Do you get the funny feeling that this week’s topic is about social media? What? Someone just tweeted you? You have to go check a comment on your Facebook status? Ooooh, and look at this fabulous dinner on Pinterest!
I once had a My Space account, but it was only so I could read one of the Biggest Loser contestant’s blog. I never figured out how to make all the cool, creative pages. Facebook happened more by accident and I don’t think I used it for nearly a year. Then another friend got me to use Facebook with the magic words. “It’s like My Space, but for people our age.” Technically she was wrong on that second part, but she connected me with enough of our mutual friends and explained how much easier it was than MySpace, that I haven’t looked back. In the beginning, my Facebook friends were just high school and college friends. That is, people who were within 5 years of my age. I probably posted a lot more at that time. Then I got a friend request from a former student. I had to think long and hard if I wanted to accept it. If I did, then I would be opening myself up to all of my former students. If I didn’t, would that make me a jerk? Luckily, I liked that student, she was then over 18, and I decided that if my students really wanted to friend request their former math teacher, then I probably should feel honored. If they can’t handle that I enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail every once in a while or that I care very deeply about my University of Miami Hurricanes during football season, they are free to take advantage of that “Unfriend” button. (Facebook now has other options such as “Unfollow” or “Block” or whatever thing they call it so that I can get through political seasons without hating the entire world. I save my venom for those soul-selling scumbags called politicians.)
As for all the other stuff like Linked In (I’ve heard this is supposed to be Facebook for professionals), Goodreads, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and who knows how many others, I don’t “do” them. Twitter? Do you really think I can say anything of significance in 140 characters or less? Pinterest? I was told what a major time suck that one is right up front. right after I discovered how much time I was already killing on Facebook. Look, I have a family to feed. With real food. Not with pictures of perfectly sculpted mashed potatoes with cutesy celery people that some psycho moms use to get their darlings to eat fresh veggies. (In all fairness, I have not seen that exact picture, but I bet one of you with a Pinterest account can scan to see if one exists.) If my family doesn’t want to eat the mashed potatoes (which may have come from a box), fine. But I’m not cooking them anything else. And after one friend spent hours upon hours to make Pinterest-inspired centerpieces for another friend’s wedding, I’m thinking, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
I have mixed feelings on Goodreads. I hear it’s a must for authors, but I’ve also heard the horror stories of internet trolls leaving 1-star reviews just out of meanness. Honestly, I hope karma bites those bullies with the heat of a 1000 suns. Sorry to all the folks who’ve sent me Linked In requests, but it’s just like the Ice Bucket Challenge. Thank you, but no thank you. I already created a separate, more professional email account. I really don’t want another social media thing to maintain. My daughter set me up with Instagram, but I don’t get the need for all the filters for pictures that very few people really care about. If I cared that much about my picture presentation, I wouldn’t have boxes upon boxes of unused scrapbooking materials. (I’m very familiar with the end destination of a path paved with Good Intentions.) Tumblr? I can’t get past the purpose of leaving out the ‘e’. And I picture a gymnastics-style room with lots of mats. I fail to see how that has anything to do with social media.
If and when I finish a few of these WIP manuscripts and have a publisher who insists that I take part in social media, then I’ll deal with whatever the “flavor du jour” is. But for now, I’m sticking with Facebook which takes up more time than it should.
Which ones are your favorite social media sites and which ones do you wish would die a quick death?