Social Media: It’s like going to a party when you’re sick. You feel like ass and you don’t wanna go, but once you get there you see all your friends and have a good time anyway.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, his tube, my blog… countless others… Like me here, like me there, subscribe to my this, subscribe to my that, click me here, click me there– oh ya, click me there again– it tickles! Follow me! Come on! Follow me! Tag me! But only if I look good. Share! Share! Share! Where is my space? Is that my opinion? Where was I having that conversation? A blog forum or a Facebook group? Where’s the bathroom? I can’t find that girl! Where am I? Who am I? What am I wearing? I swear I know that guy. Wait. Are we enemies? Now, that would be an interesting tag: “Tagged: Enemy. Please click his mean face to read my blog for the story of our enemyship. And sign this petition requesting that he be nice.”
In the Social Media Primer section of 9 Weeks… we are advised to put up as many profiles on as many Social Media sites as we can and make friends. I am not averse to friends. I love friends! But I feel like I’m fragmenting myself like Voldemort and the horcruxes! Although I’m not committing evil and I have no enemies that I’m aware of, I feel a little bit like I’m diluting myself over the interweb. I feel like I’m throwing a self-omelette onto the Social Media cyber wall but the cyber wall isn’t a wall at all but an abyss where omelettes go to pick up other chunks and boomerang back with all they’ve accumulated on their sticky omelette trails. And there’s no telling what will come back out of that deep dark Social Media abyss. At a real-life party there are significant signs– chemistry and body language– hazard alerts. At a Social Media party you’re partying less aware.
What I prefer is to sit down with you, have a beer or a coffee or both, spend some real time as opposed to cyber time. When we share a laugh, I’ll poke you for real. When we share a hurt, you will have the undivided immediate concentration of my horcrux-free self. We will know the character behind the avatar. And we’ll know, by the sincere twinkle in each other’s eyes when we part, that we are friends and we really like each other beyond the echo of a click.
Real life will always be the real party. But like most parties, not everyone’s invited, not everyone can stay long, and we don’t get to spend a lot of quality time with each attendee. Social Media provides a cyber party where you are a click away from steady and new-fangled friends at all times. It allows us to nurture relationships 24 hours a day; when we can’t sleep, when we’re waiting in line, when we’re bursting with expression and no one is around. And we’re able to tag our friends on our online journey, which in real life is like having them along amplifying the fun. I like it. It’s not the same as a real-life party, but I like it.
Social Media parties, however, will never know and appreciate the real us as well as our real-life social circles do. For example, Klout.com (for measuring social media influence) lists my most-influential topic as cats. If you know me in real life, you know that I rarely speak of cats and that when people around me speak of cats at length I get that glazed look on the outside while my insides are strategizing how to exit the conversation and get to the bowl of Doritos.
Social Media and real life share many similar rewards, but I hope we recognize and respect their differences as well. I hope our culture never overvalues the virtual over the real. Fun? Yes. Overwhelming? Yes. Vulnerable to regret? Maybe. Open to friendship? Always. Either way, may you always have a friend, and may you always be a friend.
And, if you like what I’m saying, please share this with your friends real and cyber… and Like my Fan Page and follow me on Twitter! And subscribe to this blog! And subscribe to my monthly newsletter– you’ll even receive a download of my greatest hit, (I Wanna Be Johnny Depp’s) Jockstrap! ;p Oh, and you can subscribe to my You Tube channel too. See what I mean?!
Hope to see you at the party!
Love Kat 😀