I have nothing political to say today, but I’ll probably draw controversy and offend somebody anyway. Just cause it’s what I do now, I guess. I promise I don’t do it on purpose. I just have opinions, all of which are totally pulled right from my butt. Which means: (a) you don’t have to agree with me, (b) you can let me know you disagree with me and why, and (c) try not to be a jackass about it if you do decide to do that. I find lots of people go: You’re wrong!! Because dot dot dot…. Which is fine, that’s fine. But can you do that more subtly? Because just because I said it doesn’t make it true, and just because you disagree doesn’t make you right. Okay? Okay! …for the record: usually when I disagree with someone over something, I don’t say a word to them…I let them have their opinion. However, I can’t promise I won’t eventually write a blog entry giving my opinion on a related topic. (Is that passive aggressive about me? Maybe. Or just a severe reluctance to get into a futile argument online that’ll go nowhere and do damage.)
My point is: my willingness to even given an opinion is huge. Apparently, I’ve always been reluctant to speak my mind. When I was about ten, my mom gave me a plaque that said: EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO MY OPINION. I’m finally giving my opinion/s, 34 years later. Here, on this blog. Whenever I write. Today, I have philosophical issues (aka opinions) about social media:
Philosophical Issues part 1:
Why do people have to tag their significant others in every single thing they do when they post stuff on Facebook?
Here’s a picture of a sandwich I’m eating by myself, alone, at work, for lunch. –feeling (emoji face) with Significant Other. (Who is at their own work place, or at home.)
Am I missing something? If you’re in a relationship, do you not get to do things on your own sometimes and just state it without having to say how you feel about it and let your significant other know it’s happening? Explain it to me, Facebook tagging fans. I rarely tag people in my Facebook posts, and when I do it’s usually either because I actually did something with the person being tagged or I put up a post that directly involves the person I’m tagging. And 98% of the time I forget the tagging option even exists and I just put the post up and hopefully the person involved eventually notices it. I’m the same way in comments – I’m better about tagging in comments because Facebook automatically uploads the person’s name so you can tag them with their whole name or just their first name. I’m okay with that, because that lets the person know: hey you! I’m talking!! ANSWER. ….maybe that’s why the people tag their significant others in their status updates: Hey you! I’m on my lunch break eating this sandwich!! TALK TO ME. (or, you know: text me privately or call so your 500 friends/acquaintances and my 368 friends/acquaintances aren’t subjected to how big our love for each other is over this sandwich even though we’re currently 25 miles apart–see you after I battle rush hour.)
I mean, I get that it’s SOCIAL media. But we are all still individual human beings. You can do things solo and not feel weird about not including your main squeeze. (Because no offense, but if your main squeeze needs to include you in all of their Facebook postings and needs you to include them in all YOUR Facebook postings, your main squeeze may have some troubling self-esteem issues. But don’t mind me – I’m just a bitter divorcing woman.)
Philosophical Issues part 2:
Hashtags. First of all, I use them. If you use them, I am NOT judging you for using them. Hashtags are just fine. But do we need them for everything? Sometimes I try to use them strategically, but mostly I use them ironically. Supposedly they were invented for analytics and Twitter algorithms, and now they’ve evolved into some kind of weird thing people use because…I don’t know why people do this, actually. It’s one thing when there are a couple of hashtags within a message or at the end. But when you’ve written a message and then follow it with more than 2 or 3 hashtags, should those thoughts not have just gone in your message? Is it truly necessary to add hashtags to the end of every single thing you say on social media? I don’t get it, and it worries me about the future of communication. We’re already going to have a narcissist with despot tendencies or a manipulative liar as president in a few months…can we at least stop writing messages to each other then ending them with 20 hashtags?
#weird #why #whatpurposedoesthisserve #also,don’tstickpunctuationinyour#oritdoesn’twork #andyoulooklikeyoudontknowwhatyouredoing #butthewordyoureneedsan’ #badenglish #stopmuckingupenglishsocialmedia #whenpeopledontpunctuatecorrectlythatdrivesmecrazy #socrazy #imeanreallymental #shorterhashtagsarebetter #youonlyneedoneortwo #justsayitinthebodyofyourmessage #done #bye
I mean, nobody even hand writes cards and letters anymore, and I think I kind of miss those. #sad
Also AND, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake demonstrate fairly accurately what this hashtag thing looks like from an in person perspective:
Philosophical Issues part 3:
I think it’s nice to hang out in person face-to-face if you’re in a friendship. I know life gets crazy and time and schedules are nutty these days, but I like writing handwritten notes and cards to friends in spite of the fact I type faster. And I like having a meal with a friend and hearing their voice, being able to sit across from the table or on their couch and getting to, you know, SEE them. Some of my happiest moments in my apartment are when really dear friends have brought their good energy into my tiny place. And phone calls are okay, but those are kind of weird, too. You can’t see the person’s facial expressions, or offer them a warm embrace. I don’t want to give any friends or family members reading this a complex about talking to me on the phone or anything, but seriously – I make hard eye rolls and exasperated faces all the time on the phone. Thank god video phone calls aren’t yet a thing. I did it, just the other day, to a customer service person I was super sweet to via voice (be sweet to customer service people – you’ll get more out of them, and they hate working there as much as you hate whatever their there has done to you). But inside, I was all: Oh, PLEASE. Riiiight. And my face showed it. (Full disclosure: it was a cable company. I’m certain they get lots of faces from the other end of the phone whenever they talk to people.)
I know social media is one way to make new friends, especially for people who can’t leave their houses for whatever reason. And adulting is hard, you guys. I think friends are probably the most essential things we can have to survive adulthood, yet once you’re in the swing of things as an adult (a job, a significant other, kid or kids), the time constraints that you have for people outside your immediate family is crazy-limiting, so getting to know new people and making that kind of time to hang out and get to know each other. Plus, friendships take time to build…you don’t just get to know someone and then, BAM, one day later: okay, we’re friends! No you’re not. You’re friends after a good few months of getting to know each other. You’re GOOD friends after a year or two. You’re dear friends after going through some kind of hell-and-brimstone fire situation together. But after just one or two online chats or a couple of phone calls? I don’t think so. And because of my past personal experience with this, it will always be a red flag from now on when someone declares me their friend after only talking to me once or twice. Really? What kinds of books do I like to read? If I could choose between watching a new movie with my favorite actors in it or re-watching Sophie’s Choice, which would I pick? What makes me cry? What kind of humor makes me laugh? When you can answer those kinds of things about me and I can answer similar ones about you, THEN we are friends.
What I’m saying is: you can make lots of really good friends on social media who can get to know you really well and truly be friends (I have)…but don’t replace that with in-person get togethers whenever possible, because that’s where your soul is fed.
And I guess I wrote this post because I’m not sure social media is where humans ultimately are going to have their souls fed. And I worry about that. No, seriously. I actually do.