Social not working | The Electric Grapevine | 11.30.09

Nik Green
By Nik Green
November 30th, 2009

An early start to the day today has me up to date inside the world of social networking in just under half an hour. I’ve got my Facebook status on, MySpace is tidy and I’ve Twittered even the slightest thoughts to cross my mind.

OK, I admit I haven’t updated my networking sites today because I’ve started to experience the downside of social networking, and decided to use it for creative purposes only. I’ll be damned if I ever take Twitter seriously. If someone announced their every thought in daily life they would be shunned or locked up.

Somehow celebrities feel we need to know their every thought via this absurd “tool”. How many of us have woken up and declared that we simply must know what the latest drunken rambling from Amy Winehouse is? Besides that, my personal attention span would lead to some of the most random thoughts you will ever see in print. My own brain-power reducing thoughts such as “What happened to Dirk Benedict from A-Team?” wouldn’t be any more insightful than those of the cracked out singer.

I particularly love these faux poets that dispense unattributed quotes trying to pass themselves off as the savior to your day after using Google for roughly fifteen seconds before copying and pasting the “deepest” line they can find in the first link they clicked. Everyone has these people clogging their news feed like pieces of social networking cholesterol damming the arterial passageways of Facebook. I actually saw someone believe that a Thoreau quote was that of the person posting, and the person actually went along with it. I think my first red flag would have been the fact that this thoughtful quote was buffered by “OMG New Moon is like for real,” and “I’m out buying smokes”.

When not taken so seriously, the quotes really can be humorous. Those that take the time to find thematically related responses or funny videos actually brighten up a post quite well. Just save the Oprah’s life lessons for cards to Grandma.

I’m not even going to bother touching on MySpace as I found the sign up process to be the most aggravating one I have ever experienced. After choosing a password consisting of alternating letters, numbers and symbols that must be followed by a verb in Farsi, I decided to spare my keyboard and just close it down.

The bright side of these stalker hubs is the ability to see your friends’ positive contributions to their community both real and virtual. That means looking beyond the “So and so is a bag for looking at my boyfriend Friday night at the GF” types of status updates. While using Facebook to promote my own visual work I came across a young local photographer who has some of the most impressive work in the area, a portfolio that I would otherwise have never seen and enjoyed. We have since become friends and shared various links to resources that aid us both in our art. Artists are sensitive folks that can be pacified by simply clicking the little “Like” button below our posted works.

Don’t describe what you like or don’t. Don’t offer up the emotion you experienced that caused you to take the time out of your day to “Like” this photo or musing. Please simply let us rest at ease knowing you took somewhat less than a second to “Like” it. I must have mistakenly hit the useless “Insert” key on my keyboard which has since been reassigned to “Sarcasm On/Off” back there, my apologies. Seriously though, what did happen to Dirk “Faceman” Benedict?

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