Do you tweet like I do ? : Making sense of the social media circus
Sometimes, I feel like taking a BIIIIIIIIG LOOOOOOONG break from social media… That ever present need to constantly tell the world what is happening in our little lives, tugs at our fingertips without fail whenever something worth sharing is happening. Sometimes I want to stop. Sometimes. And then, I remember that I do social media mostly to promote and aliment content for Prête-Moi Paris, and I can’t let my little blog nor my fans down. (Not that they would have a bad withdrawal episode if I did). There is so much more content out there to entertain and appease them, and I am not the only one they pay attention to. But most of all, I post and tweet and instagram and all, for myself. It’s my creative way of sharing what I love with the world, for my own delight and creative motives.
But, there is something more than this need to create, that motivates me… it is the connections we make, it’s the dialogue we share, it’s the conversations we spark.
So then why do I feel this desire to continually grow my amount of followers, readers, comments and fans??? Why do the numbers seem to validate my work? Do they validate my work? An author who publishes a novel hopes to have people read it, n’est-ce past? The more people that read it, the more people that author has reached with her/his art.
But social media brings in so much more than just fans, and followers. It allows allows ample space for the critics, the pejorative comments, the pundits, the nay-sayers… And although so far I really haven’t experienced much of that through my years of blogging and social media outlets, there are plenty of people, some I know, who do unfortunately have that unpleasant experience. This is the flip side of the conversation, the lack of true dialogue.
@PreteMoiParis …exactly. We do our best. And sometimes, even our best isn’t good enough for somebody, and that’s ok.
— Dita Von Teese (@DitaVonTeese) July 6, 2010
Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants their opinion to be validated. Authors of novels and twitter pundits alike, both are seeking an audience. Even your former high school pals that are almost forgotten are still trying to attract validation via facebook posts and count that validation in the number of “likes” or comments. And social media is making it more and more possible to attract more and more attention, be it good or bad attention. We have entered into an era of generation ME. It’s a quagmire of “look at me!” people and entities. It’s enough to drive you away sometimes…
This idea kind of reminds me of growing up in a house with 8 kids, (yes my parents had 8 children together), and all of us were vying for attention. We each had our “thing” that acquired for us our own special attention. Whether it was the ability to be goofy, make the others laugh, be super smart in school, excel at a sport or an art, we all sought a way to stand out among the “crowd”. I like to think that growing up in that household prepared me for this new phenomenon and helps me better deal with it. Or maybe this new phenomenon helps me better deal with the fact that two parents just don’t have enough attention between them for 8 little humans.
Yet here I am in the fray of social media, grasping for attention and validation…like the rest.
But… but… there remains a silver lining to all these confusing connections : there are a handful of amazing souls that have come to me via social media, and whom I hope to treasure as special parts of my life worth holding onto. Social media, for all the din, can certainly produce some incredible people. Some of these people found me online, some, I found, others we mutually found each other through the same social media circles; but no matter the way we came to meet, I wouldn’t give up any of that self-centered crazy social circus if it met I never would have met these beautiful humans. They are worth all the “me-ness” on the internet. They know who they are…
Here’s to finding amazing people in virtual places you never expected.
And thank you for letting my whine and rant a little
*Bisous from Paris*
And just for fun, and to never take ourselves too seriously (it’s terrible for your health) how about a little chic geek fashion… 🙂
I know exactly how you feel with the SM. Although my generation is the one that was raised on it, I grew up in a limited tech household. I didn’t have any SM accounts before blogging/writing and only started them for the blogging/writing. I have met some great people and done some great partnerships because of SM but on the whole, I feel like it is a soul drainer and not enricher. Since I don’t believe in sharing every bizarre thought that comes in my head with the rest of the world, I usually at a loss about what my readers want to see in a tweet or in a FB post. Thanks for your honest and open op-ed on this too heralded act of privacy piracy 🙂
Hi Andrea, thanks for joining the conversation. There has to be a way, I think, to make it more enriching to be on social media. I really believe it all comes down to actually sharing and conversing, as opposed to just “liking” and commenting things that don’t spark and true feedback ( I’m guilty of that often). This said, we cannot contribute to everything we appreciate on social media so sometimes a retweet or a “LOL” is all we can offer, and that’s okay, it’s just imperative to not allow all our social media interaction to become as placated as that. We must interact on some level, while preserving our private life and creating memories and conversations of line too. It’s a balancing act I think. One that requires often more attention than we have to give to it.
Melissa, you couldn’t have written this better. You completely captured both sides of the social media argument. The “I do it for me; I do it for my readers; I do it to feel validated; I do it to increase my following; I do it to document my life; I do it to share experiences with people across the world; I do it to feel connected” etc. etc. etc = the list goes on! It is also a need to share, which all human beings want to do, and the need to leave a legacy. Our digital tattoo will remain for as long as we let it (and WordPress exists!), but it’s also a way for us to look back and see just what lovely experiences we’ve had and to note our accomplishments. Just read your response to Andrea’s comment, which I completely agree with, and it’s true; this all is a medium to share and converse. I agree, too, that we can get the balance a bit wrong, and sometimes we just need to “be,” however strong that itch to JUST take one picture or JUST check our phones for one second. There are so many more things that we can say about social media to connect it to sociology, anthropology, and of course, psychology, but you’ve stated perfectly what, I think, the vast majority of bloggers feel. Bravo!
Patricia, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. I like your tem of “digital tattoo”. It’s true, we want to leave our mark, but also like you said its a great way to record memories. We see that desire being harnessed by the company My Social Book that allows you to print your Facebook activity in Facebook form. Pretty neat way to create a photo/memory album. Maybe WordPress will comeup with a way for us to create books of our posts, just in case…..