On Being Suckered Into Joining Facebook
July 2, 2009
Until a few days ago, I was one of those people who turned their nose up at the social networking site, Facebook. With three blogs and a website to maintain myself, I was very much against the idea of being tied to my computer even more by upping my "online presence". And why would anyone in their right mind want periodic updates on my life along the lines of "Chloe is staring at a blank page on her laptop. Only 2,000 words to write before teatime" or "Chloe had soup for lunch"?
I broke down last week however, when I heard that a large number of participants of the Chanticleer Summer School -- an amazing (and frankly life changing) choral workshop run by the San Francisco a cappella men's chorus Chanticleer which I attended last week at Sonoma State University -- had their own Facebook page. Suddenly I saw a good reason to succumb to the lure of the beast. Upon the prodding of two of Chanticleer's singers (Eric Alatorre and Brian Hinman, I will hold you both accountable forever!) I signed up for an account on Friday afternoon and prepared to be unimpressed.
The site is of course a big time-waster. But in terms of being able to stay connected with singers from all over the country, I think Facebook might become invaluable.
For one thing, I've been enjoying reliving the workshop experience by checking out photos people took during the week and hearing about their various singing endeavors upon return from Sonoma. Here's an example by fellow workshopper and music teacher Paulo Faustini who lives on the East Coast: "Vocalized the sopranos to a high F at 8:30 AM and then worked with the small group singing Hassler's Dixit Maria, and is now taking a break before a masterclass at 1 PM, and then more lessons later in the afternoon and an evening rehearsal. Wine may be needed at the end of the day!"
For another, Facebook might actually end up being a great business communications tool for me as I develop my vocal music radio show, VoiceBox, and various other journalistic and musical endeavors. For instance, the day after I returned from the workshop, I wrote a blog post about Chanticleer music director Joe Jennings' farewell concert. I was able to paste the link to the post on my Facebook page, which made it much more accessible to the people who were either at the concert and/or care most about it, but don't necessarily follow my blog on ArtsJournal. Readers, in turn, were easily able to comment on the blog post. A few wrote to say they'd signed up for the RSS feed to receive my blog regularly through ArtsJournal.
And when VoiceBox starts up again in the fall, I'll be able to alert a hopefully captive audience of singing buffs about the series and engage them as listeners.
The simple moral of the story: Sometimes it's good to get suckered into something. I've been slow on the uptake. But Facebook (or F$*!book as I've affectionately come to call the site) really does seem to hold promise as a cultural resource.