It is hard for most of us to imagine a world without social media. We tweet, post, link, like and when we’re through, we retweet, repost, and share again.
What is the first site you think of when you think of social media? Chances are, you think of Facebook. There’s a good reason for that. Everything we do, from stopping for coffee on the way to work, to picking up take-out on the way home, is linked to Facebook.
The movies I watch, the theaters I watch them in, the music I listen to, and the stores I frequent all have pages on Facebook. There was a time when buying merchandise was thanks enough, but now they want me to “like” them, too. It was fun for a while. One of my favorite pizza joints posts coupons on Facebook. I used it a couple of times. Now it just tells me which nights to avoid so I don’t hit the FB coupon lines.
My soda has a Facebook page, my permanent markers have a Facebook page, and yes, I have a Facebook page. I have 227 Facebook friends. The last time I saw that many people all at the same time was probably at my wedding. And I didn’t really know half of them, either. As friend lists go, mine is pretty short, and I could probably cull it even further.
Typically, 70% of the posts are not original, but simply reposts of what someone else posted. Maybe this is true in real life, too. I mean, maybe I’m coming down too hard on my FB friends. How much of what we say in person is original, either? Personally, I just don’t have time to sit around reading all the stuff that other people post so that I can repost it on my timeline. To be fair, I don’t spend a lot of time on FB at all, and it’s not a place I like to share my deepest thoughts, my every move, or my drama.
Yes! I have drama in my life. Who doesn’t? I make a choice to keep my life private — both in Facebook and reality. Posting my drama just leaves me open for pity or those who want to one-up me, neither of which is better than the other. Keeping my drama on the down-low allows me to seek guidance from those I select, while putting up a classy don’t-you-envy-my-life front for the rest of the world.
If I’m on Facebook, I am most commonly accessing it from my phone. I could put the phone down, but what fun is that? Me and my Smartphone rule the world, and FB just wants in on it.
- Notification: You have an 1 event pending!
- Notification: Friends have sent you 3 game invitations!
- Notification: You have 1 friend request!
This event invitation is one I’m too honest to accept, and too compassionate to decline. It’s an invitation to send a Christmas card to a little kid with Cerebral Palsy. I agree with the concept, but here’s the thing . . . The invite says “our address is . .” so whoever created this lives with the kid and is looking forward to all the warm fuzzies of watching the child be buried in his own Christmas mail. There’s also the part about sending mail to a child I don’t know. How would I sign it? Love? Sincerely? Yours Truly? I’ll probably give money to my local food shelf and click “tentative” on the invite just to make it go away, and hope the FB Friend who invited me will forget they did.
The game invites I will delete, only to have them pop up again tomorrow. There are three games I play. One is a quick timed word game, another is a zone-out bedtime number game. The last is a virtual reality that feels more like a grown-up dollhouse. I talk about them like they’re real, and mourn them briefly when they die. It freaks Bubba out and that’s enough for me. None of these games require Facebook, and I stopped posting my high scores there as soon as I figured out how to adjust the setting.
The friend request will be accepted, providing her name isn’t Brandi and wearing a bikini. That happens. It’s not that I’m opposed to a girl wearing a bikini, it’s that she spells her name with an “i” and wants me to spend money getting to know her.
A bit of advice for those losing passwords. Do not click the option that says, “We don’t recognize your username or password. Would you like to sign in using Facebook?” Clicking OKAY will not direct you to your original account. It will set up a whole new account. You will now have two accounts. One with none of your history, and the other with no way to get into it.
Why would Facebook and your favorite app want you to sign in through FB? Because they share your information like two biddies down the street over a cup of cheap coffee.
“She likes browsing sexy lingerie!”
“Are you serious? Wait until I tell the other sites about that!”
“Oh my! Do let me know which sites are interested!”
“You’ll be the first to know! Have some more coffee . . . sugar?”
” . . . and cream, if you have it.”
I know it’s all in the name of suggestive marketing. The grocery store does the same thing when they place ping pong balls next to the 3.2 beer. But Cub Foods doesn’t send someone around to watch what labels I’m reading for the sole purpose of suggesting I buy something else. That would be nosey and I’d stop shopping there.
So why do I continue to shop at Facebook? I treat it like a party hosted by a friend of a friend of a friend. I don’t really know the host, but I respect the space and everyone there. It’s a good place to reconnect with lost loved ones, and see how their kids have grown. There are a lot of different conversations going on, so if I don’t like one I can join another. I try to keep it generic, because there are a lot of people attending from all walks of life. It may not be the best party going on, but you’re bound to see someone that makes you smile.
Like any party, it’s better after you’ve had a few. So if you see me there, I’m likely to have a drink in my hand. I won’t be driving, but if you’re a good friend and I’ve had too many, please tell me to put the phone down . . .
Peace . . .