Thursday, December 8, 2016


Most thinking people have a love/hate thing with social media, and I'm no exception.

I like it because it reminds me a lot of my radio days--a little microphone I can pop on, say some smart-ass comment and then shut off again.

When I did that in radio, it would generate phone calls and/or ratings--now, it appears, the goal is to generate "likes" or hearts or whatever. Both of those things affect me equally. In radio, I got good ratings and the station owner made a lot of money. On Facebook, I'm sort of funny and Mark Zuckerberg makes a lot of money.

You're welcome, both of you.

It's fairly easy to generate responses--I've been doing that my whole professional life, and if I'm being honest, I will admit that I do it for fun in my non-professional life sometimes, too. Kick the hornet's nest when things seem boring--you probably won't die, unless you're living a real life version of the movie My Girl.

The slight difference is that radio is local (or at least the radio stations where I worked were local) and social media is world wide. You have to be a bit more judicious with your kicking when you're kicking the globe.

To narrow it somewhat, and to prvide a haven for myself, I treat Facebook as "local" and only have people that I know in real life as friends there, with a few minor exceptions. You'll be inspected if you send me a friend request (I virtually never take the first step and 'friend' anyone because I'm a horrible person and I don't care, plus, all my good friends are already there, so why do I need more?) If you friend request me on Facebook, I will start by looking at your profile to make sure you aren't a RWNJ--zero tolerance for that. This is why I ignore a vast amount of friend requests from cousins of mine. I'll also think about who you know that I know--it has to be somebody that I like. If we have nobody in common, you can't even reach me--not a particularly strict thing, but I don't care to deal with complete strangers on Facebook so I keep my privacy settings that way.

I admit I don't understand people with very, very private Facebook accounts. what's the point? If I felt the need for absolute privacy, I wouldn't have a Facebook account to begin with. Even stranger? The people with the fake accounts. Hell, I can't even justify one account and you have how many, under how many different names? about none? Have you tried none?

My philosophy (Doesn't that sound impressive? Philosophy. Jeezuz...) makes Facebook the "friendly" place for generic G-Rated or PG-13 or PG-17 rated humor, but not much politics, which mirrors actual conversations I have with real-life friends, only the conversations we have offline (where our moms can't hear us) use the word "fuck" with much greater frequency and are probably peppered with a lot more dick jokes. We're adults, after all.

Also? Offline, we're probably drinking and yelling over each other. That's how we do.

Twitter is a bit of a different animal--at least for me. I don't know most of those people and won't ever know them, which is fine, for the most part. It's all brief interactions, like if two people who don't know each both other witness something crazy and they look at each other to make sure they actually saw what they just saw.

"ZOMG!! Did you SEE that fucking bald eagle swoop down and take that guy's toupee? CRAZY! Amirite?"

That kind of thing. Only it's mostly politics and football.

Twitter is where I link the blog because none of my family is there (except that one sane one) and some of them would pitch a fit about being called "RWNJs." Oh, I'll still call them that, but for some reason, they don't think this blog exists unless I put a link to it on my Facebook profile. Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Our little non-secret.

All things considered? I prefer the Twitter interactions. I can definitely tell how my desire to connect with like-minded people drives me to Twitter every day, and makes me stay there well past the time I should have put the phone down and done something productive, but I'm like that in real life, too. I love it when I have a connection with someone and we can talk and talk and talk. I am perfectly content to have those good conversations go all night.

I find I run into the same issue online as I do everywhere IRL--I'm more interested than other people are.

That's not to say I'm more *interesting* than other people--I'm definitely not--just that I gobble up information like I'm starved for it. 

I'm interested. Tell me more. 

Always more.

People online and people in real life--they don't have that kind of time. They have to go let the dog out. They have commitments that don't involve meaningful dialogue. They've got some TV shows to watch while they eat dinner off the coffee table and grunt barely audible noises to their mates.

You know...real life stuff.

This is not what my inner voice tells me, though. Inside my head I think, "Those lucky, beautiful people, going off to their perfect lives with their loving mates," while I sit and contemplate...stuff. And drink.

Poor me...

In truth they're probably just...watching TV while sitting behind a plateful of hotdish, but, you know how it is when you're an insecure person--in your head, everyone is having fun except you.

I saw a great quote somewhere (Online, OK? It was online. That's where I see pretty much everything.). It was, "Stop worrying about people who don't worry about you." While I'm sure the person who meme'd that thing was thinking more of false friends, I've seized it as a thing to tell myself when I get worried about social media.

Yes, I worry about social media.

Oh, I don't worry about YOU and what YOU do on social media--unless you're one of those nut jobs with fake accounts. I do worry about those people. Mostly, though, I just worry about how I'm reacting to things on social media. I think things like, "Gee, I thought that joke was funnier," or any of the dozens of other "Why don't people like me?" statements that have been bouncing around in my head since 1978.

In in real life, I don't really give a rat's ass about anybody who doesn't have my actual phone number.

In real life, I think 87% of viral videos are stupid.

In real life, I think 96% of political memes are dumb--unless they are conservative, then it's more like 99.99%.

In real life, I follow "commie lib" progressive news because that's who I am, even though I have the ability to play nice with my RWNJ acquaintances online.

In real life, I'm probably sitting in front of the TV with food, but the TV is off because I'm on my phone, switching back and forth between Twitter and Facebook, while occasionally logging in to check flights to expensive warm places, or looking at real estate.

In real life, I'm telling myself to put the fucking phone down and go outside.

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