Every day I write. That much is true. Some days I write pieces of books, and some days I write pieces of blogs, and some days I write letters and instructions and grocery lists, but every day I write.
Part of that writing happens because of my job. I write emails. I write notes to myself to remember what I’m supposed to be doing. I write comments on student work. Every day I write.
A large part of that is because of social media. I am a frequent poster to social media, so much so that I advise you to go ahead and unfriend me before we even meet if you like a nice, quiet, and orderly news feed. Every day I write. Every day I post my thoughts, my opinions, my frustrations, my dreams, and my good wishes for others on social media. Sometimes I post very fervent reflections on my beliefs. Sometimes my Facebook page reads like a “This I Believe” archive site.
I post, and my thoughts float on down the stream, and I lose track of them, and if I forget what I said or even that I said it, there’s no point in looking for it later. No matter how much in love with my own post I might be, I will not take it out to admire it again later because putting it there in the first place is an act of saying goodbye to it. I say what I say and, like any conversation, the moment passes, and the comment floats away.
That’s okay. That’s the way Facebook works, and maybe that accounts for its popularity. Things happen on Facebook in a way that mimics the fleeting nature of face-to-face conversation.
On the other hand, I created a blog post about some genealogy work that I did called “Infamous Cousins” on August 13, 2011. The most recent comment I have received on that post was submitted on December 12, 2014. That comment might read a little like spam, but it really isn’t. It’s just my uncle. After more than three years, family members are still discovering this post and still commenting on it.
Facebook is the conversation, but WordPress is the book.
I often post reflections on Facebook these days that I would have once reserved for the blog, and I do that for a couple of reasons: (1) It’s easier, especially if I am already logged in to Facebook on my phone; (2) I get more response when I post straight to Facebook because lots of people skip links but read status updates.
Sometimes I regret that I didn’t keep up with my status updates. Sometimes I would like to be able to link back to my status updates in order to further develop an idea. Sometimes I would like to be able to search through my status updates just to find out if I’ve already told the same joke, or if I actually told it three times last week. None of that happens easily on Facebook, but it does happen easily on a blog.
Facebook is for passing thoughts. Blogs are for projects.
Facebook is for making a speech at the high school pep rally that no one, including yourself, will ever remember. Blogs are for writing inscriptions in high school year books that someone will pick up and smile over in another 35 years.
Facebook is not the book. The blog is the book.
Every day I write.