It’s like a drug?
I like to follow the technology curve, thinking of myself as something of an innovator. It was with great enthusiasm that I embraced Friends Reunited, discovering all the people I went to school with, keeping in touch, then letting go again. Some of us took the connection to Facebook, where we laughed at the antics of one another’s kids, looked at pictures of one another and brought home the realities of being middle aged.
It stands to reason doesn’t it? Your best mate has gone from pecs and abs to having a figure like a beer barrel, with a face like an old shoe and it makes your own decline more bearable.
Then of course there is Twitter. The game it seems? To have more followers than everyone else, to somehow validate your existence on the planet. Somewhat early into the game I realised I didn’t actually know any of the people I was following and found it impossible to keep up with the timeline. I deleted my account and started over. Then they changed the way it worked slightly and I had to explain to friends “well you were following me, but now you need to follow me again.”
That’s what it is all about right? I write books and you won’t read them unless you know about them. You won’t know about them unless you know about me, so if I retweet loads of fabulous quotes you notice me and then… But on a planet where everyone is doing this?
So here we all are in a see of white noise. Information technology on overload. People were getting too much, so one by one I switched them off. For some bizarre reason a handful of followers thought I was their salvation, or at least some kind of famous guy worth latching onto. Or maybe they thought I was some guy who knew some famous guy worth latching onto? One went as far as to stalk my family, another issued insults and covert threats of violence. All this in response to status update prompts. I tell you how I feel, you try to kill me? Thanks! Enough is enough, I am totally fed up with it. So the other night, one by one, I defriended, or unfollowed almost everyone. It worries me that some people have taken it personally too.
This morning, I looked at Twitter and there was nothing to do. It took me seconds to scan the time line, without hundreds of links to follow, I get to pursue my own train of thought. This is the first blog I have written in ages. I used to update my website every day and I use my free time to create podcasts. I stopped doing it because somehow Facebook and Twitter seemed enough.
My grammar is rusty and this isn’t flowing quite as easily as it used to. I have been condensing ideas to 140 characters or less for so long, that I am out of the habit of writing paragraphs. Yes, the problem with Facebook and Twitter for a creative, or writer, is that it feels like you are doing something with your art or your skill, when in reality you are not.
I like to follow the technology curve, thinking of myself as something of an innovator. It was with great enthusiasm that I defriended and unfollowed almost everyone and I am currently thinking of ways to exit social media entirely. Personal contact is the new way to keep up with friends. Pick up the phone!
Twitter is a self sufficient information resource and probably more useful than Facebook in that membership is not required to read content. People are surprised when people aren’t on Facebook, but it is intrusive and requires membership to access information.
I am currently tied to a couple of streams of information that I cannot get any other way. So, does anyone want to manage my Groups/Pages?
See you on the other side of the looking glass
Mark Ty Wharton