Time Goes By, Facebook and Twitter

blogging bug image Several newer readers have emailed about following or subscribing to Time Goes By on Twitter and/or Facebook.

Although there is a long list of posts I want to write that are actually related to being old, I also had two rather lengthy meetings Thursday on local elder issues, city and county, taking up the morning and afternoon and not much time to write.

So this is what you get today, Friday – something that takes no reading or research on my part but may need some explaining and could be useful to some readers.

I have had a Facebook account (ronni.bennett1) and a Twitter account (ronni7) for several years. As far as I can recall, I have never tweeted except perhaps when I created the account to test it.

However, this blog (and The Elder Storytelling Place blog) are set up to automatically post a link at Twitter to each day's story at the time it is published. So if you follow ronni7 on Twitter, that's one way to read either or both blogs.

I pay about the same amount of attention to my Facebook account. I never write anything there but both blogs are set up to automatically post each day's story at FB.

What came to light in some of the email from readers is the fact that there is no way to know here on this page that it is available on Facebook and/or Twitter.

You just have to pity me, I guess: I am so removed and so disinterested in those two worlds that it had not occurred to me to tell you about subscription options beyond email and rss. When I have some extra moments sometime, I might add those links.

Facebook and Twitter aficionados tell me now and then that I am hopelessly out of touch and that I should be tweeting and facebooking throughout the day.

Really? Is that so? When is it I should be doing that? During three-plus hours I'm reading several dozen alerts and newsletters and following their links to stories on aspects of aging, in addition the news in general throughout the day?

Or how about during the two to six hours (depending on complexity) it takes to write a blog post? Could I ask for input, do you think, about the right phrasing or whether a certain paragraph is necessary?

Maybe I should be T-ing and FB-ing while I'm trying to spend enough time exercising each day (not always successfully) or grocery shopping or playing with the cat or vacuuming or cooking or cleaning the bathrooms or speaking with friends on the telephone or answering the couple dozen emails a day from TGB readers. Should I tweet you about that?

I suppose I could cut back on pleasure reading or movies or music listening or the several TV shows I like and fill that time tweeting about what I would be doing if I were not tweeting.

Or maybe – now, here's a thought: whenever I catch myself being still for awhile so as to think seriously about something and maybe gain some insight or new understanding, I could tweet about what I'm pondering. Unless you think tweeting defeats the purpose of thought.

Yes, I'm being deliberately snarky and you may think I'm exaggerating but I honestly do not know where in my day I could fit Twitter and Facebook even if I thought I had anything useful to say. I hear a lot from elders that they follow their grandchildren on FB and I think that's good and fine. But I have no grandchildren.

A couple of other things Facebook/Twitter users should know about my interaction with those two media:

  • I accept all friend invitations – even the names I don't recognize; I just assume they are TGB readers.

  • I reject all other types of invitations on Facebook.

Basically, I have the two accounts to accommodate people who want to read TGB and ESP via Twitter or Facebook.

A couple of days ago, someone said on my FB page that he or she could not find the subscribe button there. As I think this post pretty well acknowledges, I am ignorant of how Facebook works. I do know that it tells me on the settings page that subscribing is implemented. Beyond that, I know nothing and I don't see the button either.

But wait – it just occurred to me: why “subscribe” on Facebook? Don't you receive friends' postings on your own Facebook page automatically so all that's needed is to friend the person you want to read regularly?

On the other hand, what do I know. As I said, I'm a Facebook ignoramus and worse (or better, depending on your point of view), with no interest in being further enlightened about it.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary B Summerlin: Precious Memories of Pet – My Pet Squirrel


I am sooooo with you on this! What I also don't understand is how people get any work done (on their jobs) between FB, T, & text messaging! Between this e-nonsense & cell phones is it any wonder that something vital may be overlooked in the workplace? I'm so thankful that your blog has taken precedence over FB & T. Thanks for that.:) Dee


Facebook is really creepy.

In order to keep up with my high school classmates and alumni activity I opened an account using a nickname.

Now I am constantly seeing my nickname when I am online engaged in work not related to FB or my HS.

Huffington Post has a similar thing where you have fans and friends and followers. Your comments can be "favorited" [is that even a word?]. It constantly reminds me that I am in "stealth" mode and warns(?) me that people won't be able to see what I am reading. Why would I want that??? That is supposed to be a good thing??

I don't friend anyone on FB or HuffPo; who are you people? Why do you care about me or my opinions? Where the heck do you get the time to friend/fan/follow several thousand other posters?

Am I tilting at windmills fighting a losing battle for my privacy?

Just call me...Susan Quixote. And so I continue my quest...

Some time back one of my colleagues asked me about a procedure. I asked him if he would like me to show him how to do it. I never forgot his response:
"Don't tell me more than I need to know."
As a confirmed Luddite, I don't tweet or friend, nor do I text. I'm too busy to bother.

I too am a facebook subscriber. My grandchildren are there. I can see them there and not be judgemental. One grandson is off to Afganistan for a second tour. I can follow him there on Facebook.

Twitter. I have an account and hopefully can get a link to Comic Con tickets there. Thats what they told us to do any way.

The worst Facebook thing for me is that I am an administrator for the American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop Point Loma page. I post photos of our latest offerings. Now they are changing the format, and I have a VERY long adaptation time to changes. If nothing else, this forces me to keep up with all the grandkids twice a week. :)

Yes, do add the links. You are my starting point every day, but the links will come in handy for someone.

I read a quote somewhere that a way to describe twitter is to envision hundreds of people running into a room, yelling a few words and running out again. I would hate that whether it's on paper or for real. If I ever succumb to Twitter, please, somebody shoot me! I tolerate FB because it's the only way I ever know what my kids and grandchildren are doing, and because I post a photo a day I have taken, and I have a bigger fan base (50 and growing) than I ever did with shows and exhibits. Not intended to be commercial, just to share my passion.

I started Facebook because my kids were there and it was a way to hear about their lives. I also could share photos there which I would not use in the outside blog because I do not accept all friend requests there but only those I know in some way which can include the blog world. I keep it safe for them this way but I don't post often. I have to remind myself to put up a farm post about lambs and calves once in awhile or something we've done.

But I joined a lot of social media as I was told to do that to let readers know about my eBooks. That has proved so frustrated (and it includes Twitter) partly because I feel like you about posting stuff. My blogs are easy. They have subjects and I write fast about that with which I am concerned. I don't aim for every day and they can go anywhere for subjects. Twitter though??? It's short, and when I first had some people follow me I was in shock. I kind of figured some of them wanted me to follow them back but I didn't and soon lost them. Or maybe they got tired of nothing coming. I picked up some political types to follow and that was not smart as I follow politics elsewhere too much as it is and in limited characters, they really don't say much there-- even if they say it frequently. I have no idea how people use Twitter in a way that works but I am struggling along with it but go there, try to think of something about the books to write, look at all the tweets out there to read, get depressed, and leave. I couldn't bring myself to ask my email or Facebook friends to add me on any of the media I joined (Linkedin was also suggested); so I basically have nobody anywhere. My social media is a social hermitage ;) And worse I am getting to where I hate social media. At least I don't have to go there, but when I don't, it doesn't accomplish much to have it...

Like Ronni, I've set my blog to post to FB and tweet automatically, though the twitter feed has recently broken (thanks Google!) and I don't have time to figure out how to fix it.

I didn't ask for those environments and I don't want them, but FB in particular follows me around the web in an entirely annoying way.

At root, I don't want my internet experience mediated by an algorithm that thinks it knows what I want better than I do myself. The early name for the use we make of the web -- "browsing" -- fit what I find delightful in this environment: a spontaneous serendipity that enlarges my world. Facebook in particular seems to want to confine me circles in which I know and am known. Not my interest at all.

Re Facebook following you around the web:

A while ago, I removed everything personal about me from my Facebook page (there wasn't much) but the bare minimum to keep the account open. I don't feel like looking at it right now, but I think that means name and not much else - maybe location.

I also took the time to go through their endless privacy settings (pages and pages and pages) and set everything to NO - whatever it is - except what is necessary to allow people to get TGB and ESP via Facebook.

Your comment explains nicely exactly why I have never commented at Huffington Post, nor even registered.

There is another stumbling block at Amazon. If you shop there, beware of the page at or just after checkout that wants you to post what you just bought to Facebook and/or Twitter.

The page is cleverly designed so that it is easy to post that information to either service by accident.

Amen! I couldn't have said it better. I'm happier "doing" things instead of talking about them.

I set my location to a joke location but still Facebook adds near Walla Walla where I live. I really don't care if people know but it annoys me to be "outed" whether I like it or not. I signed up to keep up with my grandkids.

Facebook and Twitter appear to be here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. I have both accounts. On Twitter I follow a few people, such as an author, a NASA astronaut and a nature photographer, but I seldom tweet. On Facebook I keep up with some relatives and friends (to whom I post comments at times). I also follow two nature photographers and a couple of businesses on FB (although "follow" is more appropriately a Twitter term).

For me, Facebook and Twitter provide an "intimacy," if you will, that blogs in general do not. Blogs are more akin to reading letters; social media are more like talking on the phone.

Take this blog, for instance. Ronni posts a topic, we respond. But there's very little interaction between us responders or between Ronni and us individually (at least on the blog itself).

Blogs are more a one-way means of communicating online, while FB is more two-way, unless one chooses not to post comments; in that case, FB becomes one-way. We have a choice as to how we use, or don't use, blogs and social media.

Each has its place, but my guess is that, as a way of communicating, blogs will become less used, with social media more and more the way to keep in touch online between people and their family and friends, and between businesses and customers as well.

I disliked FB for quite a while until I friended my niece and nephew on it. Now I feel much more involved in their lives.

The times they are a-changin'!

P.S. Janinsanfran, I'm curious as to how FB follows you around the web. In my experience, I either go to it just like going to any other web page, or I don't go there, and if I'm not at the FB site, then it's just like not being at any other website; it becomes nonexistent, in other words.

I actually closed my Facebook page which is no small challenge in itself. And I annoy people greatly because I won't go there -- especially the young people in my "Occupy: group and the Democratic Party.

I have better, more productive and more interesting things to do.

I joined Facebook out of curiosity. I regret doing so. The only way I use it now is when I can click on the FB logo to draw attention to an interesting article or a petition that I would like to promote.

I tried following my granddaughters page but there were too many years between our generations and I was quickly bored by the teenage nonsense that I found there.

Ronni--I think you have bent over backward to accommodate your readers re FB & Twitter, as is.
I joined FB a couple of years ago because it was the only way to have any idea what was going on in the lives of my brother's grandkids - and they seemed to enjoy my being there. However, between their dirty mouths and FB's increasingly ludicrous take on privacy, I dropped membership about six months ago. I miss knowing what's going on with "the kids" but otherwise don't miss it.

I think you are doing just fine the way it is! I don't FB or twitter, and I am just fine with that. Keep up the good work, Ronni.

The fact is, we have all adapted to life in cyberspace and are just becoming more discriminating in the ways we use these services.
I still enjoy long telephone chats and hand-written notes and can't stand texting. But I also blog. I use Twitter for keeping up with news and commentary. Facebook is of limited use to me but nice for learning what a few friends are up to that I would be out of touch with otherwise.
I'm starting to be distressed, however, by the floods of bad writing out there, and that's my main gripe at this point.
Your blog is a welcome oasis in this respect, Ronni, because you deliver quality.

I too HATE Facebook for its invasion of privacy, but I LOVE Twitter for its efficiency as a news link! I keep my followers to a minimum - if they tweet unnecessary gibberish, I "unfollow" them. I don't want followers since I only tweet once at the end of each day ("zzzzz") as a bookmark to start reading from the next morning.

Having a Twitter/FB link on your blog merely tells people your Twitter/FB location so they follow you - how else would they know where you are on those sites? Alternatively, rather than figuring out how to link from your blog, you could merely type your Twitter/FB names in your sidebar and let individuals search for that name in T/FB themselves.

Twitter actually saves me time by reducing numerous steps to one location of links.

As a new follower of your blogs, thanks for all you do.

I've tried FB, Twit, LinkedIn for years - and gleefully and finally deleted everyone of them.

Decidedly it is total waste of my precious time I have left on this Earth. (My thumbs got tired!)

"I'd rather be fish'n . . . "

I think you are far more accommodating than I. I just can't be bothered to have a FB or Twitter account.

I heard a writer describe Twitter like writing a novel without using the letter P.

I've done the same thing you have. My blog posts automatically to my Twitter and Facebook accounts (and the Twitter account posts automatically to Facebook). Both accounts exist only to notify my readers that there's a new post on my blog. I have, however, put links to them in my blog's sidebar so readers will know they exist.

I have always thought Facebook is a greedy untrustworthy invader of privacy. I will never understand why people want to put their private matters there for all the world to see, intentionally or otherwise. My account is under a pseudonym and is as private as I can make it (until Facebook changes something yet again).

If I want to communicate with family, I use the phone or email.

There's such a thing as too close. Arm's length suits me better. Like to keep my opinions to myself.

Ronni, thanks for all you do which is way above and beyond. I love your blog and really appreciate the time you spend in keeping us informed. Saves me a lot of time!

I too don't Tweet, FB or text. I just tell people to get over it. Such a waste of time. I have far better things to do.

Looks like I'm almost alone here in liking FB. I moved a few years ago from Kentucky to British Columbia and I find it a great way to keep in touch with old friends from Kentucky, college and high school friends, my children, and friends from an email list I participated in for about 15 years. I'm certain many of these people would fade from my life if I depended solely on letters, phone calls and emails to stay in touch. FB truly is a 'social' activity for me. When I travel I enjoy sharing my travel photos via FB--I would never take the time to email them to every one of my FB friends. FB is what you make it. Don't say or share things that you would regret any of your friends seeing, which is what you should do with any form of communication.

I have very little personal info on FB after removing most of the limited amount I first listed. I limit FB friending to only family and old friends known to me (just one relative has FB and rarely uses it either.) Most don't use the computer. Mostly we all communicate by text and phone -- emails are very limited. A couple of former classmates did find me through FB in the beginning. I only check my FB every few months. I haven't been interested in Twitter for the reasons you mention. I do occasionally Skype.

Overall, I think blogging is declining in use, but I continue to enjoy a certain amount of this activity.

I love the depth of your analysis and the thoughtfulness you show in your blog. This depth is simply not possible in Facebook or Twitter. Please keep going the way you are and don't waste more than the minimum time you've already spent on those other two social media.

I like you just the way you are,
Many thanks for all that you do around here.

Ronni, you just accepted my FB friend request--thanks so much, now it is easier than ever for me to get to your blog. Otherwise, I would have to make a special point to get there each day (which is what I have been doing until now). Another reason I go to FB each day is that it serves as an aggregator of links to some of my favorite blog reading and news stories. See how FB can increase your blog traffic? Really, Ronni and others, it's not so bad. Don't be too hard on it. :-)

We Bloggers are much better writers than most tweeters and facebookers have time for...I also share timegoesby links, and enjoy writing haiku on twitter and FB, but spend most of my time writing in the word processor for publication in my several blogs, which I share PRN to the social sites, not caring much if I get any likes, but being thrilled when I do get a little feedback.

facebook & twitter reminds me of the housewives party lines on MaBell...where We organized the Women's Movement during the '70s.

The social networking thing is very creepy and reminds me of the television sets that watch people in the novel 1984. Or is it Brave New World.

Wow, how many diverse cyber opinions! I've had a blog for a few years but get 100x the input on my FB account. As a retired educator, I love to keep up with my domestic and international students via FB. I like to post pix and josh with friends, an eclectic bunch. In a very rural area, FB keeps friends informed & folks connected.

Yup. You have a subscribe button on Facebook.

I think SuzyR said it very well. My blog is me expressing myself and that's about it. FB is more like a conversation.

It's definitely a waste of time IF you don't want to have a light conversation with your FB friends! In which case, you shouldn't have joined in the first place.

And - I don't understand when some of you talk about how it invades your privacy! What?!? You put whatever you want on there. It doesn't invade anything, as far as I can tell.

And I choose who I want to be able to SEE what I write.

Well, I'm torn. It can be a time suck if you let it. Otherwise, it seems harmless.

What I DON'T like about it is how unintuitive it is, as far as figuring out how it works, etc. And how they sometimes make a change without letting the users know first. A bit arrogant...

I am on Facebook but for the life of me I don't know why - I really think it is a terrible waste of time and I really don't need to know when my so-called friends sneeze, have a headache or do whatever they do that is not something I really need to know. Twittering and texting are equally foreign to me. I wonder if today's younger generation's thumbs will survive - or if they will survive, considering the amount of texting that is done while driving.

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