It's Really Not That Serious: the Greater Internet F'Wad Theory (PG-13 Only)

Let me preface this by making it perfectly clear that I am NOT anti-social-media.
I love social media.

I love Tweeting and Blogging and Instagramming and Pinning.

I like it because it's a short, quick, (and yes, somewhat impersonal) way to communicate.  But it's SUPPOSED to be somewhat impersonal.  If you want to have a meaningful interaction with someone, you SHOULD be on the phone or face to face, or at least in a one-on-one message like text or e-mail.

But Facebook is another story.

The problem is, Facebook has become way too serious.

I used to be the member or moderator of several online forums.  And they used to be tons of fun.  You could say whatever you wanted - truth or not - ask advice, get or give a laugh, and have a blast.

And then the Internet F'Wad Phenomenon occurred.

I'll let the picture help explain.

Whatever you post in a public place is subject to public scrutiny, so the fault doesn't lie entirely with the F'wads.  As I got older, I learned this and became more careful about what I shared - and how - because certain topics or expressions are just F'wad Fodder.

So I stopped frequenting forums.  I only posted topics in my blog that I didn't mind others (possibly strangers) reading or commenting about.

And then Facebook came along.

Facebook became my place to share whatever I wanted because it WASN'T public.  It was a place where I had FRIENDS.  And, although many people fill their FRIENDS list with people they really don't know or care for, most of my FB friends are family or at least tri-e-thlete friends.  Actual FRIENDS, whether on the BESTIE level or the ACQUAINTANCE level, but not just FOLLOWERS or FANS.

Sadly, as you know from my several experiments to leave it behind, Facebook has turned into an online forum.  It has encouraged people to become Internet F'Wads.

Even people who are your real-life friends turn into total smartasses with an audience or anonymity  or both. It's hard to help yourself.  Make one comment that was half-serious and it turns into a psychological, philosophical debate.  Status updates are PARAGRAPHS long, not just a few characters about that moment in time.  And it's the same popularity contest as forums.  Someone who isn't popular posts something meaningful, no responses; someone who IS popular posts drivel, everyone likes.  No matter how you"filter" people from your "news feed," you're still forced to see the interactions with others you don't know for whoever is left (and oftentimes, the strangers' responses).

People, I'm going to break it down for you like this.

It's really not that serious. 

Facebook is supposed to be lighthearted and short:
Here are pictures from my trip.
Here is a thing that made me happy today.
Here is a thing that made me grumpy today.
Moving on.

I like Twitter and Instagram and Pinterest and Google Plus because they haven't become online forums with Internet F'Wad Mentality.  You post a short thought, a picture or an article and move on.  People don't harass and harangue.  They know it isn't serious.  I've never SEEN anyone on Pinterest or Instagram, for example, post, DUDE YOUR PIN IS DUMB! or HERE'S WHY I DON'T AGREE WITH YOUR PICTURE.    And fewer people use non-FB social media, so you have fewer Peanut Galleries AND fewer overall responses.

I'm totally okay with that.

So, I have taken another Facebook hiatus and moved exclusively to Twitter and Google Plus (and of course the Bloggy World) for a while.  Updates are short and sweet, people are called what they really are ("Followers" not "Friends"), and things are quieter.

Like I said, I love my social media.
But, after all, it's really not that serious.

3 tidbits of wizdom:

Molly said...

*jumps up and down in agreement*

It seems like it's just gotten worse on FB lately too. Every half-joking post turns into a serious inquisition! And serious posts generate way more argument than this girl is up for. I've deleted multiple posts when it's gone too far. It's really annoying...and hard to figure out how to remove some of those acquaintances from the newsstream without pissing someone off. I"m trying for limiting my posts to exclude people that I know are bound to just annoy me if they comment.

MAJ said...

I wonder if people are replacing other methods of communication with Facebook....

Charles Johnson said...

We have tried FB twice now and still don't like it or trust it.
We just use Google+ and emails.

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