You wake up in the morning but before turning to your partner to say ‘good morning’, you check Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, right? If you don’t have a partner, it’s okay, I’m here for you. The news feed has positioned itself as a firm source of drunk photos, tweets full of info we don’t give a shit about and yet another sonogram, which most people don’t give a shit about as well. This leads me onto my next question; when did the news feed become a daily pilgrimage to find out information about that twat from school we didn’t like?
We all use social media for different things but I can hazard a guess that many of us spend most of that time, scrolling through our news feeds. I guess what we need to ask ourselves is when we’re not using Twitter and Facebook to have conversations with specific people, why are we still scrolling? I’ve been on dates before where prior to the night, I learnt something about the girl from Facebook which I almost brought up in conversation. Can you imagine how awkward that would’ve been if the exchange that followed was this:
Girl: How did you know I spent a week in Nicaragua back in August 2009?
Me: Oh, I saw your pictures on Facebook.
Luckily, sense prevailed in situations such as those and I decided to keep my mouth shut. To a certain degree, social media is ruining our ability to have a conversation without having to refer to it just to keep the flow going. I can admit that I’m a quiet person around people I’m uncomfortable with/don’t know so conversation can be taxing at times. Imagine the horror I find myself in when my phone’s died whilst I’m at a party where I don’t know anyone? I kid, I’m not that bad but I do often have an expression on my face that says I’d rather be swimming in a ravine of rabies-infested porcupines. Whilst we’re out with mates we try to fill the moments of silence by checking social media. Basking in the ambience of silence in conversation breaks can be a tad awkward but you can always start a new topic – just not about Lorde being the saviour of the music industry, please.
Live tweeting/commentary is one of those scenarios on Facebook and Twitter where it’s alright to endlessly scroll your news feed, especially if you can’t watch said event on TV. However, when and how did we let it get to the stage where as soon as our team scores, we have to tweet, “CAZOOORRRRRRRLLAAAAAAAAAAAAA”, whilst sitting there plain faced in our living rooms? I admit I do it myself sometimes but it does feel a bit silly taking ourselves out of the moment to tweet that Cazorla has scored, despite the fact that everyone else has done the same thing. It’s at that point you have to ask yourself, why in the blue fuck did I just tweet that and whose benefit was it for? If you’re doing it because you feel it’s your duty to do so for the people that can’t watch the game, stop lying, that’s what live score apps are for.
Think before you post. Did we need to know that? Do you want others to know that? Think about the reactions of others if they read that.
I’m hungry – not okay
What time is the football on? – Okay to a degree but Google is your friend
I really like that new album by Blood Orange, one of the best this year - Very okay as you are exposing your network to new music
Bear in mind that 99% of us wouldn’t give a shit if you decided to deactivate, so you not telling us that you’re hungry isn’t going to leave us in a state of confusion.
Recently, I decided to cut down my social media usage after 5.30pm Monday – Friday, it has been hard but when I do it feels great. I don’t do it to feel important because as you know, I’m an insignificant speck on this planet, just like you. As I’m a community manager for brands, part of my job is to keep my ear to the ground regarding all things social media. The last thing I want after eight hours of work, is to stay up to date on things Joe Carter has been getting up to, who I met briefly when he was off his face on ket whilst telling me why Russell Brand single handedly saved politics. Having a clear mind after work is my desire and I don’t think social media helps me personally, yet I still find myself drawn to it. There are a few projects I have started recently such as writing a new short story and Bookstract, this means that I really shouldn’t be devoting my time to tweeting whilst complaining about people that still watch Big Brother. Pot, kettle, black and all that.
Before I leave, spellcheck is also your friend. Please use it. We are all laughing at your inability to distinguish the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’. It’s also ‘should have’ not ‘should of’. Joe Carter does not exist either but I have met similar folk, all of which shall remain anonymous.