Walk in or walk on

(04 July 2018) – When I left Facebook in March, I had close to 500 contacts. Facebook calls them my friends, which I find annoying. I wouldn’t shout out “hey, how’s it going, eh?” if I saw one walking down the other side of the street. I wouldn’t recognize most if I did see them in the flesh. But still. There were 500 people reading what I wrote. Five hundred people going weak in the knees at the sight of a cute photograph of my dog. Five hundred people anxiously waiting for me to tell them what I think.

The idea was to get away from Facebook and concentrate on my own web site, the repository of my writing and photographs. I have built it up to the staggering number of 20 subscribers. Sometimes, my wife shares my blog posts on her Facebook page and they radiate out from there. I usually post them onto my Twitter account where I have 18 followers, many of whom are also subscribers to the blog.

The reality is a bit more numerous than this. Yesterday 162 people viewed my site and today, there have been 128 by 7:45 pm. The best day was May 10 when I had 383 views. That was when I posted about James Paxton’s no-hitter against the Blue Jays.

It’s a bit precious for me to stand aloof from Facebook and encourage other people to share my columns on their pages. It’s sort of like deciding I need a new thingamabob and noticing that WalMart has some on sale. I won’t shop there so I give you the cash and ask you to go in and get it for me. Not an honourable thing to do. Not something I should do.

So. Should I continue to give Zuckerberg the cold shoulder, or should I quietly walk back to where the people are?

It’s time to step up or step back, walk in or walk on.


  1. Additional consideration on that James Paxton May 10th tsunami of views… does wordpress indicate 383 views OR 383 viewers. I know that some days I view your column at least two or three times. If the highs were “just views” rather than unique visitors that would be even more of a impetus to step back on Zuckerberg’s face.
    When I signed onto facebook more than a decade ago I lasted only a month before it irritated me sufficiently to take the walk away. I stayed away briefly and then decided the problem was I had not sufficiently learned how to control my participation and my use of the editing features. Since then I simply accept it all as much the same as navigating concrete sidewalks, paying attention to traffic lights, choosing my poison (milk, yogurt, eggs) at Minh’s Variety aka Kitty Cafe on Wyndham Street and a range of other adjustments.
    In facebook I only check newsfeed when I feel like it and I approach my “wall” with the same hat on I used to wear when editing or publishing magazines rather than as my substitute for personal interaction with other humanoids. And once a week I play Joni’s big yellow taxi to remind of times before Zuckerberg and others paved over the internet.
    PS. if someone or other occasionally posts irritating or unacceptable (to me) comment on an item on my wall I just delete and/or unfriend and/or block. Then when accused of censorship just reply “yep, my house my rules”.

    1. Author

      I’m not sure. I doubt they are all unique views, but I’ll dig a bit deeper now. The more interesting piece is the number of people who engage by making comments. and how many register to get the columns by e-mail. Lots of room for growth on both counts.

  2. for what my opinion is worth, I believe that staying one step removed from Facebook serves you better. It’s a slow climb to gain more readers, but as your readership expands, they will repost and those of their ‘friends’ who are interested will self direct to your blog.

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