Social Media. The new S&M

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?

4 comments for “Social Media. The new S&M

  1. May 3, 2013 at 03:58

    As a new blogger I am getting lots of helpful advice but it makes my head spin to think I need to use Pintrest. What the hell for? I write content, I don’t take pictures of food or beaded wedding dresses.
    Save me from the decline of RSS feeds, and the moaning going on about that… I don’t know that I will so much miss the um.. RSS thing…
    Besides, once I figure out the Twitter, I then have to find a way to say ANYTHING in under 140 characters.

  2. woe
    May 3, 2013 at 19:42

    Hi Magnolia,

    We – people like us who write – don’t need Pintrest. I doubt if anyone needs it. Most of it is useless and very few businesses succeed on all forms. The other day I heard they are getting rid of Google+ just after reading a huge article exhorting me to use it. You don’t need advice. When I started this blog in original form in 2007 we just wrote and if people turned up fine. Now everyone’s calling themselves “Beauty blogger” or “Mummy blogger” and getting all brand conscious. Just write. And I will read:)

    • Magnolia Ripkin
      May 4, 2013 at 14:55

      You have a deal…I will read you too because content that is enjoyable, significant or profound is as good as chocolate and I don’t need to pin a photo of it to enjoy eating it.

  3. Suzie
    June 1, 2013 at 14:58

    Gone are the days when you can just strike up a conversation with a random in the gym changing rooms, eh?

    I quite agree about this- it’s sadly true that one is now expected to have an interesting online presence, on the most current social media, whatever they do, irrespective of whether it is relevant or not.

    Really very glad to see your blog back! Looking forward to your post this weekend xx

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