Has this social media itch bothered you too for a while? Do you have a Facebook? I thought so, I do too. Fortunately, I am not the most curious person, neither am I the impulsive type. As a matter of fact, I have never understood Facebook. (What’s there to understand, you might ask.)
Of course, I always like to hear from my friends, of whom I have at least three dozen out there. Still Facebooks seems like a coincidental, random barrage of flicks and clips and news of people, some of whom I never met, others who I might have met but forgot about, and any mysterious connections that I can’t recollect. Everything, like the injured cat’s paw, a nuclear disaster, how to fix a seam with superglue, who is dating who, who escaped to Bermuda, who added a new picture and so on. On the other hand, there is a page, my page, where only stuff gets shown that I posted. At least I know where that is coming from.
Oh boy, you can do so many things with Facebook: you can post, or repost, or like, or tag, or follow, click happily away. But when it was important, it seems I always missed it. I find out from somewhere else much later. And, what the heck, does the FB IM and mail system do? In the little doodads in the top bar with the numbers on the red circle, I discovered messages that were three years old. My own fault, I don’t do Facebook enough.
Naturally I am on LinkedIn too, for the last seven years or so. Haven’t done much on this serious contact database for doctors, marketers, and real estate developers. (I am a writer, he he.) You can enter your kudos, awards, degrees, and accomplishments there. Has it done much for me? Not that I am aware of. Nobody from LinkedIn has ever bought me a cup of coffee. I didn’t even know until yesterday, that you can blog away there. Or you can repost your very own business blog. Or you can populate your page with reams of professional advice. And feature your skills and endorsements. It seems, however, whenever I made a connection, it was always in person first. Only afterwards we linked up on Facebook or LinkedIn, snooping out each others’ accomplishments.
Certainly I have a YouTube like every “sick” (I learned that word from a teenager) person on the planet. It happened by necessity because I had to put a movie clip on a website. There you go, something useful. My kids follow their favorite YouTube artists; some are getting paid and eventually end up on TV. This is fun!
So how do I work the social media? I post my hand-knit Imakinations blog on Facebook and wonder where it goes. Facebook often puts the wrong picture with the story. Ten minutes later, my post has traveled off the FB Diagon Alley below the edge of the screen. Never to be seen again? Tag me me, like me, share me.
Yes, I do like to be reminded about events on Facebook, even randomly. After looking at the stream of posts and pictures for a while, I can’t help but feel the coercion to comment, reply, or add something. Facebook feels like a Las Vegas situation. What happens on Facebook stays on Facebook. Yes, I am afraid so. FB is the most powerful data warehouse and phishing industry on earth, stronger than the IRS or Amazon.
Yet some people, take good old superstar Golden Girl Betty White (has she died, or hasn’t she?), refuse to participate. Betty must be close to a hundred years old. And she says, she hasn’t got much time. And Facebook is a huge waste of her time.
Social media can be a lot of trouble. I remember art competitions and fundraisers, where you had to vote every day for a month or so, and like it, and tell your friends to like it. And you could vote from all five computers in your house, each one once a day, only to find out that the competitors had a thousand-people-strong organization. So many happy clickers, like brushing their teeth each morning. My poor clicker couldn’t keep up.
On my Imakinations blog I know exactly where everything is. If you like me (please), the story gets around on Facebook, you see. It makes me happy when I get a vote or two. Once I had spam tsunamis washing through my Internet mail account (Did Facebook rat me out?). OK, I installed a Spam Assassin and a Boxtrapper and downloaded a few plug-ins, as far as my HTML skills allowed. Now, try to spam me!
I go to Facebook (or other peep shows) like I go to Goodwill. I don’t expect a system to the madness, but I come away with some real surprises. Next I check for job postings on LinkedIn and get seduced by professional cooking recipes. What? It’s 11 o’clock? Darn it, tomorrow will be a Facebook fast. I seriously need that after so much grazing.
The buck doesn’t stop at Facebook. My kids do Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumbler too. You can order RSS newsfeeds, add channels, subscribe to special interest services etc. Don’t forget the tweets and bleeps and hate mail that you can leave in the comments section of every online article. Is anyone doing e-mails any more? Are you kidding me?
There are days when I wish I could shut down the buzzing Internet. Even when my computer is not on, I feel something is whirring through the air, like bats around my head. As if cobwebs strike my face while I am daydreaming. Some evil spirits hide in the invisible net. These facts become clear when your mouse wiggles a little bit too much or your finger slips off its back. Suddenly you end (unintentionally) up in low down adult garbage. Quick, switch of the browser!
Now the final question, who has time for all that? (I do, I do, I do, I do, I do, Abba).
—Notice how the advertising creeps in?—
Are we bored out of our minds? Can’t we talk in person any more? (No, we can’t. That’s what texting is for.) So I spin a blog that is hopefully not “normal”. Because if Facebook is the new normal, I prefer the “old crazy.” I love computers and digital media, but not the social insanity. As we are busy blogging and posting, we might miss out on life. Didn’t John Lennon say, “Life happens while you are busy posting”?
Social media happen in the clouds. I like to keep my feet predominantly on the ground. And I certainly don’t need help with (day)dreaming. Because even Facebook can’t compete with my wild imagination.
There goes another bleep or tweet to feed the social insanity. Oh, how I love computers!