Wednesday, March 12, 2014

If My Fiction Characters Were On Facebook

I love developing characters in fiction writing. I know, I know, I’ve said that before but it’s true. The only thing you, the reader, will ever know about my characters is what I share. Even in a biography or memoir, you only truly know facts about the person that the writer reveals.

Recently Facebook celebrated its 10 year anniversary. They provided a link where you could view your personal FB history: posts, likes, pictures, comments, etc.  As I viewed mine, my reaction was: This is important enough to me to put on Facebook.

It got me to thinking, if my characters were on FB, what would it reveal to others about them. BUT, more importantly, those of you on FB, what does your FB reveal about you. If a person never met you, if your FB was the only evidence to your character, what would it reveal about you?

I have almost 700 FB friends. Sometimes I scratch my head over what some people share. For drama lovers, it’s a virtual paradise. It truly is a glimpse into a person’s psyche. Names/initials have been changed, but here goes.

R always posts about how she’s angry with someone: the mechanic, store clerk, her kids’ teachers neighbors, etc. Every day! Sometimes more than once a day. My advice – lighten up. You’re going to get an ulcer.

M always posts scripture, or inspirational quotes. Every day. I like that. Numerous people do this, also.

K always has some physical ailment. Always!  I wonder how someone can have so much wrong with them and still be alive. They are not an invalid or bedridden. My thought: This person needs the attention. 

A is always ranting and raving about someone or something, even her co-workers. This is not someone I care to hang out with.

B posts every little thing her kids do throughout the day: where they go, what they say, what they eat, what they’re wearing, etc. At least 10 times a day. This is a mother who never gets out. Well, except for doctor or other appointments for kids, which she thinks we all need to know about.

F always post negative things. It’s always a “Woe is me, guess what’s wrong in my life now?” Bless her heart! Find some joy in life, honey. Believe me, it’s there. No wonder things are bad when you only see the negative. 

C posts about food every day, throughout the day. I know for a fact she has an eating disorder. She hardly eats and is obsessed with weight gain. But if you read her FB posts, she eats delicious food throughout the day. It’s a smoke screen.

P posts about how blessed she is with amazing family, friends and co-workers. She shares all the activities she does with these wonderful people. Every day, sometimes more than once, she shares something about these amazing people who love her and love to hang out with her. I know her, and she is a sweet, caring, fun person. So? Is she trying to convince or reassure herself that she’s worthy?

S shares political posts repeatedly throughout the day. How can we say we're a Christian, yet post such hate-filled things? We can have conservative, God-pleasing views, but not spew hate. What does that say to the world? I believe in standing for truth and what's right, but not when the motive is pure hatred.

Truthfully, most people are well-balanced. Or balanced enough. Facebook is a small window of what’s important in their lives. But, a word of caution. What does your FB posts say about you?


  1. Hmmmmm...I wonder what a casual observer, someone who doesn't know me would think I am like by reading only my Facebook posts. Hopefully, they would see that I love life, my family and most of all, my God. I am blessed and have learned the joy of contentment, but every once in a while, I get riled up about something. I might post it on Facebook, but I try to do it in a way that expressed my frustration without being ugly or hurtful to others.

  2. You are a very balanced person, Jan. We all post "junk" at times. I'm guilty also. But, I'm referring to people who only post like that.