This is a response to an editorial on Page 2 of the Chicago Tribune from May 8. (I’ve been chock-full of other things to talk about since then!) The title is “Stop these disturbing social media behaviors,” and it is interesting to see some of these. There are several different behaviors mentioned along with some examples that the writer (Bridget Doyle) gives. I think I will respond to each in turn. But, first I have to say that I do have an AOL profile (or at least an e-mail address) since AOL bought out Netscape (her last sentence of the opening paragraph says “Here are some social media behaviors that should die along with MySpace and AOL profiles.”)
She first talks about “too much information,” and basically condemns those who use social media like Rat used his journal in the Pearls comic that I described a few days ago. Sometimes, I tend to be on the verge of “too much information,” although it varies how much I share. I realize that not everything should be shared, but different pieces of information hold different interest. And for that reason, she also says in her op-ed, “Social media is intended for people to interact with each other.” Sometimes those can be great conversation starters, and if it conjures one conversation, I deem it to be worth it!
Next up was “Fake wedding planning.” What this means is people who talk about a wedding with no date or fiance. Obviously, this means nothing to me, but based on the article and something that I have also noticed, it is a trend on Facebook and/or Pinterest, though I am not a member of the latter.
“Living too virtually” I sometimes am guilty of, but it seems when something major happens, I tend to call family before posting on Facebook. For example, after I was hit by a car, I didn’t post anything about it on Facebook until the next day, after talking with some family and friends first (even though I was physically and mentally able to). Of course, more positive things tend to get out on social media or blogs before people in the real world know. Sometimes that is one venue, but what exactly do different people consider “major?”
On this sense, I am glad that I was not introduced to the Internet until I was older, because given my Asperger’s syndrome, I probably would have been even more absorbed into the virtual world had I not gotten opportunities to socialize in the real world.
The next bullet she had was on “cyberstalking celebrities.” Since I don’t really follow any celebrities, this is a non-issue for me. The only “celebrities” that I would claim to follow are Cornhusker and Wildcat athletes and coaches, and I only connect to their social media pages if I have actually met them in person. People seem to get carried away with “friending” people whom they have never met in person on Facebook, methinks.
How is the next one an issue for me? “Incessant complaining?” My friends tell me I am very positive, and it takes a lot for me to complain about something. It was funny to read her take on it, below. (Well, before I quote her thing, I will say that a blog post coming in 9 days chronicles probably my worst day in my undergrad career, but as Bill Fennelly once said, “If you die and this is the worst day of your life, you’ll be a damn lucky person.”) Now onto her quote, and the montage made me laugh:
Gas is expensive. I hate traffic. My meal was horrible. Work is hard. I hate snow… The pizza delivery guy was 20 minutes late… [I] stubbed my toe on the way to the door.
The braggart is another pet peeve of Doyle, and she describes using “egotistical status updates,” going on to describe examples of taking compliments with a big head, or bragging about wealth, or even about easily reading a difficult book. Of course, bragging is probably in the eyes and ears of the beholder (as well as the propagator). In this way, perhaps what bothers Doyle doesn’t bother others. Who knows?
The drunken diaries was another topic, and I agree that it is annoying, but then again, that’s probably a Holier-Than-Thou response since I never drink to get drunk. My apologies. I will agree, though, that people really need to be careful about posting anything related to drunken debauchery on the Internet, as it is public once there, and even if deleted, there are ways to restore deleted content.
With Facebook and other social media, the whole thing about relationships becomes dicey, leading to drama-rama that Doyle describes. Once again, it relates to relationships, and that is a realm in which I have yet to delve into. I will agree with the idea to be classy and not blow it out of proportion. I point you once again to the Fennelly quote from earlier in this post. Interestingly, as this article went on, some of these also go into the other categories, such as “too much information” or “incessant complaining.”
I, however, am guilty as charged for posting dramatic song lyrics as status updates. But most of the time they are completely unrelated to the situation at hand–this is what happens when I sometimes choose the fourth song on my shuffle to put a lyric as my status, regardless of whether it is relevant to the day or not.
And then misguided politics comes in. I do not attempt to incite debate through my blog or Facebook page, although I try to invite discussion and comments. I would say that most of my topics are not really political, but then again, it seems anything can be turned political with certain minds.
So, not all of what Doyle wrote about resonates with me, but there definitely are pet peeves of mine on Facebook. For me, probably the number-one annoyance is updates about their applications and games. If I need a time-wasting game online, I would much rather use Bridge Base Online than the Facebook applications.
As I said before, though, I rarely complain. Most of my annoyances are related to the interface, more than the content. But, as I always say, even when the quirks annoy you, remember that your quirks might annoy others. Respect the differences.
Today’s counts and nugget:
Today is the 23rd day of MAPLE.
היום ארבעים ושישה יום, שהם שישה שבועות וארבעה ימים לעמר
Discretion is the better part of valor. (Especially true in social media.)
(YAY! This is my 60th overall blog post!)