I have a love/hate relationship with social media.
I have enough of it; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr (the last mainly exists for my 12yo to re-blog various photos from her fave shows). Most are controlled, with advanced privacy settings, except for Twitter, because apparently as a writer I need a social media footprint or something.
Then, my mom joined Twitter.
After that, I would have conversations with my mom about my various tweets:
Mom: “are you mad @ me? You tweeted that you’re mad.”
Me: No mother.
Mom: “Why did you tweet about pancakes?”
Me: Because I really like them mother.
Mom: “Why did you re-tweet that sappy thing & what’s a retweet & should I be doing it?”
Me: because I was bored on a bus & it sounded pretty & it’s…no, no you shouldn’t.
(Also, let’s all wave to my mother, who is now a huge fan of this blog. No, I’m not mad @ you. Enjoy Twitter)
But it does annoy me that we have regressed to the point where we think we understand someone’s life from 140 characters or who they follow on Twitter. WWE websites were abuzz when former Diva Maryse Ouellet unfollowed the shared account of current WWE Divas Brie & Nikki Bella. Gasp! What does this mean? That Ouellet is passive aggressive? That the Bella Twins & Ouellet had a falling out? Why is this news? Miley Cyrus unfollowed former fiancé Liam Hemsworth as reports of his serial adultery surfaced. Again, why is Twitter news?
I am not passive aggressive by any stretch of the imagination. I may not be confrontational, but if I’m mad, YOU WILL KNOW. If I want something, you’ll know, because I’ll get it (just ask the good people @ various record labels who told me I couldn’t talk to their artists. I’m like a pitbull. PS with the exception of two, I got every single artist I asked for. My current boss learned this when I said in my interview I was not leaving without that job), and if I have something to say, I’ll tell you. I hate when someone says “Oh hey, I saw on FB that you like pancakes!” (I’ll assume you’re new), because I miss conversations & I hate that social media is sort of replacing it. As a writer, I’m conflicted. I need to have a social media footprint to encourage readers, but I’m also tired of my friends & family using it to learn about me in lieu of talking to me. Not to mention the weird habit of creeping people, etc. Yuck.
Because it annoys me so , I decided to reject all forms of indirect communication. Passive aggressive Facebook statuses (if you do it, you’re unfriended. The end), subtweets, and third party message delivery service. No mas. I’m going to bring back the lost art of conversation if it kills me. Like I told the angry tween, if someone wants to talk to me , I am easily found. My address hasn’t changed (yet), my number either (yet) & thanks to Facebook, generally people know where I am when I’m out socially, which is almost never. Short of me boasting a neon sign that says “MH IS HERE” with an arrow pointing down, I am most definitely not Waldo. I also do not tolerate third party conversations that can get lost in translation. As my coworkers have learned, I won’t even discuss things over text, because they can be misconstrued. If someone wants to talk to me, be around me, be in my life, etc. then talk to me, be around me, etc. I firmly believe in direct contact, not playing telephone or leaving messages with a friend or whatever. I believe that if someone wants to be around me, no matter what’s happened , they will summon every ounce of courage in their body, swallow their pride & come find me, much like Gigi did a year ago. But I will not chase anyone. If you left my life for any reason, it’s up to you to walk back in. Much like Gigi learned, I’m not really a grudge holder & there is one person in this life that I will forgive absolutely everything. If you want to be around me, then it’s up to you to make that step, & if you choose to make that step, I’m pretty easy to find. Just ask…or appear. I’ll be found.
I must seem a titch hypocritical, writing about my annoyance with social media, which I will then blast over social media for you to read, but I don’t hate social media. I hate the misuse of it & when it replaces real human interaction. It’s like my thing with television; as an entertainment reporter, I obviously need it to makes my living, but I do not need to be a slave to it, which is why the girls & I lock up the phones, turn off the computer & TV twice a week & have technology free days where we go outside & play with toys & such. So, let’s stop using our social media accounts as our sole way to interact with people & actually talk to them. You’re likely missing all the important stuff that you can’t find in a status update or 140 characters.