There have been tons of articles posted about the need for safety and anonymity while using the Internet for social networking; you know with the pedophiles and sex offenders out there and all. It’s also been said that many employers view the Facebook profiles of applicants and use that as a basis for interviews. That’s great and all but this isn’t about how to get or keep a job or to keep pervs out of your window. This is more so for you not to piss off your friends.
1. It’s Not Real Life
Social Networking should not encompass every faction of your life. Things said on Twitter or Facebook or whatever other tools you may be using should be taken at face value and generally left in cyberspace where they belong. A bazillion relationships have been ruined by tweets typed, photos liked, and pokes poked. Wtf is a poke anyway? An Internet beef is as gangsta as nerds arguing over Star Wars vs. Star Trek.
2. Don’t Blame the Network
Every time a new security measure is added or there is more access to the user’s information the network gets outraged. Why? You put all your info out there. Birthday. Full Name. Location. Think about what’s really out there for everyone to see. “Aww but Facebook has the numbers from my cell phone out there”. Do they really? How bout use that instead of FB blasting everyone your phone erases every number you ever had? (Am I the only one that backs up my Blackberry? Am I the only one still on Team Blackberry?)
3. Think Before You Tweet
I’m not saying that everything coming out of your brain into your Smartphone is going to be a golden nugget. I’m just saying maybe think about how you come across when you type things. There is no sarcasm font. There is no “but you know what I mean” caption. Words are going to be interpreted by each individual out there reading your stuff. I’m not used to the permanence of text, nor the constant need to tweet every single thing I’m thinking. The other day I was looking for a specific tweet and had to scroll through 2 weeks of a timeline to get the quote right. My brain almost exploded from the constant bombardment of douchebaggery. And I’m like “this person is only mildly like this in real life, why are the tweets so exaggerated?” On the one hand I could see if I didn’t know you. But the majority of the people I network with online I have actually met in person. The online personas can throw you off.
4. Social Network
I get so annoyed when people act like they are above the trend to have a social networking profile of any kind. All “oh no I don’t do that”. Then that’s why you’re out of the loop on life. Have some idea about what’s going on around you. A week after September 11, 2001, I was at work talking to co-workers about where we were when we heard the news. I mean it was really all that anyone could talk about for months. And one co-worker was like “well I was off so I was going to take the boys to the zoo. We get up, get dressed, and get into the car. Get to the zoo and they had closed down! And the guy was all ‘Ma’am the country is under attack’ but I had no idea! We don’t have a TV and we didn’t listen to the radio on the way to the zoo!” I blank stared her. Saying “I’m not on Facebook” is like saying “I don’t have a TV”. I just…really?
Social networking is a wonderful thing. It’s a great way to find out breaking news and discuss Watch The Throne and True Blood. It’s how I found about Michael Jackson dying (I say my n*gga dead!) and which of my friends are Republicans. I tweet to document my random thoughts on life and general observations I think my friends might find amusing. To find out if the freeway is blocked, and what my friends though about True Blood (clearly I love True Blood). And to be nosy and see how fat people have gotten since high school. But that’s it. I can leave it there and not let it effect way too much of my life. I try to not cross-contaminate things.
I was there when the Internet started. I remember when there was no such thing as unlimited texts. I would pass notes that could easily be torn up or burned. There was no real permanence there. I am so glad that social networking took place in the cafeteria and hallways when I was in high school instead of cyberspace whose limits have yet to be reached. Where everything is instant and public and spreads like wildfire.
Why do you social network? Do you have a problem separating it with real life? Do you know people who have trouble with that? What are your rules for keeping things from becoming too real? What do you wish was different about how social networking effects people’s lives?
“I don’t know what your generation’s fascination is with documenting your every thought… but I can assure you, they’re not all diamonds.” – Easy A