Social media is a phenomenon that allows us to see what’s going on in other people’s lives and if we want, to share what’s happening in ours. The truth is, I’m not a fan of any of it. I spend most of my time trying to avoid meaningless chitchat with people so why would I share pictures of the food I’m going to eat or ‘check in’ and let everyone know where I’m at just so people can ‘like’ it or pass it on to the next person? According to Urban Dictionary, it seems I’m a social outcast; I’m not involved in a lot of social events and I spend way too much time doing a certain hobby called work, but certainly none of the hobbies listed in their definition. Starting this blog in order to share the laughter has led me to partially embrace the social media phenomenon and as a result, raised some troubling issues for me.
Let me be honest. I have a personal Facebook page, but only so I can creep on other people. There’s no need to judge. People want you to creep on them otherwise, they wouldn’t share every move they make in such a public forum. I’m just fulfilling their need to be seen and heard, just like a true friend would do, although that might end once Mark Zuckerberg sees my creeper confession and shuts me down.
I also have an Instagram account, created so that I could share and see pictures from my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding last year. I learned about Instagram at the event when I realized I had been using the wedding hashtag to post on Twitter instead of Instagram-I was in the wrong social media room and didn’t know it for a full week. See, I really don’t mind being alone.
The last part of my confession is a big one-I have three Twitter accounts. I use my real name on my professional account but for the other two, I hide behind a particular persona when tweeting. Yeah, I know, it sounds a lot like catfishing, but there are not any relationships involved and the number of followers I have certainly shows I am not luring people in. And my personas are real, not made up. One is my citizen persona who keeps up with the local news and tweets about construction noise at 7AM. The other is my observationist self who finds everyday life to be fabulously funny and works to share the laughter. Three accounts and personas are a lot to manage and on occasion, I tweet something from the wrong account. That can be funny, or it could lead to unemployment if I’m not more careful.
As I think about it, my behavior on social media is a little disturbing. But the truth is, I’m not any different than the next person using it-I creep, hide, and pretend just like the rest of them. I draw the line though on sharing too much. Sure, I share, but not my food or where I’m at-nobody needs to know that.