Farm Press Blog

Facebook, time well spent

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But I have discovered something in the year since I first logged onto Facebook. I learn stuff. And I’m able to get a few folks interested in some of the things we do at Farm Press. I’ve found ways to let my non-aggie friends know how important farmers are to their health and well being. I’ve been able to defend farmers from the segment of the population that doesn’t understand that 1950’s-era farming is no longer adequate.

As I’ve mentioned before, I am not an early adopter of technology.

I slowly evolved from a manual typewriter to an electric machine and then gradually accepted computer and word processing technology—although I’m still not completely certain what the difference between word processing and typing might be.

I adapted to email. I learned to surf the web with relatively few wipeouts but picked up a virus or two along the way (it must have been something in the e-water). I traded in a perfectly good 35 millimeter camera for an equally perfectly good digital camera that looks just like the perfectly good 35 and is a lot more convenient.

I’ve begun to shoot videos. I Google: It’s easier to use than a dictionary.

And I have become a member of the Facebook faithful.

I thought at one time that Facebook would be a monumental waste of time, an opportunity to chit chat incessantly about nothing and have people from my past rediscover me when I had very good reasons for ignoring them all these many years.

I was right.

Facebook can be a colossal black hole that sucks you in and destroys your brain. And people from your past will find you. You can surf but you cannot hide.

I started Facebooking for purely selfish reasons—to let people, even those from my past that I had successfully ignored for 30 years, know about a book I’d written. I know. What a cad.

But I have discovered something in the year since I first logged onto Facebook. I learn stuff. And I’m able to get a few folks interested in some of the things we do at Farm Press. I’ve found ways to let my non-aggie friends know how important farmers are to their health and well being. I’ve been able to defend farmers from the segment of the population that doesn’t understand that 1950’s-era farming is no longer adequate.

I have Facebook friends who provide updates on crop conditions. An aerial applicator in the Texas Panhandle, an industry representative in the Delta, a writer from the Midwest, farmers from across the country and numerous others interested in agriculture routinely report on what’s happening in their world. That’s useful information.

And I have rediscovered friends—some of the ones I ignored for decades, some with whom I worked closely at one stage of my career or another, some I haven’t heard from since high school. And I’ve enjoyed getting reacquainted with most of them, but there are a few who have reminded me why I haven’t bothered to call since 1967.

I don’t Twitter.

rsmith@farmpress.com

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