Friday, June 26, 2009

Social Media and all my friends, followers and fans

Friday Night Commentary:

I broke down this week and finally joined the ranks of the "Twitter heads"...or is that "Tweeters"---I know it isn't "Twitterers".... because even for a made up word, that would be bad English...

I digress.

I had not signed up for Twitter before, not because I didn't see the value, or the appeal -- no, I did not think I had the extra hour in the day to check my incoming "tweets," update my outgoing "tweets" and collect followers. I had already spent significant time becoming a fan and collecting friends on Facebook. Updating my status has become near automatic, albeit still time consuming. But yet, I am a social introvert and therefore drawn to these methods of communication without the complicated and awkard face-to-face interaction.

Let me talk about that concept of "updating my status" - similar to tweeting, Facebook allows me to share with all my Facebook friends what I am doing or thinking at any given moment. Day, night, in the bathroom... wherever I have access to the Internet (and don't joke, people do update their status while doing #2.... weird, but that is just how attached we have become to The Matrix... ) AND who cares any way that "I am working", or "enjoying a cup of tea", or "on my way to the mall"? Funny thing is, they do, and we have become obsessed with being voyeuristic. AND for some reason uber sharing! We are oddlly compelled to open previously private aspects of our lives with everyone - or at least anyone who may be a friend, fan, or follower....

AND about that, "friend" thing. For some reason, we seem to have lowered our criteria for what makes a friend. Why is that? A Facebook friend for example need not be anyone you have ever met, or spoken with - you just have to ask, they have to accept, or vice-versa. Then there are those formerly known as acquaintances - there is no tag for "that guy I went to high school with who sat next to me in AP English, but I never really talked to" -- he is now a "Friend" too, same as mom, same as your best friend, same as your old babysitter, same as your grandma... and yes, all these people are on Facebook and Twitter too. The great equalizer...

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining. It is super handy to be able to type a message into the little iPhone and let all 854 people on your Friends/Followers list that you have landed safely in DC and you are headed for the baggage claim. Although really only mom and the friend---real friend--- picking you up really care. But that is how we are now, unafraid to open our lives up in 140 character blurbs, making friends with the single click of a mouse and hearing the collective heartbreaking sigh of the world when it finds out that an icon and idol has left this mortal coil--all in bursts of blurbs and updates so loud we end up temporarily breaking our binding, cutting off the ability to reach out and share, and learn and pry and tweet.

Ironic.


Meghan Wier
Author Writer Web Consultant

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Very good! Ever consider being a sociologist? Seems you know a lot able human nature.