Thursday, March 08, 2012

Top 8, Ahem, Interesting Social Media Behaviors

Why eight? Because I couldn't think of ten. Ten's overrated. Learn to enjoy eight.

Anyway, I'm no expert. It's not like I've written a thesis paper on social media; I just use it. (Digression: If you write a thesis on social media, do you tweet it to your professor? Because you should totally tweet that shit.)

Before we begin, it is important that you know how I perceive the usage of social media. This is a far-from-exhaustive list.

Twitter: You're at a big party in your honor, but you know only some of the people in attendance. The rest are three classes of strangers: (1) those who wandered by the open front door and thought it looked like a good time, (2) they like the cut of your jib, but you have no actual history with them, and (3) porn bots. Anyway, at this party, your brain has glitch that causes you to shout out observations at random intervals. All partygoers hear you; some choose to respond, some don't.

Facebook: It's your wedding reception. You are the best of friends with some of the attendees, related to many others, co-workers to some, and some of them you don't really know, but your parents made you invite them. Many strata of intimacy, but you did actually invite all of them to come, so you probably know them a tiny bit better than some of the yokels who follow you on Twitter.

: Newsletter, postcard, whatever, tacked to a bulletin board. It's out there, people can read it, but you don't force it on them. They come to it. Also, since this is a medium that allows you some time to ponder before you press "Publish," you'd better have spell checked it. (I know that blogs aren't really social media unto itself, but people tweet or status update references to their blogs all the time, so here we are.)

Oh, also? I'm leaving out the gaming requests, because everyone already knows they are annoying. I won't be shedding any light there. Okay, here we go, in ascending order of ahem, interestingness (one = mildly annoying, ten = face meltingly uncool):

1) Taking pictures of your meals.
Unless you work for Food & Wine magazine, chances are excellent that the photos are (a) out of focus, and (b) make your food look pretty unappetizing.

2) Posting your location.
Why? Why do I care if you're at the Melting Pot? Especially if I'm not invited. Just makes me feel like you're bragging. Plus, you're telling everyone that you aren't home. It's an excellent way to lose a plethora of valuables, yes?

3) Posting your running stats. I have no idea why I know so many runners. When did that happen? Is it just among my circle of friends? Or does everyone run and I'm out of the loop because I'm busy changing diapers when everyone else is running? I don't know. But I do know my playwriting classmate's personal 5K best.

4) Not being able to complete a thought in 144 characters or LESS. Twitter posts things in real time, right? So if you can't edit, and you burp out your thoughts in three or four tweets, you reader probably stumbles on the last tweet and is all, "Wha?" It's not like it's breaking rocks to scroll back through a series of tweets, but it's annoying.

5) #Putting #a #hashtag #in #front #of #everything #you #write.

6) Uploading a hundred pictures from a drunken weekend and tagging everyone in it.
Look, for good or for ill, employers are checking out employees' Facebook pages. So, if we happen to be a party together and I act a fool, I really don't need you to throw it out there for the world to see.

7) Posting totally inaccurate news stories. The politically ranty among us do this at an alarming rate. See, here's the thing: you're posting via a connected medium. This tells me that you have access to the internet, and could therefore fact check a thing or two. It's called, people. Bill Cosby didn't produce an "I'm tired, welfare is stupid, everyone's lazy" rage. That is the masterwork of former state senator Robert Hall. Know how long it took me to find that out? One minute.

8) Christening your collective of Twitter followers. ESPECIALLY if it is your own name. Patricia Heaton uses 'Tweatons.' Ugh, right? I don't have a problem with fans having a collective name in general, like 'Trekkies.' But I don't think Gene Roddenberry named them, you know? He probably just called them fans. He certainly didn't call then "Roddenberrites."

9) Only using these sites to shill. It's a given that comics, authors, actors, musicians, etc., will take the opportunity to notify their fans of upcoming performances, publications, broadcasts, whatever. Totally cool. But it'd also be nice to hear a thought or two direct from the source, you know? That's part of what makes it "social" media. Otherwise, why wouldn't I just go to a fan site?

10) Announcing major life events to people with whom you are supposed to be close. Seriously? You're telling you sister you're getting married by switching your Facebook relationship status from "In a relationship" to engaged?

[Editor's Note: I COULD think of ten. I added two after surfing Twitter and catching other things that made me roll my eyes.]

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