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The Tide of Social Media: I’m Facebooking Tweets on FourSquare

Today we are buried under a mountain of social media. Instant ways to connect to each other, keep from being bored in bars and just to share with the world that fact that you just ate a cheese sandwich. People have asked me what the differences are so I’m going to break it down for you:

Facebook: This is the giant, multi-use, Borg-like program that connects you with friends, frenemies and total strangers. You can share pictures, links, your relationship status, where you live, which teams you support, and beg people to work on your farm. Yes, you can play games where you waste hours a day digging for treasure, growing food, homesteading or rising to the top of a Mafia family.

On the up side you can keep in touch with people you actually like, share pictures, and see what your other friends are doing even if you could care less that they are eating a cheese sandwich. You can also keep your settings locked down to “Friends Only” (which I HIGHLY recommend). This helps to keep stalkers, your ex, your parole officer and potential employers of seeing the picture of you with the inflatable sheep. Please note this doesn’t help if one of your frenemies posts that picture in a public forum or in their pictures and they make the permissions “public”. Lesson: don’t be in a position to have those pictures taken in the first place.

On the down side, you have to deal with annoying ads calling you fat or lonely (which you may be if you are on Facebook 24/7 but that really isn’t anyone else’s business), people spamming you with products and services you will never use or wanting you to join their hamsters fan page. You also deal with a parade of posts called a News Feed that you have to sift through. There are informative, cool posts from friends and there are whiny self-serving posts that fish for sympathy in the wide electronic ocean at least four times a day. They post things like “sniff” or “My life is tragic” or “Perhaps the other world has better cheese sandwiches.”. People, if you are that depressed that you send these missives into the ether on a regular basis, get off Facebook and hie thee to a mental health professional and get yourself some real help. I’m here to tell you, that behaviour is not normal.

Twitter: The younger set is all about Tweets. Twitter is faster paced and a different breed of social media. It’s not there to whine about your day or how many bowls of mac & cheese you ate unless it was at a new Mac & Cheese only eatery – like Homeroom that just opened in Oakland – and here is a link so you can check it out!

Twitter is about small bites of information. It’s also very open and very searchable on the net. This is NOT the forum to be writing inane drivel or posting snapshots from your latest hate rally unless you never want to work again for a respectable company. While you can lock your account to only people you approve, the point of Twitter is to be followed by a horde of lemmings who hang on your every hip word. You only get 140 characters per tweet so make them count, make them clever, make them informative. There is nothing I hate more than someone who tweets nonstop, clogging up my feed with constant whining or boring things like “took the lint out of the dryer”. I will unfollow you. Don’t post stuff like that unless you can make it interesting like “Took the lint out of the dryer and it had Andy Dick’s face in it” – then post a link to a picture.

Twitter is a good tool for business. You can use it to drive people to your blog, keep up with the latest facts and media gossip. While these two social media programs are similar, they are used in different ways. Learn them, use them correctly, don’t be a douche and don’t be boring.

Creepy Facebook Stalker Coming To A Cell Phone Near You

It seems I have a Secret Admirer, or at least I did.  Last week a stranger called my cell phone, informed me he was my secret admirer, admitted I was a complete stranger, had no idea what I did for a living and thought “I looked nice”.  My iphone told me the call came from Glendale.  Now I am wondering the following things:

1) How did he get my phone number

2) Where did he see my picture

Everything points to Facebook.  It seems I listed my cell phone number on my Facebook profile.  It has since been taken down.  In an ongoing effort to discover this mans identity, I have a man call the number back and find the number is a google number.  Probably a scype one.  Great.  Dead end.  It was a mystery and a little creepy.  Guys, calling a girl you don’t know, saying you are her “secret admirer” IS GROSS AND CREEPY!!!!!!  DO NOT DO IT!

Update: So a half hour ago I get a call on my cell phone, this time from Unknown.  Now if you have an unlisted number, this is how your number will display and I’ve been looking for a job so I thought it might be a job call.  I pick it up.  Here is the conversation.

Me: Hello?

Him: Hi, it’s Ryan.

Me: RYAN!!!

Him: Hey, how are you doing?

Me: Fine, just fine.  It was good to see you!

Him: *confused* huh?

Me: Oh, you’re not my cousin Ryan?

Him: No I called you last Friday from LA.  This is Ryan Garnett.

Me: Do I know you?

Him: No.  I was at an internet cafe and someone left their FourSquare on and I saw you and thought you were attractive.

Me: Well thank you but I’m married.

Him: Oh I’m sorry, i apologize.  I won’t flirt with you anymore.

Me: That’s OK.  Thanks!

Him: Bye.

Now here is the other weird part.  What is the chance of a stranger coming along when someone had my Four Square page up?  Also my Four Square page, while it does list my picture, does NOT list my phone number.  That would be Facebook (or did until recently).  This is still a mystery.

Who is Ryan?  Well he sounded like a 28 year old white male.  Perfect serial killer demographic.  He didn’t sound like he was going to pursue this and who knows?  Maybe I just let the Love Of My Life go because his first move was kinda creepy.  Naw, who am I kidding?

Next: Facebook Stalking: There’s An App For That!

Facebook Attention Whores: Apply Here

Facebook has been a boon and a curse to society.  According to their website statistics, Facebook currently has:

  • More than 500 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook

I would like to propose that out of 500 million people, 5 million of them at least are insufferable attention whores.  This is the dark side of posting all the inane points of your life, like “Having eggs for breakfast with.. CHEESE!” or “My trash is falling over, guess I’ll have to take it out.” or “Took the dog for a walk, the sun was great.  Perhaps the cute guy at the dog park will ask me out?”  The attention whores take this slice of life even farther.  They leave cryptic messages.  Not just once or twice but all the time.  Think about it, how many of your friends post things like “sigh, so sad” or “sob” or “why is life doing this to me?” at least ten times in the past month?  News Flash: If you post things like this all the time with no explanation you are an attention whore.

Stop it.  It’s annoying.  You know deep down you are doing it just so people will post “hugs” or “whats wrong?” or some other expression of cyber sympathy.

One of the biggest contributors to this are the people who misuse the “relationship status” regularly for their own attention whore ends.  It usually happens like this.  A couple get in a fight.  Let’s make this a boy/girl couple because it’s usually the woman who runs on Facebook to start “the Drama”.  She changes her relationship status from “married” or “in a relationship” to “complicated.  The guy does nothing to his status because he doesn’t care.  This is what usually happens:

1) The immediate cyber sympathy faucet turns on.  People start posting “hugs”, “are you OK?”, “what’s wrong?”  This starts to clue people into the personal drama storm in someone’s personal life.  Before the internet you might hear rumors over the backyard hedge and a bowl of ambrosia at a BBQ but now the dirty laundry is flying free for all to see and wonder about.

2) The questions start.  Now people start sending the guy private messages wanting to know what’s wrong.  He ignores them or says nothing.  Even if it was something, guess what people?  It’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!  If it was, he would have reached out to you for some assistance in handling the issue that started the fight in the first place.

3) The other “man-sharks” move in.  Scenting blood in the water, other available suitors start circling, thinking the attention whore girl will dump her husband/boyfriend and bang them instead.  Dudes, even if she did dump the partner in question, do you really want in on this kind of freaky sideshow?   If there is one cardinal rule, it is “don’t bang The Crazy!”

4) Having gotten all the attention she wanted and the guy now sick of the idiot emails, he apologizes and she puts her status back to what it was before and “laughs off” the whole incident.  However, the damage is done.  The man-sharks are on alert, your friends still look at you funny and you just stirred up a lot of drama for nothing.

Think I’m exaggerating?  Here is a lovely piece about Facebook dating that I found delightful:

What should you do?  How about don’t even publish a relationship status?  I mean, honestly, why do you need to?  If you are married, your friends know it.  If you are dating, your friends know it and the rest of your cyber friends really don’t need to know when you are dumping one girl and then hooking up with another.  Humans are inquisitive monkeys and if we are bored, we will seize on any source of unrest for entertainment, why give people more ammunition?  Also, if you are one of these people who keep changing partners like socks, post all the details, then complain when you don’t get the reaction you want, stop waving your dirty laundry around in public.  If you don’t want people judging your knickers, take them off the fence.  It really is that simple.