Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter–Dear God No
I have made it clear over the years that I am technologically incompetent, with no way of changing.
I believe Facebook and MySpace should be abolished, and am truly convinced that Twitter is the apocalypse. I still refer to the people that use twitter to discuss their mundane existences as what they are…twits.
Although I am still rabidly opposed to these sites, I have decided to use them. I equate them to a social event that takes place once a month, and it is located one block from my home. Regarding this social event, everybody hates it, but everybody knows that everybody goes, so everybody goes. Social networking sites are no different.
I have a book to sell, and I want people to buy my book.
Here is how I approached the sites. I post once a day, usually in the morning. The post is a link to my column. That is it. Nothing more. You don’t care what I had for breakfast, what tv shows I watch, or what I do on the occasions I leave the computer, which more people should do. If you do care about these things, God help you.
This whole “friend request” thing makes me ill. I have no idea what the proper decorum is. Why the heck do I need to be internet friends with people I talk to all the time in real life? It seems silly. Also, I travel a lot on business, and have found that if I do not immediately accept a friend request, I am insulting somebody.
Why can’t people just email me? Or call me? Or drop by and visit?
Other people send me “friend suggestions.” People I like want me to know other people I do not know. Then if I do not say yes, I am insulting the person who made the suggestion.
Yet what I absolutely have no problem rejecting are requests to play games. I am not on these sites to have pillow fights, mafia wars, or figure out what tree I would be if I were a tree. I don’t care.
This then makes people think I dislike people. Quite the contrary. I love people. I treasure real friendships. Yet forming bonds with total strangers does not seem sincere. Now if we are trying to advance ideas, such as politics, hearing good ideas is useful. Just don’t send me recipes for crying out loud. I won’t use them.
For me the internet is about business. eBay is commerce. Purchasing plane tickets is useful. Heck, even JDate was about maximizing productivity, with romance merely being the product.
I say this because I am learning things about Facebook the hard way.
First of all, anybody that I accept as a friend has their life on my page. Sure, I could delete their feed, but that might be rude. Others will have “feed envy” if their feed is accepted.
Secondly, I had no idea that everything I type on my wall gets sent to every person on my list. I write a political column. I have friends who disagree with my views. I would never email them my political opinions. Yet my opinions show up on their wall, and they are unhappy. Sheesh!
Thirdly, commenting on anything anybody writes seems to be a death sentence. I commented on one person’s wall. I then received an email every time there was a follow-up comment. The person who owns the wall, I can understand this. Yet does every commenter care about what every other commenter says? I cannot imagine this to be the case.
Fourth, I have so many feeds on my page that I miss things, because I do not stare at the site 24 hours per day. I post my column and then leave, although I am polite enough to return emails. So if somebody leaves an offensive comment, I most likely will not see it. On my actual blog, I regulate and monitor all comments. Profanity and personal attacks are banned. Hate speech is deleted as quickly as possible. Yet on Facebook it is much tougher to do this. This leads to “friends” getting offended, when I have no idea why.
People should just comment on my blog, because then they know I will see it.
I know I do not have the right to dictate what others have to say. This is America. Yet when does enough become enough?
I am promoting a book. People can buy the book.
I am not discussing my bedroom habits, my bathroom habits, my shopping habits, or any other private behavior. I certainly do not put up explicit pictures of myself. I did not even have a picture on Facebook until other people posted pictures of me thinking I would be delighted by this.
None of the pictures are harmful, but I cannot imagine that anything in my private life matters. Are we that dull that we have to shout from the rooftops about how interesting we are?
Somebody suggested I should create a fan page for myself. Why the heck would anybody be a fan of me? I am a guy spouting opinions, occasionally with eloquence.
Nevertheless, my dreams of going back to the horse and buggy and abacus will not happen. Technology is here to stay, and will keep rapidly changing.
20 years ago when a person talked out loud to nobody, they were carted away to the looney bin. Now people have earpieces that are telephones. Personally I think it is a cover, and they really are talking out loud to nobody.
So yes, I am on Facebook and Twitter. I will keep my remarks on there brief and to the point.
I pray that the rest of you do the same. After all, less time on the computer means more time reading.
For those that read, I have a good book I can recommend to them. I should know. I wrote it.