Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Facebook vs. Blogging

with 9 comments

As I’ve been musing a bit lately about blogland I’ve wondered about how other people think about Facebook vs. blogs.

I tend to flatter myself by thinking of personal blogs as a medium that is about artistry.  Blog templates themselves are often beautiful in their own right (which is why I like reading the posts on the site itself rather than through Bloglines or Google Reader).  The banner picture are frequently beautiful shots are overlaid with a carefully chosen title often tell you a bit more about the person writing them than simply their name.  Both give you a bit of a picture of the person’s outlook on life.

The writing is long-form compared to Facebook blurbs and snippets, more of a story or a thought out thought.  And those are often insightful and sometimes even embroidered with language in a beautiful, clever or funny way.   The only other place I get semi-polished writing from my friends are Christmas letters and those, by their nature, are more big picture reviews than reflections on the particular.

And, of course, I love the photography so beautifully displayed on several of the blogs I read.  The pictures are full of life, color, action and vibrancy from other people’s lives; chosen as art in and of themselves.

I imagine that almost everyone else who reads this blog has a Facebook account (and I don’t).  I’ve chosen not to engage in Facebook mostly because, from the outside, the content seems so fractured and overwhelming and demanding.  My email overflows daily, the local, state, and international news constantly change, and the numerous workblogs I read already overwhelm me with their cries of urgency: “Read me,”  “Respond to me.”  I long . . . I long . . . for depth and for thoughtfulness and for beauty which is why I choose not to participate in Facebook, because I’m don’t think it would give me enough of any of those things to be worth the flood of more information.  And I fear it would crowd out more the very thing I wish most to engage in in the time I give to creating art.  And I wonder, if for other people, Facebook crowds out the time or desire to engage in the demanding artistry of blogging.

Those are my musings on the matter but I’m wary of my evaluation of an activity I don’t engage in.  I’ve come to the point where I need to converse with other people who interact with blogs (either writing or reading them).  So here are some of my earnest questions to you.  If you don’t have a blog do you find that using Facebook and reading blogs are fundamentally different experiences?  What do you think makes them different?  If you have an active blog (or a blog you wish was active, or a blog you have put aside because you like Facebook better) and a Facebook account why do you have both?  Do you use them differently?  Are they different tools?  Different mediums?


Written by furthermusings

August 2, 2009 at 11:25 am

Posted in Blogroll

9 Responses

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  1. I do think that there are major differences between blogging and Facebook, although some of it depends on your personal approach to blogging.

    For me Facebook is about “social networking”. A convenient way to keep in touch with a broad network of people. But I don’t do Facebook the way many people do. I don’t do Facebook aps, and I block about half of my “friends” status updates… those of “friends” who are just acquaintances about whom I don’t need to know what they had for dinner or if their baby took one nap or two.

    Blogging is about more in-depth thought, reflection and (from my perspective) sharing life with an audience that has more than a 2-second attention span. When I started blogging it was a much needed space for self-expression and reflection. My blog is currently on hiatus… perhaps because right now I have more face-to-face community to do that kind of processing with than I have in a long time. But it’s definitely not on hiatus because Facebook has taken its place. They are two different mediums with different purposes for me.

    That’s my two-cents.


    August 2, 2009 at 2:48 pm

  2. I like to say that Facebook is great for helping you feel like you’re keeping in touch with your friends. And wasting time.

    Blogs and Facebook are two different animals. Facebook facilitates short communication among a group of friends – mainly updates on what’s going on in life at the moment. And there’s all the time-wasting apps.

    Our blog was originally for writing on general musings, but has turned more into long-form family updates.

    Keep in mind that many blogs can be just as boring as mine – standard template, few pictures. Perhaps you’re referring to the best of the blog medium (of which I am not a part). I frankly don’t know what the “best” of the Facebook medium would be. Perhaps the best apps? The best and most active groups? I’m not sure I’ve seen much on Facebook that shouts “excellence” to me. But that’s not why I’m on it – it is a useful tool for what it does.


    August 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

  3. I have to say an almost exact “Ditto!” to Elizabeth’s comment. Definitely for the bit about the differing roles of Facebook and blogging. My blog isn’t on hiatus, however, I’m just lazy about writing for it, and I have been ever since grad school. I do have grand plans to reinvigorate it with a new server, new domain name, new design and new purpose, but that might be a while yet… I’ve also thought about doing some kind of direct import of my blog posts into Facebook (as there is some overlap – I did post the same video in both places today, for example…) but every time I contemplate that, I resist, mainly because I still keep my blog semi-private and I definitely don’t consider all the random old high school acquaintances the audience for my blog…


    August 3, 2009 at 6:44 pm

  4. Lee, I hadn’t thought about Facebook as means to embrace mindlessness (like popping in a DVD). I think that’s a fair way to think about and embrace it.

    I’m not sure I think there’s a “best of the blog medium” to me. I could see best of a particular blog genre. I love blogs that are artistry but I also enjoy some update type blogs (including yours) and in the work world I think blogs are a fantastic medium for people working on things I want to know about but are too obscure for mainstream media (state politics minutia or macro-econ).


    August 4, 2009 at 7:05 am

  5. and then there’s my blog….lol!


    August 4, 2009 at 2:45 pm

  6. Ah! I really like your blog . . . great pictures with lots of energy.


    August 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm

  7. “And I wonder, if for other people, Facebook crowds out the time or desire to engage in the demanding artistry of blogging.”

    Reading others’ blogs does this exact thing for me. If I check my Google reader (which I only use to learn of recent updates, like you I don’t read them there) and get surfing before laying down my own thoughts, my creativity is sapped. During times of blog “fasting” I am far more creative and more self-confident in my uniqueness (for lack of a better word) as a writer/photographer.

    For my purposes, blogging and Facebook are different tools. Blogging provides a creative outlet while Facebook is used for networking. I’ve easily reconnected to old friends who have encouraged me in adoption, old Sunday School teachers who I can pray for as they serve as missionaries in Asia, old friends-as-strong-as-family members whose grandparents are ailing, and family members who are dealing with some really challenging life changes. The key word here is “easily” because I certainly could have connected with them via email or phone calls with a lot of diligent pursuit. Facebook makes the connection part very very simple.

    Sometimes the information from FB does get overwhelming. But then I do this amazing thing: I ignore Facebook (gasp!). I control the tool instead of it controlling me. : )


    August 4, 2009 at 9:18 pm

  8. Thanks all.

    RT. I’m always impressed with people who can exhibit self-control around media technologies. No cable for us for just that reason and the internet is just as bad for me.

    I’m interested in the networking aspect of facebook. That part doesn’t resonate with me as it seems you already know the people you friend . . . is it like an online Rolodex? Perhaps one that updates when the switch jobs? That seems like it might be helpful if your work world and personal worlds aren’t that different. But I can’t imagine networking with people on Facebook from my old job, but then perhaps it’s the natural extrovert in me that feels like I don’t need this networking tool since I would only use it to network with my friends from personal life and I’m not shy about tapping those contacts when I need to (right Lee?!).


    August 6, 2009 at 9:07 am

  9. Rumination and introspection are not my strongest points, and writing down my thoughts can be difficult. Hence, twitter is my preferred medium of expression at the moment. Simplifying things down to 140 characters is satisfying and a welcome limit in the internet realm of endless “chatter”.


    August 10, 2009 at 7:43 am

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