It began last week, the feeling that communicating was no longer any fun. It had gone beyond a joke. In fact it had gone beyond serious into something that was scrambling my brain. At times, at a lot of times, Social Media (SM) can feel like a great, big con, one that nobody wants to jump off first just in case they’re the only ones.
Now I don’t use social media to deliberately waste time: I use for work and writing which are intertwined as one is the other and vice versa. And I suspect those people who do use it to procrastinate won’t feel like this but for the rest of us, are we just tying ourselves up in knots trying to think of clever and appropriate things to say every minute of the day?
It gets worse. You can’t do this without expert SM help. If you have any notion of leveraging (because that is the buzzword) SM for your work you have to do it the RIGHT way. And that’s where it turns into the biggest mindfuck of them all. Article upon article advising, exhorting, illustrating, listing, demonstrating, suggesting (suggesting strongly mind you) that there is a right and wrong way of going about this. You know how it is, you feel very comfortable ignoring Reddit until somebody tweets you a link to an article that somebody else located and tweeted, about why you should be using it. Only last week I was severely chastised by a PR type for not taking Linked In seriously.
“But what has it done for me?” I asked him. “It doesn’t work for itinerant creative types. It’s a linear thing.”
His reply was that since most professionals were on it, you had to be on it. I felt sick and inadequate for the rest of the day. It got worse when I looked and found a former colleague, a woman who had made my life miserable, looking successful. I hated her. I hated Linked In. Now I knew why the initials were SM. This communicating wasn’t at all fun, it was, depending on where you were, a sado-masochistic game. And that’s even before the bullying takes place.
It would have been ok if the Linked In thing was all I had to rectify, but apparently I had missed the boat with Google+ and was possibly missing the Greatest Opportunity Of My Life. I looked on Google+ and couldn’t understand it. Lots of random discussions that appeared to mirror Facebook. In a bid to find out what was different I Googled (ah ha yes) “What is different about Google+” and then found it was for ‘business.’
Truly I am in Kafka’s modern nightmare. I want it to end. I don’t want to have to think of clever content anymore and clever bon mots to tweet. I don’t want to think I have said the wrong thing and indelibly stained my internet footprint. I want to go and hide. What about you? Do you feel the same way?