My task for this post is to take two social networks, bounce them together, and then assign numerical order to them. Faced with the seemingly polarized worlds of Twitter and blogs, which shall I tackle first: the importance of blogs in a twitter world or the importance of twitter in a blog world?
... Neither. I decided that I view both of these social networks as the austere and verbose ends of the same sparkling spectrum of internet self-expression. And ultimately, I characterize Twitter and blogging as two squabbling kids in the middle of a playground presided over by a much more powerful toddler: Facebook.com.
I'm gonna write something about my year-in, year-out experience with social networks tonday. Because here's the thing: by now they have impacted lives, both mine and yours, in meaningful ways, even though, quixotically, they still seem new enough that any attempt to respond to them and their overall emotional impact on our lives in any way that's not ironic seems ostensibly fun-sucking and way too serious. In fact, I feel like a hyperventilating nerd just for starting this conversation. *pushes glasses back up her nose, undeterred, and digs in*
I realized something last night: I associate Facebook with pain. Yes, that is right, pain. I think you're lying if you say you can't relate to this. I log on not out of joy, but out of routine, even after the many "ouch" moment(s) in the past when that person(s) you spent weeks trying to forget popped up unexpectedly one day on the screen, smiling, happy, and in the company of some never-before-seen LDS dating villain(ess) who proves to be much more cunning and virulent at the game than yourself. (Yay for the improved ability to hide old flames' posts!) And what about the recent "ouchie" sensation of jealousy at seeing the pics of freaking spectacular trips taken by my fun and fancy-free friends (Hope you're all having fun in Florida! Say hi to Romney/Ryan for me!)? And of course, this:
I joined Facebook in 2005, back when it was still thefacebook.com. That was a long time ago :) I changed my relationship status a few times since then, exchanged some daring messages, put up some hilarious photos with the besties and untagged myself in a few less-than-flattering-but-still-hilarious pics by others. And tonight, settled in on the couch, tromping through the various articles proffered to me by my interesting array of facebook friends during commercial breaks in So You Think You Can Dance, I realized I have almost totally stopped putting anything of value, of myself, on Facebook. I have stopped playing the game. Facebook has become for me like the dorms in college: fun while it lasted, but after a few mishaps, fights, and flubs, you are ready to move on.
So where to? I have no definitive answer, although I LOVE twitter and blogging. There, I feel free to publish my thoughts, long or short, to an unknown audience without fear of having my freshman year fremeny's perfect life slingshot immediately back at me in lovely Instagram shades of ombre blue and pink.
Why am I writing all of this? There is a happy point, I promise (and maybe I want to sell a few more of you onto Twitter). No. More important: I write to tell you that my retreat from facebook, the conscious disuse of my voice therein for anything of importance, is in itself a message:
I am more than my page.
1,000 times more. And so are you. We should get together and figure that out in real time.
PS Though probably not coming close, I was hoping for the tone of this post to be similar to that found in the following trailer, which I'm obsessed with for several reasons, not the least of which is the Imagine Dragons song that closes it out.
Here's something I wrote to Michelle-the Bestie about it a while back:
So, Imagine Dragons' single "It's Time" plays at the end of a trailer which I've now watched like 20 times. My favorite line in the trailer is when Emma Watson is wondering why she and all the people she loves choose people who make them feel like crap, and then the main guy says back to her, "We accept the love we think we deserve." The first time I heard it I thought he said, "We expect the love we think we deserve." and I think both statements are true. I started telling myself this week, "Ok. You have kind of been feeling like crap because you accepted half-hearted attention from ____ and told yourself that's all you wanted. This next time around, you are going to expect and hopefully accept someone who treats you as well as you have always dreamed of." It just makes me feel good to have that kind of goal."
Real time, flesh-and-blood connections and interactions. Much higher stakes, greater falls, funnier flubs, and happier successes. That's what I'm shooting for. *pushes her glasses back up her nose again and hits "publish," which is probably not the best start*
PPS There are probably thirty or so FB friends on my network who GREATLY enhance my daily learning and enjoyment via their routine curation of links, statii, and videos. These will probably keep me coming back to FB for years to come. Fabulous work, SK, BG, JS, CD, BH, MP, JGE, and also to LA, LC, and AM for your eternally refreshing photographs. (You're just the first ones to come to mind, there are others. I do, after all, have a lot of smart friends :).
(11 of 13. So... close...)