Tuesday 06 Dec 2016

Social Butterfly
Jennifer Flaten

Gawd, how I loathe the phrase Social Media, I can't explain why, I just do.

No, I can't think of a better name, so unless someone else comes up with a better one I guess I will have to live with it.

Nonetheless, my dislike of the phrase doesn't keep me from using the various social media sites.

Yep, that's right, on FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn, I have accounts on all of them and let me tell you it is pretty time consuming checking on and updating all those accounts.

Still, a girl must stay on top of things.

You could definitely spend a whole day updating your various accounts. I personally find it exhausting to keep up with all of them.

I admit I like the challenge of creating a pithy 140-word blurb that sums up my current situation. I also like finding out what my friends are up to in140 words or less, but then again I have a short attention span.

What I really think the draw is (for me at least) is that these sites are perfect if you have a few minutes to kill and want to feel like you accomplished something.

Think about it, you log on to your account, update it and then you scan the list of what your friends are up to and before you know it 15 minutes have passed.

Sure, you pretty much did nothing but it feels constructive.

I do admit that at this moment I am going through a love-hate relationship with my social media.

Here is the love part. I love finding old friends, via a site like FaceBook. We have moved many times that I easily lose track of people.

It is nice to be able to rekindle friendships. Recently, I caught up with two long lost chums. It was really neat to hear how they were doing.

Score one for it being useful.

It also gives you the opportunity to satisfy that "what ever happened to" curiosity about people. Admit it you are curious. You want to know what your old schoolmates, coworkers and even bosses have been doing all these years.

On the other hand, it can also allow people to find out way, way to much information out about someone.

I want to know what posses some people to post such intimate information. I have learned way to much about some people in recent days, way to much, scrub your brain with Clorox too much.

Why do you think most kids decline to accept their parents "friend" requests? Do you really want your parents to see pictures of you throwing up at the all night keg party?

Hmm, I think not.

I am positive I never want learn my child is sexually active via a photo on a social media site.

Those would be the first items in the parts I hate column.

In addition, I hate the acquisitive aspect of it. For some people it is all about how many contacts they have, the more the better.

Here is how it goes; you receive their invite to "reconnect" and you accept expecting to have a relationship albeit virtually with them.

Only you never hear from them again because they simply added you to their huge pile of contacts. They didn't really want you; they wanted to add another contact.

There are some people with contacts in the thousands. How on earth do you keep up with 1,500 hundred people?

I also hate getting the equivalent of the Christmas newsletter from a long lost friend. You are so excited to reconnect with them only to receive the form letter of fantastic accomplishments back.

They don't want to know about you, they simply want to tell you how great they are, once they satisfy that urge, you never hear from them again.

I think it is even worse on a more business-oriented site. A colleague sends you an email telling you how wonderfully, fabulous they are doing and by the way, if you could do something to help further along in their career aspirations please check the box and return. If you can't help don't expect to hear from them again.

So much for social contact, involved and partying. Still, if I have a few minutes to waste you know where you will find me.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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