I came to an interesting realization this week: I’m afraid of my own Facebook Timeline.
Over the years, I’ve accepted friend requests pretty much as a matter of course, and now the majority of my “friends” are in fact strangers, among whom most are fans, or aspiring writers or friends of others who are. It’s a little like walking out of your bedroom and finding the hallway populated by people you don’t recognize.
I’ve inadvertently allowed my Facebook Timeline to become a marketing platform for my books. Consequently, I need to be circumspect about everything I post there, for fear of affecting my brand. I don’t post adorable pictures of grand-nieces and nephews because it’s wrong to invite strangers into the lives of other family members. It’s crazy.
I have an Author Page on Facebook for fans and potential fans, and it is designed to be a marketing and writer-education platform. That’s where I post relevant items about my books and other projects, and a controlled stream of personal information about myself and my family–just not everything about us. I try to display the me-I-am, but with some of the sharp edges dulled.
So, I have begun the Great Culling of 2017. My plan is to work my way through my Friends List and un-friend anyone whose hand I have not shaken, or with whom I have not had a personal conversation. There will be some exceptions, of course, because I have become quite close with a number of online correspondents whom I’ve never met, and I welcome those people into my life. Before un-friending them, though, I will send a message explaining why, and I’ll provide them a link to my author page. I’ve already heard from a few “friends” who are pissed at being eased out of my house and into the yard, but most seem to understand.
What do you all think? Is this a rude thing to do? Is there a gentle way to tell loyal fans that as much as I love them, I don’t necessarily want them hanging out with the family and me?