'Be anxious for nothing..." ~Philippians 4:6

Thursday, November 3, 2016

SOCIAL NETWORKING

I logged on to Facebook. The notifications about a single person's activity on my page, were unusual. I clicked on the name to see who it was since there was no photo of an actual person. There wasn't much else on their page either, but certain remarks, photos, and "likes" prompted me to just click "unfriend".

I'm usually pretty lax about accepting friends, but I prefer human friends over cartoon characters, flowers, zodiac symbols, superhero logos, letters and numbers. I'm noticing an upsurge in crazy-- or perhaps people think it's clever, innovative, or unique to be eerily vague, so I've been deleting and blocking more than usual.

I'm a little concerned- just a little- and don't like logging on and seeing notifications that make me want to phone Facebook 911. So...you like a photo, or a link, want to chat, or demand to have your inappropriate question answered, but WHO ARE YOU? You've been on facebook since it's inception, you have a wall pic that you heisted off of some stock photo site, you've supplied ZERO information, and you expect people to interact? Why don't we all just go talk to our microwaves or something? It would be tantamount to the same thing--one-sided and completely nuts.

I'm not even going to get STARTED on the cowards who relish in the anonymity that social networking sites provide; who daily say things they don't have half of the guts to say to someone's face. Others read and know that SOMEBODY is off their rocker, and proceed to ignore, or even feel pity, but the coward feels empowered. One day, social networking site administrators--who DO know who the cowards are, and where they live--might not be at liberty to keep their real identities a secret.

We give each other access, but even among the closest REAL friends, it's limited. None of us are the most privacy-craving bulbs in the chandelier if we've decided to have Facebook or Instagram walls, Twitter timelines, or Myspace pages, (Yes. It's still around.) but there is an element that has ascribed to what amounts to stalking, creeping, joke playing, trolling, and spying. Call it whatever you like, but it's kind of sad considering how gracious most people tend to be when it comes to social networking. Just because someone logged on, doesn't mean that they stayed on. Some people actually do walk away from their computers. People want to engage you, but get offended when you choose not to respond. I have gotten friend requests from people I actually know who feel the need to change their names, and I get that. Then there are those who change their names for their several sites, but don't have sense enough to change their photo....*sigh*

On another note--Married people. Listen. If you don't want to be married, get a divorce, but stop sending inappropriate messages to people with whom you neither live, nor sleep. If you can't put it on the wall where everyone can see, you probably should keep it to yourself. Look at your marital status. Now look at your spouse's photo. Keep doing that until you remember YOU'RE MARRIED! Geez! Have you learned NOTHING from a certain pro-golfer and numerous politicians? Your words can be captured, copied, printed, and re-published faster than you can say, "I'm an idiot". The internet does not have the same operating rules as the Sea of Forgetfulness. Some of you are not going to be happy until you are sweating bullets of embarrassment while hearing your own words being read back to you aloud in DC--and I don't mean the nation's capital.

Do you, by all means, but don't expect everyone to go along with your "you-doing" all willy nilly and out of control. We all have created our own sets of social networking rules based upon our own preferences and personalities, so cut out trying to be a dictator. What in the world? There are:
People trying to MAKE other people correspond with them.
People trying to decide when and how long you should be online.
People making comments that have NOTHING to do with what you posted.
People posting things on your wall that they really want other people to see.
People putting suggestive/endearing comments on your wall as if you have a close relationship.
People chatting up other people who they don't even speak to when they see them in public.
People posting what THEY like on YOUR wall and expecting you to like and endorse it, too.
I could do this all day...

When I can't deal with what I see, it gets hidden or blocked. I don't want to see your body, your friends bodies, or their friends bodies. I don't want to read your profanity-laced rant about how slow people are at the doctor's office. I don't want to see your argument with your spouse or significant other.
I could do this all day, too...


It hurts me when I see friends or even strangers doing dumb things online that make them appear--or confirms that they're ignorant, unwise, nasty, mean-spirited, trifling or pathetic, but it is your right as an American to be as dumb, ignorant, unwise, nasty, mean-spirited, trifling and pathetic as you want to be. It is, after all, a free country. Perhaps other countries have laws against thoughtless behavior that we should explore.


I delete urban legends, warnings, requests for donations, sob stories, and the like, that, if you would take the time to Google it, you will find it is NOT true, or is a hoax that has been circulating on the internet since the internet was in diapers. STOP SPREADING FEAR!


I delete invitations to buy tickets. That is not an invitation, Buttercup. It is a request for a possible financial transaction. I block annoying apps, not nice people. Before you post, take a few seconds and THINK--"Is this something I should say? Will this demonstrate that I was raised in a cave? Am I just being a jerk? Would I risk imprisonment,  or haul off and punch someone if they said to ME what I am about to type and send to THEM?"

Finally, unless they're drastically increasing the odds, and giving away substantial, ACTUAL tax-free prizes (you know--fully-furnished mansions, luxury vehicles, vacations, suitcases of cash), I only play facebook games (Scrabble, Family Feud, Candy Crush) for FUN--period. I just like them for the possible stimulation my brain might get at the end of the day. The smack talking and bragging is over the top. "Eat my dust" in all caps and followed by a bazillion exclamation marks should be reserved for an Indy 500 race car driver or something.  It's okay to be proud of yourself, and again, I say, DO YOU, but again, don't ever be surprised by the indifference or silence you get from someone who thinks you could reserve that puffed up enthusiasm for something important like, I don't know, the birth of a child, news of a cure for cancer, world peace, the opening of a Garret's popcorn store in your neighborhood...I'm just sayin'.

The happy place, that is Facebook, or any other social networking site, for that matter, is so much more enjoyable without the random rudeness, bullying, familiar spirits, insensitivity, and...well... loopy weirdness. It can be a serious place, too. I mean, people are doing major business there, but most of us are merely the lab rats in a great big international Science project. We just want to connect with friends and family, share a little joy, a little song, a kind word, good news, information, or even a random thought. For most of us, it's just not that deep and we'd rather not do it at all if it becomes like walking into a HAZMAT situation.

"Do unto others" is not the end of the quote. Keep reading, and then, when networking, act accordingly.

No comments:

Post a Comment