Saturday, May 09, 2009

The joys of social networking...

You know, I really love writing in this blog and posting things over at Danny's site. Blogging allows me to express myself, and invite people into my little sphere of madness and talk about things I want to talk about in a genuine way. Recently, I reactivated my Facebook account and made a Twitter account. A blog, in a way, is a social networking tool. If we didn't have other people reading our blogs 90% of us wouldn't write them, more than likely. FB and Twitter both have/had their unique charms to a fault. But the novelty of both is quickly wearing off, for this traveler at least.

At first both apps were really cool, nothing amazing or earth-shattering, but they were easy to use, I enjoyed making contact with people from like outside of, I added real life friends (that I talk to in real life almost daily, so that's not that thrilling) and life was good. Twitter, was a little more random because it's not as "protected" as FB, in that I can follow you and I don't have to ask for your approval. So that was a little more fun, as I made a few Japanese friends and brushed up a bit and got a confirmation that my Japanese is actually somewhat good still, talked to the owner of J-List, Peter, et cetera. However all of this, FB especially, became very disingenuous. I thought that since Facebook was - like I said - a little more protected, it wouldn't be on that MySpace level of, "Wheeeeee animated GIFs! Random graphics and ads!" that I hated so very much when I got roped into making one of those accounts years ago. But alas, that wasn't the case. The more people you add, the more ridiculous, stupid things pop up asking you to join this group and that group and then there are people like Danny that post a million things for more page views, but never reply back. And as far as I'm concerned, with people that I linked up with, but haven't talked to or lived around for a long time, they have local friends/associates that they post about local things with and I have no idea wtf they're talking about so I just end up hiding their updates. This is the disingenuous part. You're supposed to use these utilities to network with people, when all I've really done is communicate in an utterly superficial way. Someone on Twitter posts a song they're listening to, I make a comment, that's it. I don't think either of us is gratified or educated by this - if they even read my reply, and we've both wasted 30 seconds of our lives doing this. The brushing up on my Japanese part is neat, and it's great to talk to people on the other side of the world, but even those conversations go nowhere fast because we don't really know each other so (as my cousin's host sis once put it before "social networking" was around and was speaking about penpals) "You run out of things to talk about by the second letter and then you never talk to each other again."

The groups on FB are another thing that I find disingenuous. I enjoy going to, because I know everyone there is interested in roughly the same thing, we discuss it, people comment, everyone's entertained and more educated about what they like sometimes. Joining a group on FB to me, is the equivalent of spam. You occasionally get a post that you gloss over for about 4 seconds and then move on. And I understand that "making friends" with someone eternally busy like Danny, you'll have a post that you and 10,000 other reply to and there's no reply or anything. Just as I understand that most updates reflect his site and warrant more pageviews, so it's smarter for him overall. And honestly I think he's done it in a very intelligent way, "advertising" but keeping it hidden more or less, amongst a normal post. But this whole thing leaves interaction to be desired, for me at least. If I'm joining groups where my comments are just going to get lost in the shuffle, friends with people who I don't really know that use it to keep in touch with people they do know, and finally friending people that I admire but have little time for personal social contacts, then what's the point? I talk to the people I want to talk to in real life, on the phone or over AIM or something, I don't see the necessity of updating my status to people who, for all intents and purposes, don't give a flying shit about "What I'm doing right now".

If I want to make a figure review, I'll post it on my blog. If I want to rant about something, I'll post it on my blog. I'm not going to make (hate to use it again) disingenuous posts for the express purpose of attracting more followers who aren't really even going to read or even care what I have to say. Ironically, I'm a hypocrite, because all I've been using either thing for in the past 2 days is to advertise this blog, or mirror it on FB/Twitter.

Having said all of this, maybe I'm missing the point because I have an absolutely wretched social existence, and have for like the past 3-4 years. I'm not naturally that great (i.e. - I suck and am constantly self-deprecating so I don't even approach them anymore, and yes I am openly admitting I'm pathetic -_-;) at meeting people, and this area sucks for people that aren't total fucking dullards, so when most of my friends moved away after college and such, I have just a few people that I associate with now. I'm also gun shy because I end up picking the absolute worst people to associate with, they wind up being a weirdo, manic depressive, really epically boring (like, "Oh I don't mind watching you play video games for 4 hrs at a time, but I won't play myself at all."), flaky as hell, egomaniacal and full of themselves - you get the picture. I have a few friends that I hang out with so I'm not entirely alone, but honestly I would almost rather be alone than spend time with someone who all they do is talk about themselves and how awesome their band is. Ugh. People seem to use these for their real life contacts, and unfortunately I don't have many of those anymore, and therefore I'm not doing anything exciting either, so... And the out of town friends I have on FB, I get to read about their goings on and their friends and it just serves to depress me. This all gives me very little to gush about over a SOCIAL networking site. So yeah, as I said, maybe I missed the point.

1 comment :

Amen said...

ergh...i have a FB account I never bother to check , never had a myspace (I don't think I ever will) and only occasionally check my twitter. I never got to wrap my mind around the appeal of social networking sites at all. half of the contacts I have in my FB account are people I've met IRL who I never want to associate with again (but sort of have to to maintain social harmony with friends, family, co-workers, etc...) Maybe I'm just too much of a lone-wolf type.