Expand Your Drama Universe or Make a Real Impact on the Virtual Plane

Good news and bad news.

First the bad news:

At the very start of Qualman’s 1st chapter, I was a bit annoyed.  It goes without saying that Qualman will be “Pro-Social Network” – I get that. But what aggravated me was the wholesale way he touts goodness for all through social media.  Personally, I think that there is as much crap coming out of social media as there is goodness and light.

I am speaking from personal experience. I began with a Facebook page, added only my family and some friends, closed off my access to just those that are friends, and ended up deleting about ¼ of the people on my list.  A good majority of these were family.  These are the reasons:

  • Games, games and more games being posted at all hours of the day and night (yes I would select not to show, but then some new  game would come out and I would be back at it again) Farmville, Fishworld, Cafe’ World, Gardens of Time, The Smurfs & Co. – you name it!
  • Profanity – while I can swear like a drunken sailor driving a truck with a broken foot, I don’t need to read it over and
    over by people not old enough to drive
  • D R A M A! “I am so mad at the %$ing )*$(%) and  you know who you are” (I don’t care)
  • REPOST this if you think Facebook will charge next month, if you are wearing pink underwear or if you mom is a real %*(%$

Qualman states “The younger the generation, the less concerned they are about privacy” (Qualman, 2). He sure has that right!  Does TMI mean anything to these people?

I understand that by keeping in touch we can get that perfect recipe ingredient, know how to decorate a bicycle and find out the most intimate detail about the neighbor, but this really doesn’t always save us time. What it does is sanitize our interactions and makes us a little less human. (personal opinion folks).

In a perfect world, the social networking scenario would be responsible and productive – but most humans are just not built that way.  Too many of them use these venues to expand their Drama Universe.

Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying that all social networking is the devil – far from it!  I am saying that reality needs to be brought into the room, and not simply checked at the door.

Now the Good News!

I have stared at a blank word document on many occasions trying to figure out how people write and post on the internet and then ultimately become known for what they have to say.  Sitting here, it seemed to me that by posting to my blog that has no followers or to my twitter account which as 2 followers, there is no way I can speak to the world.

But Qualman enlightened me to the “and she told two friends” concept of social networking. Now I can see how my little blog post, which I post to my facebook page and twitter about can be “liked” by someone, reposted and eventually reach someone I never, ever knew.  This is powerful stuff!

**NOTE: While I begin posting today quite harshly, please do not take that as an indication that I feel Qualman does not know his stuff. I merely tend to disagree with someone who says that the top and bottom of my shoe will remain equally clean no matter where I will tread.

About Robyn Gotch

After many years of quilting, sewing and long-arm quilting for myself, I felt it was time to offer these same services to the public. You will find that because I am a quilter myself, your projects will be treated with the same care and respect that I do my own.

Posted on October 3, 2011, in Social Media. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Robin, I appreciate your post. I for one remember a few chapters of a book you wrote with you read aloud to our group back in Oral Interpretation, and I feel your writing is worth reading and following! Also, I feel the positive and negative points you make about social media are very true. I too have had thoughts of “I don’t care if you want me to save your farm from the drought” when I received those annoying Farmville requests in my Facebook inbox!

    • Rachel, I so wish I had time to continue writing right now! I am a bit on the discouraged side because I want to be able to share what I write one day – I just don’t know how to go about doing it without losing control of the content.

  2. Robin – great post! I appreciated that you took a look at social media from the good, the bad and the ugly. The whole idea of “telling two people” really got me thinking. Today, I saw a picture of someone holding a handful of cheese chunks with sharp nails through them and said something like, “a new trend at the dog part.” Initially I was shocked and appalled, as a dog lover myself, but someone made a interesting point by saying something to the effect of “Don’t you think this could cause other people to get a similar idea and you posting this could add to their cause?” The photo was shared over a thousand times and what may be a isolated unfortunate incident was now broadcasted over the United States, potentially. This really made me think about the whole idea that social media can have negative effects. Obviously, the original author was a dog lover and posted it with good intentions but it can have ill effects. It was a great perspective. While I never thought that social media was all roses and rainbows, it seemed harmless enough to me, however, now I know that’s not always the case.

  3. I usually include this journal article, http://jilltxt.net/txt/Weblogs-learninginpublic.pdf, when introducing blogs, but for some reason didn’t this semester. It discusses how the public writing we do via social media can reach people we never expected. In particular, Walker’s students wrote blog posts about local bloggers and due to the linking and trackback features, one wrote back to say,“Help, I’m under surveillance and being analysed!” He never expected anyone to reflect upon his writing in this manner, even though he knew he was posting it online: “Maybe I should stop blogging? I don’t know. I liked emptying my thoughts onto the net, but I never dreamed it would go this far.”

    It’s an interesting lesson to learn, but I think what social media teaches us best is if you’re looking for responses, link more, follow more, read more.

    • Professor, I am so amp’d up because of what we are learning here. I used to say “I live in the middle of 40 acres, in the middle of nowhere”. Now I know different! My main concern and future choice is how I should go about providing my contribution to the world – exciting stuff!

  4. I have a tendency just to block people who annoy me with their drama. There is one person who is very close within my sphere of people, and I just CAN’T have her feed open. She is perfectly welcome to her opinion, but she can’t seem to leave it at that.

    Having someone’s beliefs crammed down your throat or having to look at images that make you squeamish are really off-putting. I’ve opened and restricted her feed over and over. I ought to know better by now and just leave her off, but in real life, she’s a close enough member of my circle, that I don’t feel I can just unfriend her.

    To solve it, I leave her feed “off” and just visit her page when I remember – and when I’m braced for whatever shocking article/picture/diatribe she’s going off on that day.

  5. Robin—

    I totally understand your frustrations with Facebook. I hate reading about people’s games and drama, and ridiculous status updates. “Copy and paste this in your status.” Copy and paste this in your status.” It drives me insane!

    I’m friends on Facebook with my buddy’s wife, and last week she posted a status that said that Facebook was going to start charging people to use it. I saw there were two comments so I clicked on them. The first comment was from one of her friends and it said that that was not true and she posted a link to prove it. The second comment was from my buddy’s wife and she said, “I wasn’t sure if it was true or not so I just posted it anyway.” Her original post drove me nuts but her comment made me want to jam a pencil in my eye because I can’t believe that someone would just randomly post stuff like that.

    Anyway, here’s how I un-friend people on Facebook:

    My actual birthday is Feb. 18th. Every couple of years in the late summer or early fall, I’ll make my birthday public on Facebook but I’ll say it’s on September 24th. Anyone that wishes me a happy birthday gets un-friended.

    • Lol at the bday bait & switch! Good for you! I unfriend people all the time, even ones I like, often if I see they’re not even updating their page or if I already have another means of contacting with them.

    • Nate, I would never forget your birthday! Well, er, yes I would – I forget everyone’s birthday. That’s ok, we can still be buddies, just not on Facebook 🙂 I sure need to start following any of you who Twitter tho!

  6. You made me laugh out loud (not lol – the actual real deal) with the ‘pencil in the eye’ comment. Don’t people know what snopes is for? Sheesh.

    My birthday is Feb. 20. I didn’t publicize it on FB for a long time, but finally gave in. Without the year of course…

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