Peeking at Social Media

Social media in this day and age is everything. Everyone in the world wants their spot to be very well known; whether it’s at the top of the list, or hidden away in some random, secluded corner. The social media companies have done well for themselves, evolving the way that people think and respond to actions. Have they, really?

Social in itself means relating to human society and its members, so that’s settled. Media: a means or instrumentality for storing or communicating information. That makes sense. — I suppose the social media companies have it all figured out, then.

When it comes to being social on many of the socially available sites, it’s more difficult than you might think, though; for some of us, anyway. Anti-socialism plays a large role in why I dislike social media, but the characteristics and qualities that these companies so eagerly demonstrate, I find distasteful in many ways.

When MySpace first appeared, everyone wanted to make a page to share their thoughts and opinions with others. Personal information quickly appeared and along with it, court dates and law suits. — Hmm. Oh well. — On a more interesting note: The space does not actually belong to one person; it belongs solely to the company in which offers the service. On a similar note: The implied space usually ends up being clogged by so many people, it’s difficult to tell at times which MY it belongs to.

Ahh, yes, then there is the ever-so-trusty Facebook to save the day. Facebook. Facebook. Face. Book. — A combination of two things that obviously do not work well with one another without some form of pain being experienced, I would imagine. — Whatever the case, it likely would have been easier just to call it a yearbook; since yearbooks are known to include pictures of faces.

Even so, Facebook shows quite a bit more than face. It’s quite hilarious how many people have taken Facebook to a new level of body book and journal of stupidity. Then, that’s just my opinion. It strikes me funny to see people who share such personal information, going as far to say that they committed an illegal act, and then had the nerve to post such information for the whole world to see. — Brilliant idea!

Oh, I cannot — though I would like to — forget about Twitter. I’ve been asked many times why I have not created an account to advertise my writing, share my work with others, and find new friends by means of the social networking that it, and other services, offer. I’m not sure what the creators were thinking when they named the service, but I have to hand it to them for naming it rather well, indeed.

Twit (noun): 1. Someone who is regarded as contemptible. 2. Aggravation by deriding or mocking or criticizing.

Twit (verb): 1. Harass with persistent criticism or carping.

You see, Twitter is filled with a rather wide range of aggravation, criticism, harassment, irritation, and mockery; so they named it rather well. Of course, I do not consider myself a twit, therefore I do not Twitter.

Social media and social networking has definitely opened my eyes to many things. It has shown me many types of people that I purposely stay away from; those who should really take the time needed in order to do some growing up; and, for whatever other reasons, why I have not created an account to join the masses.

Also, I find it quite curious that they would refer to these services as being ‘social’, since many of the users do not actually become social on the site. To be social on the site, usually requires knowing the individual in person. Otherwise, it’s likely that you’ll learn through silence that their settings block anyone who wishes to become social; they do not wish to share enthusiasm for a shared interest; nor do they wish to become friends with people whom they’ve never met. — So much for being social, eh?

Yes, I also realize that such services have done some good in the world, but I feel that they could be doing more, even still. Of course, this is just my opinion. I hope you found a hidden laugh or two while reading over this entry.

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19 thoughts on “Peeking at Social Media

  1. I don’t think there’s much “good” that social media does. I think it’s allowed humans to misbehave so much so that it spills over into their personal interactions with one another. People no longer have manners or ethics; it’s an “anything goes” culture nowadays and it’s annoying.

    It takes a massive event like 9-11 to bring people together, and even then the shock lasted only a month or two until Mr. Bush told us to all to go shopping again. But yes, of course, the American people were threatening the health of the GDP with American shoppers making up 70% of that indicator.

    This still holds true today. Why do you think “social media” is such a big thing these days? It all boils down to money. How many ads can they sell? How many ads can they display in 10 seconds, which is about the attention span of many a “social medialite”, right? And no, “medialite” is not a word, but it will be.

    Marketing, babe, marketing is where it’s at. It represents the largest expense for many products we buy, and guess who purchases large amounts of marketing endeavors? You guessed it—it’s the top 2% tier of “loyalist American companies”…yeah right….loyal my a–! I am nothing if I’m not passionate about what I write. Enough said.

    BTW—the “Like” posted is more of a “somewhat like” in reference to what you wrote. Thank you for allowing me to comment.

  2. Pingback: For Your Consideration… « One-By-One

  3. As Tyler Durden famously said in the movie/book Fight Club, “The things you own end up owning you.” This definitely applies to social media, especially since it has grown so ubiquitous in modern society (everyone and their grandma has a friggin’ Facebook these days!).

    That being said, I’ve found it’s easier to simply be cognizant of your social media usage and moderate your activity, rather than de-activating or deleting your accounts. For example, after a “falling out” with a childhood friend, I spent a lot of time looking at her profile and making myself miserable. So I un-friended her. Problem solved. If I can’t exercise self-control, I remove the temptation.

    Here’s an article I think you would enjoy (I’m an avid reader of Cracked.com):

    “6 Scientific Reasons Why Social Networks Are Bad for Society”
    http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-scientific-reasons-social-networks-are-bad-society/

    Oh, and even worse than social networks is Google. Here’s a chipper article about “5 Reasons You Should Be Scared of Google”:
    http://www.cracked.com/article_18540_5-reasons-you-should-be-scared-google.html

  4. Mostly I feel overwhelmed by all of this social media. I’ve turned off to Facebook because it seems like such a mind suck. Do I really care half the time? No. I have better things to do with my time. And the twitter….I, have an account but I haven’t paid attention to it. I think it could be useful in getting your work out, although you have to sift through all the crap you don’t need. There’s just too much junk out there! I’m interested in reading those articles up above…..Great post!

    • Many thanks to you for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts. I have to agree with you, especially on all of the crap that has to be shifted in order to find the gems of information.

  5. Thanks for this very well written and thoughtful post!
    I do have one comment about Twitter though. I’ve linked my blog to Twitter, and though I don’t spend any time there myself, I’ve gotten quite a few great followers from it.
    And it’s funny, I have zero interest in FB or any other social media, but really enjoy blogging. I think it might be because the format allows me so much creative freedom to write and make something of my very own.

    • Thank you and you’re welcome. I have wandered a few of the social networking sites and heard many things about each of them; both bad and good. — Simply thought to add some humour to the seriousness of the matter.

      Blogging, unlike the other forms of social media, allows for self-expression without the need to rush. Since posts have been known to vary in length from an image that includes few words to very lengthy pieces spanning into the hundreds, or thousands of words, blogging appears to be one of the most healthy mediums for writers who wish to share their opinions and views with others.

  6. I am very new to the world of social media and I have embraced it in nearly all its forms. Some good, some bad and some very indifferent.
    But you ought to look at StumbeUpon. For the most ridiculous waste of time and energy imaginable.
    Apparently, people (I have no idea who) click on a link – stumble – whereupon they are fed (deliberate passive voice) a random link from the internet. You can narrow down the sort of links you are fed, but essentially, this is just totally off the ether bits of information, photographs, whatever. And I really do mean whatever.
    I have joined. I have even stumbled. For half an hour.
    I do not have more than half an hour of my life to waste on this.

    • I’ve heard of it, but I don’t think I’ve ever given it a try. It sounds like some people enjoy being random.

      I just clicked the Stumble button and was shown pictures of skiers, and one man trying to ski in his front yard without snow.

      Interesting stuff out there, but I think I’m with you on this: It’s not for me.

      • Maybe not, but with a way to filter them, a Do-It-Yourself guru could find useful techniques and tips in a matter of clicking a button. Anyone could find useful or interesting information on a topic in the time it takes to click a button, by using the filter, of course.

        If for no other reason, those randomly shown photos and stories that pop up could be used to generate ideas for writing. As an example: Why was the guy in his front yard wearing skis? Is he perfecting his technique before hitting the slopes? Or, is he attempting to teach someone else before they hit the slopes?

      • OK, I will grant you that.
        You are obviously kinder than me. I just thought who on earth would do this?
        I did spend half an hour (yawn) picking up stories and liking and unliking, which does apparently pare down what they will throw at you. Maybe when I’m feeling really random and stuck I will give it another look.
        In fact, based on what you’ve said, I’m sure I will, just to see if it gives me a prompt.

      • Being a writer, you should know better than to take anything at face value. Look deeper and you’ll likely see the good in what seems completely useless.

        You’re likely not in the mood right now, but when it strikes, it’ll be there waiting for you.

      • You’re right, I know you’re right and I stand rebuked. I think I just got cross with Stumble’s over randomness in an evening when I’d joined about four social media sites and it seemed to be the silliest.
        So yes, I was definitely not in the mood, but I can see how it might be a good idea if I get stuck and need a prompt.
        But I stand by the fact that even with that proviso, Stumble and several other social media sites do leave me cold. I love blogging and chatting to you all. Been here nearly five weeks now but am obviously still new to it. But here there is definite interaction. Writers and I include you here, have been so welcoming and so ‘knowable’ through their writing and comments to me, that I feel it is a proper community, with everyone helpful and friendly. There are real links. Some of the other sites, including Stumble, are very anonymous and (at first sight!) seem to be pointless.
        But I promise I will give it a whirl when I’m feeling less jaundiced about the social media thing.

      • Everything can be helpful to some degree. It’s all about looking for what will be useful to you so you can ditch the rest of it.

        I’m glad to hear that you’ve stuck with it and done some learning with the rest of us. I know I’ve found a mood or two that didn’t let me enjoy anything, and it’s easy to get biased when it comes to something new or strange.

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