Okay, so I finally succumbed to the social media sensation. Several days ago I accepted an invitation to Google+ and set up my account with them. From there, I decided that I might as well surrender to Twitter while I was at it. There are several reasons for doing so, but I can’t really say that I was all that eager to do it.
I started my facebook account when it was called THE facebook, and was still private and only accessible for certain colleges and universities. You know, when I had all day to surf the internet because I had no real responsibility other than going to class
most SOME of the time? I also had a myspace page. Had. However, over the course of the last several years, my cyber footprint has continued to diminish. My drive and desire to spend hours online has dwindled, leaving me uninterested in experimenting when newer services (such as Twitter) came along. I have felt perfectly comfortable with my facebook account and it has offered more than enough information for pretty much anybody I have ever met or laid eyes on in person.
So what is there to gain by expanding my horizons beyond Mark Zuckerberg’s digital playground? Essentially, the answer is not much. There’s not a lot more information that I will have access to. However, if you consider things a little more deeply, there are loads of benefits. I have always felt that I have had a pretty good grasp on technology and how things work…at least in the sense that I knew enough to troubleshoot general and common errors. I may not be able to build a computer or write code for an operating system, but I can typically get my computer to do what I want even when it’s not in the most compliant mood. However, I have noticed that slowly, I have been getting further and further out of touch with trending technology.
So what if I don’t have a smartphone yet? Who cares if I hadn’t tweeted before a few days ago? No biggie, right? Sure. And then I had quite a terrifying realization – that is the same exact attitude my parents have displayed since home technology exploded in the 80’s and 90’s. Whole. Lee. Crap. I have been faced with just how out of touch with reality I actually am when it comes to abbreviations/acronyms/whatever you want to call them. I have had to look up, on more than one occasion, what a group of letters implies. Granted, this form of communication has gotten grossly out of control. And let me tell you something, internet. You listen up, and listen good. FTW is not “for the win.” At least not when you’re talking to a biker! Am I really “aging out” of the technology world? But how could this be – I’m not even 30!
In response to these feelings of inadequacy, I had to strike swiftly. This year I started this blog. (Did you just scroll over the link to see what it was for?? Man, I got you so good.) I’ve always enjoyed writing, and have had ideas of maybe writing some fiction someday. What better way to get some practice than publicly publishing my thoughts, honing my skills, and getting some feedback? Then, I finally gave in and joined the tweeting world as we know it. While I as at it, I opened up the invite to Google+ that I mentioned a little bit ago. It was cute when Google played coy and acted like they needed me to put in my information for my account. Like they’re not the front for Skynet. Come on, Google…don’t play dumb with me!
Ultimately, it comes down to a single ulterior motive…the need for self-publicity. We’ve all seen them – the people who are constantly online screaming for attention. “LOOK AT ME, OVER HERE, CHECK THIS OUT!” I already know…I’m just as guilty. We know who we are. Social media tools make things even easier to spread our thoughts; add me as a friend, retweet this or that, check out my channel, share my blog, +1 my picture album, yada yada yada.
There’s the idea that maybe we have something entertaining enough to say to get noticed and draw the attention of countless people. To get credit for being informational or hilarious. To think that people appreciate your content. To garner your fifteen minutes of fame. In a society of reality television where everyone is a celebrity for no reason what-so-ever, social media makes things that much easier to bring more than enough attention your way.
More realistically, I think it is even more about the thought that maybe people close to you might care enough to read what you have to say. Possibly your friends and family are curious about what’s going on in your life. Maybe not. Maybe we’re delusional.
I assure you, I’m not diluted. I don’t think people are waiting by their computers hitting refresh every 15 minutes looking for a new post. It is still fun though to ramble on about random topics and twist lines of thought around like a twistee tie. And for those of you who enjoy my site, care what I have to share, are interested in what’s going on in my life, and come back from time to time, thanks!
Thank you, that is all.