Monday, January 21, 2013

Social Networking: Is it All it's Cracked Up to Be?

Like a gazillion other people, I have a Facebook page.  I also belong to Twitter, Pinterest, Blogger (obviously), Four Square, Goodreads, Yelp, Google+, and numerous other writer/photographer sites.  I have an iPad, an Android phone, and I'm always a text/phonecall/email away from anyone.  Like a gazillion others, I'm too connected.

When did all of this stop being for my benefit and become a detriment to me?

We live in an age of Social media, and yet we can't carry on a decent face to face conversation without checking our phone, iPad, etc...  We're social, but we're not communicating.  We put it out there for anyone to pick it up and misinterpret it, shame us for it, argue with us, and unfriend us. If you want to see ignorance in action, check out the comments section to anything posted on a "news" media site.  People will show you just how ignorant they are when they are given anonymity and a place to express their views.  Today I read a comment that Michele Obama hates all white people because she gave John Boehner a dirty look.  Please, I'm white and I wouldn't be able to not give John Boehner a dirty look.  In fact, she should have backhanded him while his wife watched.  But I digress!

I love keeping up with friends far away, and seeing their kids grow up, and see what they are reading and hear how they're doing.  I  love this part of it.  But on the other hand, I don't need to know every political thought they have, or if they support Chick fil a or not.  It seems everything has become about choosing sides.  

I made it through the election without unfriending too many people.  I made it through the whole Chick fil a thing without unfriending too many (although I did unfriend a few). We are each entitled to our own opinions, and we should celebrate our differences, but there are some things that are just deal breakers.

If we were face to face friends and you made a comment comparing President Obama to Hitler, we might argue, stop speaking for a while, but hopefully would come around and still be friends.  If you do it online, it's too easy to hit the "unfriend" button and write you off as a whack job.

Maybe I'm just cranky this week, but I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with Facebook.  I have over four hundred friends, but I feel lonelier than I ever have. It's all so superficial. It's like treating malnutrition with Kool Aid. I need something with more substance.


  1. Completely agree. I keep telling myself my writing suffers because I can't get away from social media.

  2. It's a double-edged sword, because the best way to get your stuff noticed by more people than your family is through social media. But audiences don't just accidentally find you in this vast Internet landscape, you have to build an audience through FB, Twitter, etc. And it suuuuuuccccckkkkkkkss. Though I enjoy meeting new people with similar interests, I'd rather just write.