Friends: How to Add Them and Why (Dale Carnegie, Pay Attention!)
Having friends on Facebook—as of 2012, you can add up to five thousand of them—is like being on a mailing list. You have the option of inviting everyone in your email address book when you first sign up for a Facebook account. If you haven’t done this yet, you can do it now. Click on the small arrow in the upper right-hand corner of your Facebook page, next to the word “Home.” Select “Account Settings.” Now on the left side of the page you will see the words “Invite Friends;” click on that. Once you do, you can see there are a few options. Either you can enter your email address and password and Facebook will automatically invite everyone from your account, or you can enter in email addresses one at a time. The other way to get Facebook friends is to add them. Once you add a friend, you have to wait for them to accept your request. One way to find friends is to look at the Facebook pages of people like me, as I have many friends who are artists. I already have five thousand friends, which is the maximum, but I have another page as well. Even if you don’t “friend” me, you can still look through my friends and begin “friending” them if you like. But please do friend me, because that will subscribe you to my Facebook updates.
To illustrate the dos and don’ts of friending, let me tell you how I got involved, reluctantly, in Facebook.
My Facebook Story
My wife and I are a collaborative art team, and our body of work includes visual art as well as performance and conceptual art. We work with different museum directors and curators, most of whom are in New York, though many are not. We know that all the relationships we have in the art world are important and, like anyone, we try to be as sensitive as we can and not burn bridges or make enemies, even if we do not share someone’s opinion or taste.
The story began one day in 2008, when I got a form email saying that I had been bitten by a zombie and asking me to join Facebook. I usually ignored things like that, but this time it was different because it was from a curator I knew and with whom my wife and I had worked. So, reluctantly, to keep up the playing spirit, I joined Facebook.
At first I found frustrating that I had to answer so many questions, but not taking it very seriously allowed me to start getting very silly with it. For a profile picture, I put an image of Harry Potter that I got from the web. I entered joke interests so that it that sounded like I was ten years old. Ultimately, of course, I joined the Zombies game on Facebook, which was the whole reason I had signed up. I invited all my friends and began exploring Facebook, but I couldn’t really figure it out. I kept getting messages alerting me that I had been bitten by more zombies, and I realized that I had to bite back—which meant that I had to invite a few of my friends to become zombies. The more friends I got to be zombies, the more points I earned, and I became stronger and better equipped to win fights. It may sound silly—or perhaps it won’t to some of you—but even though I thought it was ridiculous, I became addicted to it. I started to really enjoy competing with the friend and curator who invited me to join Facebook and play the game. It was just the kind of meaningless game playing that I had wanted to avoid, but instead I was going on Facebook every day and night to fight zombies and add friends.
To learn more about Brainard Carey and his services for artists, or to take a class from him, click here. To join one of his free weekly webinars, click here. To download the workbook mentioned in this series, click here.