Jesus felt the need to summarize the ten down to two big ones.

The Two Great Commandments:

“You shall love the LORD your GOD with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I am 1 for 2 here.

The Catholic religion added some ideas that are worth of a look.

“The Seven Deadly Sins”:

Lust:               Definitely guilty.

Greed:            I do not think so.

Gluttony:        On occasion.

Envy:              Definitely guilty.

Anger:            Definitely guilty.

Pride:              Probably.

Sloth:              Definitely as a teen.

So I will RATIONALIZE that on a lifetime basis, I scored only a 1 out of 7 but on a daily basis, currently I typically run at only one sin per day so the score looks much better at 6 out of 7. NOT BAD AT ALL.

I guess they realized that nobody was scoring well with the sins list, so they added to it. By allowing followers to RATIONALIZE that they were not all that bad- they would leave church feeling better about themselves.

The better the church made them feel about themselves, the more the followers attended, and the more donations the church received.

“The Seven Heavenly (Capital) Virtues”:

Chastity:                    Not self-imposed.

Temperance:             Yes.

Charity:                      Yes

Diligence:                  Yes

Forgiveness:             Yes, but there is room for improvement.

Kindness:                  Yes

Humility:                    Yes but again there is room for improvement.

So again, I will RATIONALIZE that I scored at least 4 out of 7 and maybe as high as 6 out of 7 depending on the harshness of the evaluator- PRETTY GOOD.

In conclusion I will RATIONALIZE that I am a virtuous sinner.

My overall averaged lifetime score according to religion is 13 for 26. They do not make it clear what a passing grade is though.

I could go PAY to be ABSOLVED of some sins to improve my numbers as many people do; but that is not my way. I will let my record stand for itself.

Now let us explore the ultimate in HUMAN IRRATIONAL RATIONALIZATION.

“Thou shalt not kill.”

This has been changed quite significantly to:

“Thou shalt not murder.”

This one needed modification almost immediately.

How can you have a war, especially a religious war or a religion sanctioned war without killing?

Humans RATIONALIZED that killing each other was necessary.

Humans RATIONALIZED that killing is not the same as murder.

Humans RATIONALIZED that the soldiers and peace officers of the world NEED TO KILL in order to benefit CIVILIZATION.

Of course we cannot have a COMMANDMENT that makes them feel GUILTY for following orders and defending themselves.

FOR 3465 YEARS THIS HAS BEEN THE WAY OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION, and look how well things are going thanks to RATIONALIZATION.

HUMANS NEED SIMPLICITY!

We need a set of guidelines that CANNOT BE MISINTERPRETED TO RATIONALIZE MISDEEDS.

A new release of a greatest hits package could look like this:

The ONE COMMANDMENT:

“BE GOOD.”

A person that possesses conscience, love, honor and awareness is GOOD.

Conscience:

THE CREATOR of all things gave you conscience so that you would know RIGHT from WRONG on a spiritual level.

If you choose misdeeds and ignore your conscience, you will not have a good life.

A conscionable person will not engage in immoral acts.

A conscionable person will not engage in unscrupulous acts.

Love:

THE CREATOR of all things gave you love so that you would know JOY.

First, you must love yourself in order to love others.

Second, you must love all others in order to love all things and THE CREATOR.

A loving person will not engage in jealousy or envy.

A loving person will not kill.

A loving person is overly charitable.

A loving person endlessly forgives.

A loving person shows kindness to all.

Honor:

THE CREATOR of all things gave you honor so that you would know RESPECT.

You must honor all those that do good deeds.

An honorable person will not engage in greed.

Awareness:

THE CREATOR of all things gave you awareness so that you would know LIFE.

First, you must know yourself in order to know others.

Second, you must know all others in order to know all things and THE CREATOR.

You must seek knowledge and wisdom throughout your life so that you may achieve understanding.

A seeker of wisdom is diligent and temperate and therefore is not subject to gluttony or sloth because they understand the inherent dangers of each.

A seeker of wisdom is humble; being able to manage both fear and anger while recognizing pride.

My book:

Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers!

Life with Women: the long awaited instruction manual.

Talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics- even physics as well as HOW CHANGE MUST HAPPEN SOON.

BE GOOD!

E. A.