Why you might regret not being on Facebook

IMG_0131I know. You have real friends. You don’t need to gather a bunch of virtual ones. Your family lives on your doorstep, or you visit, phone and Skype. As for using it as a business tool, why on earth would you want a professional page on a social networking site anyway? Besides, your work is going just swimmingly without all the extra promotion a Facebook page might—yes, it’s not guaranteed—provide. And you’ve undoubtedly got far better things do you with your time.

My translation page is certainly not anything to write home about (so I won’t) because I don’t regard it as my main showcase on the Internet. However, it is useful as a place where I can gather information I am especially interested in, so that I can access it easily at a later date. I also like the fact that I can follow other translation pages as the business rather than as an individual. This means my personal page is not filled up with work-related content, which I can then read when I have time and actively want to simply by switching to using Facebook as Tranix Translations. And, of course, it is another site where I can interact with colleagues and advertise my blog!

On a personal level, Facebook helps me keep in touch with family and friends who live abroad or some distance away. I can admire their photos and comment on their statuses as a quick and convenient way of keeping in touch and easing the loneliness of working all day at home rather than in an office. The local groups I belong to obviously give me information about what’s happening in my area. And the charity and NGO pages I follow keep me up-to-date with the issues I am passionate about: the environment, wildlife conservation and animal welfare.

But the real reason you might regret not being on Facebook is a closed group (for the uninitiated this means you cannot read what is posted in it unless you are a member) called ‘Things Translators Never Say’ to their clients, or to non-translators and non-interpreters when they ask one of those dumb questions. This brainchild of Erik Hansson has been around for a few months now, but has recently really started to kick off with more and more colleagues flocking to sign up for their daily fix of mirth and mischief.

If you are an individual, and definitely not an end-client, you will be welcomed with open arms (as long as Erik can verify that you are who you say you are and work in our industry from your Facebook profile).

Erik Hansson is to be congratulated on capturing the imagination of over a 1,000 translation-industry professionals and providing us with the much-needed therapy of laughing at some of the things we translators and interpreters have to endure on an almost daily basis. If you can’t beat them, you may as well at least laugh at them. Hope to ‘see’ you there.

This post was first published on 28/11/2013 on my previous blog.

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