Monday, May 13, 2013

a social media respite

I can remember where I was sitting when I heard the word "facebook". It was my junior year of college. The exclusive website was only available to those lucky enough to be in college at the time. Now I could stalk whoever I wanted with zero consequences. Genius.

Slowly facebook started getting weird. "Your Mom is on facebook?!" " GRANDmom is on facebook". People were being cut from study abroad trips, they were being turned down from job opportunities all because their facebook pictures looked....questionable. Character judgements were being made through facebook profiles. I was getting invitations for farm games and candy crushes. The layout changed once (annoying), and then again (worse), and then again (unbearable), and then again.........I don't even know how to use it and I still hate the "Time line"

And then I got "friended" (which is now a word according to webster) by people who I would not recognize if I passed them in the grocery store of my very small home town. Last time I checked I am pretty good at recognizing my friends. Unless the definition of friend has changed. Lets look up the definition of friend together.

friend /frend/

A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.
Add (someone) to a list of contacts associated with a social networking Web site.

Obviously the verb has been added since 2005 when facebook was created.

Don't get me wrong, I love me some time on all of the social media websites I am a part of, which is all of them. Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google +. I love figuring out the connections on each site...I love figuring out connections. I love admiring pictures and publishing a witty status, i love the likes! But there comes a point when enough is enough.

My reality is now being shaped by a website that is accessible for me not only while on my computer, but on my phone when I am hanging out with real live people. These websites create an alternate reality where every one's life looks better than mine. Because I have been cursed with the gender: female, I over analyze and compare my facebook life with other's facebook lives. And my life never looks quite as fun as everyone elses. But I really like my life, a lot.....

Last night, my roommate Lindsey and I were talking about my comparison problem when she stated, "oh yea, that's a thing, comparing your life to another person's on facebook and thinking your life sucks, its called the facebook syndrome". I've got it and its bad. But if you think about it, who is going to put the ordinary everyday stuff on facebook or the terrible crap in their life; I mean if they do we naturally block them from our newsfeeds because they have now become "boring" or "depressing". Please, I have pictures to like and status' to create. Ain't nobody got time for that (YouTube syndrome).

And then there is Instagram, my love. I can't say anything negative about Instagram because I love it way too much. But I have heard it is discouraging for those who are not good at finding Instagram photo opportunities. Or for those who have not discovered the exposure button (which makes everyone a photographer).  Don't get discouraged though, just use the #VSCO camera and #hashtag the crap outta that picture! Follow me at carrielarrie. I need more affirmation.

Twitter has been a recent phenomenon for me. And I am terrible at it, you can see for yourself at @carrielarriee. I have had so many conversations about how to use it and that it's "good for the news". But I look up or the New York Times.  News done. So why twitter? I hate saying the word "twitter" and "tweet", I don't enjoy "following" others. Why am I torturing myself? But seriously, follow me @carrielarriee, I need more affirmation.

And then there is the scenario of the social gathering turned YouTube fiasco. It all starts with one person saying "Oh man, have you seen  ___________ on YouTube? You've got to see it! Hilarious! Best video ever! Viral! Let me show you". Nothing kills a conversation faster than pulling up YouTube on your phone, computer, ipad, ipad mini, kindle fire.....yikes.

Lastly, LinkedIn. One time a "hand model" added me to their professional network....a hand model, what?! his summary is as follows:

My education was mostly bogus. The only reason I graduated High school was because my dad taught at the middle school. Most of the teachers/counselors/ local politicians thought I was mental, so I was placed in that room at the back of the hallway on the other end of the school, with the rest of the loons.
Some goals: To beat the final board on all the video games where I got to the last level and punked out.
Finding another 1991 Eagle Talon only this time, treating it the way it deserves. Regular oil changes, cd player, floormats.
Specialties:My dad gave me his fishtie(Largemouth bass) and his Elvistie. I also have a specialshirt, it's the flag of Texas!

This guys LinkedIn invitation to me is still pending. I don't want to reject him, but I can't possibly include him in my "professional network", right?

Somebody help me. Technology doesn't look good on me and I tend of abuse it. So last night I said enough is enough. I hit the deactivate button on Facebook. I don't think this is permanent but its a step. Its a breath of fresh air. A respite. I have no idea what anyone else is doing, looking at, looking for, who they are hanging out with, or engaged to or how many babies they have unless of course I see them in person and have a conversation with them. I know in a couple months after a friends wedding I will have to get back on to see the pictures and dance videos, but for now I'm okay. I'm still breathing, and comparing myself a little less to...everyone on earth. 

Now the only problem is, how am I supposed to share this blog post on facebook? And more importantly, how are you supposed to Friend me now?