Does anybody read these?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I was one of the first people I knew to have a blog. Actually, my work at the time, which was not so much tech savvy as they were cheap, started a blog for its donors. Cheaper than actually paying Emma to do your e-mail marketing, you could just give your donors a blog link and expect them to go visit it once a week for their donor newsletter. It wasn't very exclusive, but it was a pretty cool vehicle.

Anyhow, working on the work blog and realizing that blogger just gave these out for free, I decided this would be a good outlet to get me writing again, because nonprofit fundraising zapped a lot of my writer brain cells. I knew when I was craving the days when I got to write appeal letters that I wasn't writing enough.

I needed a creative outlet.

And I wanted to bitch about people and know they saw it.

And they did. They did, and so did a whole lot of random strangers along the way. Some of those strangers, like Sheri, Beth and Colleen, have become real friends. Some, are still IIFs* like Kristy Sammis.

We're all pals on Facebook now, because a lot of the cool kids (like Beth and Colleen, which is why they have no links) have abandoned their blogs in favor of FB. It is quite handy. You can keep in touch with friends from the olden days, like my friend DeDe that I hadn't talked to since the 9th grade who friended me today. And, you can make it private.

Sometimes that would've helped when the crazies were all up in my shit and spreading my business -- both real and imagined -- all over the fucking world, both virtual and bricks-and-mortar.

But, even thinking about all that pisses me off. It's no good when reality and imaginary land get too mixed together. Therapy, people. Look into it. And if you can't afford therapy, I am still recommending knitting.

However, I don't dig private, because if a writer writes and nobody reads it, what's the point? I need feedback. I need validation. And, if I ever write a book, I will need people to buy it. :)

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, the evolution of social media.

I used to be all cool with my blog. I used to post my ramblings -- both long and short -- all the time. Then I got a job writing all day and found the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was sit down and write some more. Although my loyal blog readers tell me they want to read about me, and not about the nursing home olympics anyhow.

I got a Myspace, but it was drama-filled and virus-y. And the people on there, not really my friends anymore. We grow, we stop logging on.

All the cool kids came to FB. I think they are still there, although I am seeing things like FourSquare and Twitter infiltrating the ranks.

I think our society is voyeuristic. We like to virtually (and anonymously) peek through the virtual windows. And, we like to take jabs when we think no one realizes that it's us. (We always know, by the way. They're called IP addresses, and computers are way smart.)

I've noticed on FB that it's easy to get on information overload and learn things about people you probably don't need to know.

And, for the first time in my life, Facebook makes me feel like I talk too much. I measure my amount of status updates versus other people's and wonder if my commentary annoys people. And, of course, sometimes I say things to piss people off.

But there's nothing new about that. I love the brown people, the gays, the President. I have a HUGE girl crush on Rachel Maddow (but in a totally platonic way). I spout her rhetoric the ways other repeat Rush's soundbites. I'm bound to piss people off. Especially because -- I know this will shock you -- I have some conservative friends. Although, admittedly, less than I did before I started talking about things like civil rights and universal health care on the Facebook.

So, I like to stay up on social media. I think I am going to need to in my job. Because there aren't many communications jobs for folks who don't know social media anymore.

I just can't get on board with Twitter. I have tried, but it gives me not-so-fresh feelings.

Why, you ask?

Thanks for asking. I have a list of grievances.

First of all, look at this blog. Brevity is not my strong suit. 140 characters? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Secondly, I truly believe that people use it to stalk people. Kinda like this: "OMG! Dierks Bentley just tweeted that he's at the Starbucks on West End! OMG let's go see if we see him!"

Really, get a grip.

Thirdly, it encourages poor grammar and spelling. I detest poor grammar and spelling. Everyone who has ever gotten a text from me can vouch for me that I do not use text speech. Sorry if you go over on your plan because of it, but I am not ever going to use the "word" (and I use that term loosely) "gr8," or anything similar, anytime soon.

Brevity. Stalkers. Misspelling. Hmmm...what else?

Oh yes, while it is fourth on my list, it is really my number one reason. Are you ready?

In the immortal words of Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men," "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth."

But here it is: Twitter makes people tell you shit you don't need to know and/or care about. And reading about it could possibly make you feel dumb. And a little bit like you've been violated or your time is wasted.

As I said before, we are all on information overload. And much like some of us don't know how to stop talking (don't look at me; I am working on it), some of us don't know how to shut off the Twitter.

And I don't care if you drank a glass of milk today.

Did you hear me? I don't care if you peed or went to the beach or drank milk. And, to be fair, you probably don't care when I drink margaritas. But, I am usually drunk when I tell you that, so I don't care if you care.

True story.

I don't want to Twitter every 15 seconds about nothing. I don't want your phone to be like lojack on my ass. I don't want to sign up for Twitter because then my friends will want me to be their friends on there and I will feel pressure to do it and my phone will be off the hook with people telling me they peed or drank milk.

Too. Much. Information.

Maybe there is a way to use Twitter for work. Maybe I will need to figure that out.

But until then, I am going to have a margarita. And I probably can't tell you that in 140 characters or less.

2 comment(s):

You know, I had this exact same rant on my blog about Twitter (and FB, actually) a while back. Grammar, stalking, TMI, the whole nine yards. Only you said it way better than I did.

I do the Twitter thing, but I don't ever tweet myself or follow friends' tweets. I just use it to follow along with favorite athletes and celebrities (Denny Hamlin is particularly entertaining). But not to stalk them. Honest.

By Blogger Andrea, at 8/11/2010 4:38 PM  

Stalker! Just kidding...

In some ways I think it would be cool. A lot of these celebrities actually tweet for themselves and their verbal diarrhea might be entertaining. I hear Blake Shelton tells it like it is. The Elf, I do not believe, is responsible for his own Twitter. For being someone who dangles on every word said about him on the Internet, he also believes that social media leads to bad things.

But, how to filter between Donnie Wahlberg and the friend who drank a glass of milk? I don't care to find out.

By Blogger Laura, at 8/11/2010 4:50 PM  

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