Monday, October 25, 2010

Let's talk about social media for a second...

So I've been sort of noting all of the different changes in social behavior as I read and go about my daily routine and I'd really like to share my thoughts with you all and see what you think.

A few months back I was in another Austin phase and I read (for the ???th time) Pride and Prejudice. It really is one of my favorite books due to the relationships of the Bennett sisters as well as good old Mr. Darcy. So as I was reading I was thinking about how people in that time period used to write beautiful letters to family and friends or when they visited they would leave a calling card to denote their wish to be called upon as well. I find this all very proper and romantic. I love it. Then I started thinking about my life today.

Speaking of calling cards, there is a blogger out there that I follow and she had these calling cards made and I absolutely fell in love with them.  I'm going to have some made, or make them myself.  ASAP.  I'm in love. 

I love the holidays because it seems to be a rare time during which most people send cards or letters. Most other times of the year you'll only get an email. Oh, emails. With the pre-written signature at the bottom. Most of us try to have some Bible verse or quote down there, but let's be honest: it's impersonal but practical.

I also find email addresses to be absolutely ridiculous these days.  I know I'm guilty of having a "kippyskppy" email address when I was a teenager, but when you're an adult and you have an email address that is is way too long or has some stupid cute slang or nickname in it, you should not give it out to people professionally

Your name.  Or your initials.  Perhaps a number if you're "John Smith" or "Paul Johnson" but for gawsh sake's people, is not an acceptable means of conversation in the business world.  I'm sure your parents gave you a respectable and mature name, so go get yourself a grown up email account and save the nicknames for your Twitter account. 

But now, the cherry on top. 

On my phone, I have 2 applications or apps that I use fairly frequently: Twitter and Facebook.  In the first one, Twitter, when I decided to micro-blog I am directed to click in a box that says "What's happening?" in grey letters. 

Then I click update and my words are spewed all over cyberspace as if they actually meant something.  Sometimes they do, other times it's just the ramblings of an undrugged but highly intricate 20-something year old. 

But the fact that my Twitter app actually asks me "What's happening?" actually makes me feel good.  I feel as though someone out there actually cares and is asking me to tell them about my day.  I feel as though I am being asked to share my odd thoughts.  I feel as though I matter. 

Now, Facebook takes it even one step further.  The writing in the box reads "What's on your mind?" and instead of clicking a button that says "Update", I am asked to click a button that says "Share".  That's right folks, I am being polite and doing what my pre-school instructors taught me.  I am sharing. 

I share grievances.  I share joys.  I share recipes.  I share links. 

This makes me feel like a good person because in my head, if something makes me smile or chuckle then I need to share it and try to make someone else feel the same way. 

But sharing isn't always caring in this stage of life, right? 

How many times have we clicked that little blue button, only to find out that one of our cyber friends does not share our opinion on a certain topic.  I don't know about you fine folks, but I have been deleted a total of 3 times (that I'm aware of) due to my differences in opinion with certain individuals. 

Now, as you can see, I'm not too crushed or heartbroken.  However, it's got me thinking. 

Have you ever said in a conversation, "We're not real friends, only Facebook friends."? 

Well I have.  A lot. 

I've come accross people that I actually couldn't remember meeting.  I deleted them. 

I've come accross people that I actually remembered hating in the past.  I deleted them. 

I've come accross people that believe that every single word I write pertains to them and I'm a mean soul.  They deleted me before I could delete them.  Dang. 

But listen to what I'm saying before you judge me.  I'm asking, why have the phrases "friends" and "acquaintances" been replaced with "friends" and "facebook friends"? 

It's sort of disgusting when you think about it.  Some people get to read what I'm thinking every single day on Facebook, but I only see my Grandmother once every week or every other week.  That doesn't compute in my tiny little brain. 

What's important?  Where's the connection?  Why are we letting a phone call or an old fashioned letter slip through the cracks in favor of a quick post on someone's Facebook page?  I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this whole thing, but Facebook is quickly becoming a thorn in my side rather than a tool I can use to keep in touch with old friends. 

Oh, and let's not even get me started about how much I loathed the idea of going to see a movie about the creators of Facebook.  Facebook has enough of my time and attention, I'm not giving in $12 of my money and an additional 2 hours on a Friday night. 

What do you think?  Am I nuts?  Have we lost our personal interactions?  Or do you think that social media is just another tool to use for personal interactions?  Do you think I should make calling cards?  What color should they be? 

Please, someone help me understand why I'm so frustrated and addicted at the same time! 



Stacy said...

I feel you Kipp. I was thinking along these same lines yesterday when my mom ran into two people I was never friends with, but more 'my parents know your parents' type. She said they would both find me on facebook to catch up. It was a weird feeling to realize what our world has become that people use a social network to find people you were never friends with so you can 'catch up'.

Hey Barbie said...

Great post. I work as a secretary temporarily, and when I asked one of our patients for her e-mail address she gives me this look and says, "DAT GURL @ whatever dot com." I don't even want to describe the look she gave me when I asked her how you spell "dat gurl". As far as I'm concerned, it would have been spelled "that girl", but who am I to judge! I'm the one with "Hey Barbie" ha ha

Momma Bug said...

Just read "hey barbie's" post and i am ROLLING b/c someone called me to book like 3 buses one day and he spelled his email to me i am read it out loud on the phone to him like Big Ole Titties? he sounded so embarrassed lol

Terri said...

This is probably the reason I only have 22 friends on Facebook...and they ARE actually friends or family.