Thursday, September 12, 2013

On Social Media Etiquette

Facebook, Twitter and a blog are as far as I've gone so far with my social media connectedness, but I must confess to feeling as though I might be missing the boat on new cool sites. I have no instagram or Tumblr account, I distrust Linkdin and I'm not even sure what Vine is, but it's the latest 'it' thing, apparently. (I suspect the very fact I would call something an 'it' thing would instantly disqualify me.)

You're not still on myspace, are you? ewww. Although, I bet myspace will be seen as hip and retro before long; I hear vinyl is making a comeback, too. I keep waiting for calligraphy to also become cool again, but no such luck.

If you have a love/hate relationship with social media, come sit by me. While we love knowing stuff about people we don't see often, let's admit that much of what we all post is tedious, torturous personal PR. We all know it's a rare person indeed who will post unpleasant or unflattering information about themselves on facebook. It should really be called bragbook. A couple of my friends staunchly refuse to join because they consider it to be a never-ending high school. They have a point.

The first thing I did when I signed up for facebook was to block a couple of people with whom I had unfortunate dealings, including a former boss, a former boyfriend and the worst of his odious friends.

This week, almost by accident, I discovered to my chagrin that unfriending can go both ways. Usually if someone overshares or if their posts are badly spelled and annoying, it's easy to avoid seeing those posts by simply removing the person from my facebook news feed. (Rest assured, it's only for other people, I would never remove YOU from my feed!) The removed overposter is none the wiser and I don't have to see the latest pictures of their obese cats; it's win-win. Now, if a removed person drifts across my consciousness, I can still look them up and know what's going on in their lives. This week, I did happen to look up two women whose feeds I had removed, and discovered to my surprise, I was no longer 'friends' with either of them! Clearly, I've offended or hurt them in some serious way. Or maybe they don't know the trick of removal without the drastic step of 'unfriending'?

Here's where it's high school: I'm somewhat hurt that these women took me off their friend list even though I had basically done the same thing to them. So why are we using the word, friend, exactly?

And really, how soon can curling season start? I clearly need a life off the Internet.

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