The Social Notwork

Boy, Facebook… what are you gonna do? Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. Well, that’s not true. For someone like myself who works from home it is an excellent way of staying a part of the community of narrators and other contacts at large… so I’m going to live with it.

Sometimes I love it. The connections it provides, the chance to catch up with friends and to chat about … just about anything, for a few minutes. It’s a gift. But welcome to the dark side.

I know I touched on this a few weeks back (oh, so long ago when I started this 30 day writing challenge – this is #27) but I think I need to delve a little deeper. I do find writing about something tends to clarify my thoughts and sometimes leads to a commitment. Of course it may just muddy the waters but at least I’ll have completed my obligation of writing something today – so there’s that. Hope I can keep it interesting.

This morning over my oatmeal (have I told you yet? It’s heart-healthy) as I perused my newsfeed on Facebook I found myself writing contributions to other people’s posts and then… deleting them. This happened at least a couple of times. Once was regarding a link to a post in which the writer was responding to criticism of a previous post about awards and awards shows. But I remembered the last time I got involved in that discussion and a pile-on had ensued – it got so nasty I ended up deleting the whole thread. I could see that developing here and while I thought perhaps I could be the voice of sanity I realized in the nick of time that sanity is not what was being looked for.

Then I saw a thread to which I had already contributed a thought, and was almost going to post another when I did what I should do with every single thing I propose to write for public consumption and read it as if I were someone just looking for an argument (there are lots of people out there on Facebook who love a fight) and I deleted it.

That’s not to say I should never have anything to offer but a lot of the time it’s likely I’m just posting to show my superior knowledge(!) or flash my (completely justified) opinions in the face of others who are not sympathetic to them.

One example: I used to jump in every time the choice of best recording methods for narrators was mentioned. I did then, and still do, think my way is a better way of recording (that worked out really well for BetaMax). But this is one of those areas where people believe “there is one and only one way to do things”. I hated seeing that with regard to the above topic and I always used to chime in with…”Well, actually, there is another way”, etc. I was wasting my breath, and I recognised that just as VHS won the video battle I was not going to persuade the masses with my line of thinking. I stopped offering an opinion unless asked.

After my false starts this morning I did post something. I wrote: “I’ve half written comments to a couple of different posts today and then deleted them before posting… Just don’t want to get involved in the controversy. Is that a common thing? Am I a coward or using common sense?”

Turns out a lot of people delete before posting (50 comments in the hours following the posting). And I don’t think anyone ever regretted it.

I think in future I’ll try to only comment if someone asks me, or to acknowledge someone’s achievements or …

Okay, confession time: I was just pulled into Facebook by a notification and ended up reading a whole thread provoked by Al Franken’s behaviour back in 2006. I really, really, really wanted to post something… but boy, as I read other comments it turned nasty quickly! I didn’t post. Some people like being argumentative – I understand the need to express feelings, but I also enjoy getting along with people.

I pulled out of Facebook for the month before last year’s election because things were turning so nasty, and while I don’t want to be quite so totalitarian this time I think I should absolutely set up rules I can easily keep in mind whenever I’m tempted.

I feel like today’s blog has deteriorated in the same way a Facebook discussion thread tends to fall apart.

Seems appropriate.

Take Care
– S.

About Simon

Simon is an actor who found his way into audiobook narrating as a side-gig and seems to have made a success of it. With some training as an actor as a child (just a couple of hours a week, but it stuck) and 15 years working inside the BBC (ending up as one of the presenters/newsreaders on BBC Radio 4 in London) he found the ideal combination for an audiobook narrator. Found his way to California two decades ago and never left.

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2 Responses to The Social Notwork

  1. Marion Calleja November 17, 2017 at 10:40 am #

    Simon, I’ve been an admirer of yours for several years now, ever since listening to “The Idiot” after which I felt compelled to know more about you.
    I was amazed to discover that we had two things in common – we hailed from the same seaside town and we’d even attended the same secondary school, albeit the girls’ as opposed to the boys’.
    I’ve just celebrated 50 years of living in Canada and I can honestly say that you are the only person I have encountered who shares both of those aspects of life during that time. People from that part of the world are rare over here in my experience.
    Just thought I would let you know that.

  2. Jan Johnston November 17, 2017 at 6:25 am #


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