Social Media Phobia
If there’s a phobia for social media I think I have it. In fact, when Facebook became cool over a decade ago I began a pathetic charade of a protest that’s just now coming to an end. Since I’m taking it upon myself to proclaim that this phobia exists I’m also going to take it upon myself to name it. Lets go with:
Do you think that will stick?
To be honest with you reader, I’m as narcissistic and self-absorbed as you are (maybe even more so). I really just wanted to be different for as long as I could stomach because that way I could do two of the things I really love:
1. Be really lazy about something…god I love that!
2. Thumb my nose at others for going with the crowd.
Unfortunately, I’ve thumbed for so long that I think I’m beginning to thumb myself. I’m actually quite surprised they let me have a Facebook page with all the condescending things I’ve said over the years. In my mind I’ve had an awkward conversation with the Facebook “f” (imagine the Facebook f with a face on it) and I’d like to think it went over pretty well:
Me: “Hey, Facebook f, what’s crackin’? So did you see? I’ve got a page now!”
Facebook f talking to me: “I saw that, I’ve also heard you talked a lot of shit about me over the years, what’s that all about?”
Me: “Oh, that? Awwww c’mon Facebook f I was just kidding, I mean, I said stuff about all forms of social media. Besides, I only said that stuff because I had plans to launch my own social media platform.”
Facebook f: “What platform was that?”
Me: “It was called ‘My Area’ I thought It would be a good idea for people to communicate via a blank slate, you know? Like, like a totally blank page where people could write or paste whatever they want and just send it around to each other, kind of like a letter.”
Facebook f: “That sounds a lot like email.”
Me: “Geeze now you tell me! Hear me out though, I mean it was a little different. For starters it had a giant picture of myself flashing double thumbs at the top of all the pages or ‘Areas’ but unfortunately people found my gaze to be too penetrating and invasive. I mean, I was naked in the picture but it was cut off at the top of my pubes, I just don’t see what the problem was.”
Facebook f: “Sorry it didn’t work out?”
Me: “Well, you know some things seem like a good idea at the time but in retrospect maybe I should have gone ‘Full Monty’ right? I mean go big, or…average…or maybe a little below average or go home right?
Facebook f: “Uh, ok…maybe even smaller than that.”
Me: “Nawww c’mon, I mean…ok, ok I can handle a little ribbing, but we’re cool now right?
Facebook f: “No.”
Me: “Alright, alright, I’ll grow on you I’m sure.
Facebook f: “No, you won’t.”
Me: [Gesturing double finger pistols and winking] “Alriiight!”
I think the scary thing about social media is that its’ removed a barrier of cordiality that used to keep us all blind from each other’s opinions and lifestyles. In the past, if you learned that your mechanic was a neo-nazi or that your kid’s teacher was a ‘Furry’ that information was NOT derived directly from someone’s Facebook page. It was brought to you by unsubstantiated rumors started by pissed off 5th graders who studied for their spelling test and then got shafted by weird ass ‘Furry’ and their lack of a grading curve! Maybe we’re better off for having all this personal info on each other, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.
Honestly, I don’t think that people have really changed because of social media, I just think that the interactive element of this media causes a transparency that can be highly contentious and problematic. Especially when a large percentage of social media users are young adults, teenagers and Presidents who don’t really comprehend the depth of damage they can be doing to themselves and others when they post something inflammatory.
If I had a Twitter account in 1994, when I was a teenager, I definitely would have gotten myself into trouble! I mean between the guy who played Screech, the entire cast of Full House and the O.J. Trial I think this entire country might have come apart at the seams! But no one, and I mean no one should be more thankful that there was no such thing as social media in 1994 than a man named Pauly…Fucking…Shore! I have never despised a human on a television like I did that man in my adolescent years! There is no fury like a male teenager tuning in to MTV spring break so that he can catch a glimpse of some bikini clad females and having this piece of shit jump between the camera and said bikinis! If I had a Twitter account back then I most certainly would have ruined him! I’m Serious!...You think I’m not but I am!...Who thought he was funny?...Not me! Alright, uhhh, I’m getting a little hot under the collar here, I think I’m gonna walk a lap around my neighborhood and cool off a bit.
The trouble with getting into social media is I just don’t know how to break the ice. It’s like I’m at a software party and Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are all standing around in a circle having one of those “we’re cooler than the party” conversations and here I come all “guy who’s desperate to be cool,” barging into the circle like we’ve been tight for years. This inevitably causes them to scatter like they all decided they saw someone they knew but instead they all just meet up in the back without me smoke a joint. It’s also at about this time that my oldest friend at the party Microsoft Word (whom I’ve been avoiding) comes up to me and starts asking all kinds of loud, penetrating and embarrassing questions:
Word: “J.Thomas! There you are I’ve been looking for you all night! Are you avoiding me or something?
Me: “No, man I just…”
Word: “Hey, when are you and I going to finish that screenplay man? We still haven’t come up with a title.”
Me: “You know Word, I’m just gonna go over by the punch for a minute, I’ll be back.”
Word: “You know ‘gonna’ isn’t a word right?”
Me: [walking away] “Yeah, thanks Word, you know every application corrects spelling now!”
Word: “Oh I see how it is, all these hot young apps here tonight all of a sudden we aren’t tight?”
Me: [at the punch table] “Whatever Word.”
Word: “You’ve changed man, you’ve changed!”
The hardest thing to do in life can be leaving behind a world you once understood. The days of telling myself that one day I’ll start a blog and follow that statement by immediately watching 5 episodes of Family Guy have come to an end. For better or worse you’re stuck with me now Internet and if I can’t be in the cool circle, maybe me and Word can go start something of our own…Hmmm I wonder if I still have that nude double thumbs picture somewhere?
Found it! You’re welcome Internet!