All social media edition! Sort of a part 2 of my Thoughts on Social Media, which you might want to read before you read this.
1. I see people who are prolific on Twitter. I mean, massively prolific. They’ve given up their sites/blogs and spend 100% of their online time on social media, making observations and one-liners and jokes all day long (we’re all stand-up comics now). You can’t even contact them in any other way because they don’t list their e-mail addresses on Twitter. I know some people who have 20K, 40K, 100K tweets! I was going to say how impressed I am by their output, but I can’t bring myself to say that. As a writer I certainly want to be prolific, but not prolific on social media. I don’t want people to say, “hey, that guy sure is good at Twitter!”
I’d rather be known for other things. At some point you have to decide: are you going to be someone who just comments on the art of others or create your own?
2. Have you ever noticed that people who say they’re going to cut back or disappear completely from social media rarely do that? While I don’t have any other social media accounts, I still have a Twitter account, and I find myself being pulled into its seductive feed. It’s mostly because I actually work in media/publishing and, well, that’s where everyone else is. But I’m getting better. Later today I’m going to deactivate my account. I’m not going to delete it. Who knows, maybe I’ll need it for work in the future. There might be sites I want to use and you can only use if you log in with a social media account. Or maybe they’ll pass a law saying you have to have at least one social media account or you’re fined/banished to the Island of Misfit Web Users.
I’d rather concentrate on other things, and I already spend an incredible amount of time online.
3. A lot of people will tell you that they don’t particularly like social media, but it’s a great way to keep track of friends and family they don’t get to see anymore. While I think this is probably true, especially with Facebook, I wonder if people realize that there are actually ways you can stay in touch with those people online (and off), and there always has been. You can send people e-mails, chat with them via AIM or another messaging service, call them on the phone or write a letter. If you want to see pictures of their kids or their vacation there have always been sites and blogs for that (or e-mail!). Sure, if you wanted to know where they stood on the latest controversial political issue or wanted to know what they were having for dinner or wanted to hear that wacky joke that’s going around, you’d have to specifically request it. And unfortunately when we had these conversations all of our friends weren’t instantly notified of what we were talking about (or eating). But somehow – somehow – we all got by before Facebook and Twitter.
I’d love to see more people mark their own territory online. Why give your entire digital life to a social media company?
4. There’s a saying that goes something like this: Facebook makes you hate the people you know and Twitter makes you love people you’ve never met. I don’t know if that’s actually true though. What I did find is that social media in general made me find out things – because no one can let a thought go without posting it – about people I’d rather not know about. Including myself.
5. Here’s a list of people who would have never joined social media:
Sheriff Andy Taylor