“Social media: addictive, frustrating but here to stay.” I could leave it at what Oliver Wilson said in his blog post, but as a blogger myself I feel a duty to explain to my readers at least why I agree with that, but Oliver Wilson nails his piece with just the title of it.
As a blogger myself who has been blogging since 2009 or so I almost have to not just be online ( the only way to operate a blog ) but on social media. I mean if the blogger them self is not willing to share online what they wrote, why would anyone else. Doesn’t mean you have to officially like your own blog posts and hit the like button, but I do believe you have a duty to not only allow for people to subscribe to your blog, but then share it as well and allow for others to share your blog. Share options are critical for any blogger.
I have to be on social media as a blogger. A blogger without social media when you’re talking about a blog that you not only write for but personally own and manage, would be like a race car driver without access to a car. And I’m not just talking about race cars, but any cars in general not even a 1978 Ford Pinto. ( Sorry Millennials, for that history reference. I’m aware you’re not fans of history. ) Which means to be a blogger there a lot of benefits to that like people knowing what you’re thinking, at least your thoughts that you make public. As well as letting people know what you know, again your knowledge that you make public. But like with anything in life there’s pluses and minuses to anything you get involved with and social media might be poster child for plusses and minuses in life like the nonsense ( to keep it clean ) that comes to being a social media member.
Narcissism, is not new in America and has been around probably as long as we’ve been a country and I’ve been guilty of it myself. I could be watching a movie at home and I get a Twitter or Google+ notification on my I-phone that I’m really interested in looking at. Because someone just re-sahred, commented, or liked one of my posts. Or perhaps I just got a new follower on Twitter or Google+. With Facebook, which is my least favorite of the big three ( as I call them ) when I get a notification on the Facebook app unlike with Twitter and Google+ ( to paraphrase Oliver Wilson ) it’s generally someone posting in some group that I have very little interest in. And that’s when my Facebook app is working at all, the Twitter and Google+ apps are more reliable at least on my phone.
When I was brand new to Facebook about ten years ago a friend and I were talking on the phone and he was talking about his brother and saying that his brother has like only 5 friends or something like that on Facebook and making a big deal of that. Well, if you’re familiar with my friend’s brother you know the guy is rarely if ever on Facebook. Almost never posts. Facebook might be to him right now what sunny day to the rest of us. Something we see almost everyday ( unless you live in the Northwest ) and not that big of a deal.
As I told my friend several years ago social media to everyone is what everyone makes it to be for themselves. If it’s something you really like regardless of the network and you post a lot of interesting things like status updates, photos, links, etc and you do that daily, you’re going to be popular on that network even if you don’t personally know a lot of people and don’t have a lot of personal friends.
By the way, personal friends and Facebook friends aren’t the same thing. Personal friends are people that you actually know and have not just met in person, but hangout with in person and talk to on the phone. Facebook friends, are people you meet, well on Facebook. But to sound nasty here, if you have a life outside of social media and have plenty of things that keep you busy like work, family, your personal friends even, or are just someone who is fairly private and only want to share your news with people you personally know and trust, you’re probably not going to be very popular on your social media networks, unless you have a lot of personal friends on those networks.
The other thing that agree with Oliver Wilson here has to do with smartphones. My point earlier being that narcissism isn’t anything knew in America. Donald Trump, is not the inventor of narcissism, but perhaps just the king of it. What social network have done for narcissism has exploded it to the point that it’s everywhere now. If you go to a coffee house today and you’re not staring at your I-phone, you’re the outsider and the stranger at that coffee house, bus stop, train station, grocery store, whatever place you want to use as an example, bar would be another one. Social media and smartphones, both came out at about the same time which is the early and middle 2000s, unless you count blackberry’s as smartphone because people have internet access on their blackberry.
And because of this smartphones and social media have made high school teenagers out of people in their 40s now and have given a lot of middle age Americans the need to be popular. Except high school, is over for most of those people ( you would think anyway ) and now they’re teenagers in their 40s with social media and a smartphone. Gaining 10 new friends on Facebook ( or whatever the big number is ) is like their OMG moment of the day that they just have to share that or won’t be able to get through the rest of the day. Even if they’ve never even met a single one of their new FB friends and don’t even live in the same country with any of them, let alone short flight away from them. But being de-freiended by one person on FB during that day, is something that sends that person to their shrink or pouring a bottle of pills down their throat because they simply can’t deal with it. Or they go into a swearing rant on FB, to try to look cool again.
As I told my friend, social media regardless of what network or networks you prefer is what you personally make of it. For me Facebook, is just a place to posts my blog posts and to follow my favorite entertainers, as well as the real news, sports, etc. Especially since Facebook no longer allows their members to connect their Twitter with their Facebook page. Just another one of my annoyances with Facebook. If you really want to know what I’m up to online follow my blog, or my Twitter or Google+ pages. Where I also post my blog posts.
I just prefer Twitter and Google+, because they don’t have as many rules and you don’t have to friend request someone you personally don’t know just to follow them. With Twitter and Google+, you can follow anyone you want until they block you. Unless you’re an asshole or follow assholes, you’re probably not going to get blocked on Twitter or Google+. Plus ( no pun intended ) the communities on Google+ are great and are very active and is a great way to post your blog and get real reaction about what you’re writing with the GP communities. But for too many other people social media perhaps especially Facebook, has become a way of life. They can’t go to bed without knowing about everything that their so-called friends are doing and what they said on one of their own posts and it’s very sad to see people become so addictive to things that are just supposed to be hobbies and places where people can meet and talk.