My friend and fellow writer, Rachel, recently posted this on her blog about the effects of Facebook on one's life, especially as it relates to writing. I agree 100% with her and it really depresses me.
As she notes, before Facebook, I would sit down and compose a well-thought out (well, partially thought out) entry about writing or life or something involving the number 4. I would attempt to enlighten or entertain readers and myself in some way. I might add some hyperlinks to other sources or a photo or 2 if they were appropriate and I could find them for free and the result would be a mini-story, a glimpse into a portion of my life or brain or celebrity sighting.
But now, with my reliance on Facebook, everything becomes a sound byte. Rather than an entire essay, it's only 140 characters - usually less cuz, ya know, that's a lot of characters. I often use LOL or srsly or some other acronym to make my entry even less literary.
And what does that mean for my writing? Well, for one thing, I skip around a lot. I don't develop things the way I should. Facebook relies on people knowing a shorthand of sorts, whether it's current events, music lyrics, or an agreed-upon history. I don't have to tell the whole story because my Facebook friends know the backstory already.
I'm between drafts of a book right now, which usually means it's time to write a short story. I'm finding, however, that as I develop the outline, I'm trying to rush to the end without spending any time in the middle, with the stuff that actually happens. And I realized that this is the Facebook Effect: just get to the end.
Rachel says she's going on a FB diet. Maybe I should try that too. Srsly.