Midwinter Social Media Weirdness

black typewriter machine typing on white printer paper

There’s a strange thing that happens to me every December on Facebook — but it has nothing to do with holidays or decorations or the weather.

I start noticing names.

All year long I don’t really notice names in other peoples’ comment threads. I read the threads, but who said what doesn’t stick in my brain, not really. Which is probably weird all on its own, but hello, my brain is weird. I am, in the words of a good friend and co-worker, sometimes A Lot Too Much.

But this weirdness is specific to December, every year. Around midwinter I start noticing people in Facebook threads whose names are vaguely familiar. So I figure we must be Facebook friends & I check to see who our mutuals are. But then STRANGENESS ensues. They turn out not to be my Facebook friends after all.

Which would be fine, except that I have no idea if we were Facebookfriends but they unfriended me, or if

  • we’ve never been Facebookfriends and they simply look familiar because we do have mutuals and they’ve been showing up in threads forever
  • I’ve seen their names forever because we have loads of mutuals but we’ve never been Facebook friends because I have A Weird Problem with clicking friend request.

That problem is clear and evergreen: I can’t make myself “friend” a stranger unless I’ve been introduced by a mutual online or met someone in person AND remembered to ask if it was okay to do it. (Which, given my Swiss cheese memory, is extremely rare.)

But anyway. I digress.

I just think it’s weird that I only notice this for the same 3 weeks or so out of. And only on Facebook.

Then again, I could just say, “Facebook is weird,” and that would cover pretty much every weirdness possible, including deliberate emotional manipulation by the people running the platform.

Postscript: I shared the above information as a post on Facebook (because blog link sharing is just a short slide to invisibility) and I got a tremendous, wonderful rsponse.

It’s a great thread of friends musing over the mysteries of, “Say, how DID we end up friends in this Facebook place?” and remarks from friends who have noticed the same “Were they or weren’t they?” phenomenon and had some insights into how & why it might be happening.

It’s that kind of interaction & engagement with kind, talented, thoughtful folks that keeps me *ON* Facebook. Most days it’s the ONLY reason I stay on there.

That’s a point much more universal than Facebook, to be fair. The people make it worthwhile.

In other news, I’m close enough to finishing the Ghost Town cozy mystery that my brain is tossing out a gazillion Other Ideas about things to write. I have 3 story-prompt stories to bash out for a charity anthology I’ve been invited to join, a gargoyle short piece scratching at the back of my brain, and a winter newsletter to draft.

Will I get all that done before the end of the year? HAHAHAHAHA no. Undoubtedy not. But! I’ve been getting words on the page every day for a whole week, and I will keep plugging away. I even have a first line for one of the charity stories: The dog was never the problem. It might be a Naomi, Serena & Parker short. Or that might just be the springboard into new characters…time will tell.

Tonight I have pizza to eat & a couple of trees to decorate with cat-friendly ornaments. Good times.

Until later!