I love the internet, the world wide web, the social media sites and all the information that flows over the virtual walls each day. But do you ever feel that maybe – just maybe – it’s become too much? If you’re involved in multiple networking sites, do you ever feel stretched a little too thin? Posting something multiple times and editing just so depending on the media outlet you’re broadcasting to? Facebook allows nearly unlimited posting potential. Twitter has 140 character limits. Blogging has to really get in there and capture just enough attention to start drawing a crowd. Do you play to your audience? Do you really personalize it and make it about your life? Do you mostly write about video games or tweet about television and movies? What do you do in this wild, wild, wild, wild world of social media and our virtual contacts?
Let’s take Twitter, for example. I am using it because it’s the one I had a discussion with a friend about Sunday evening. I originally joined Twitter to follow the podcasters I stumbled across. They were always wrapping up their shows by telling the listeners to follow them on Twitter for updates and information, so I obliged and signed up! Then something happened. I started to get followers of my own. To date, I only have 63 Twitter followers and of those only about a dozen are folks that I know for a fact share somewhat common interests. Most are podcasters that I listen to and occasionally interact with through tweets. But the real fact of the matter is: I have followers. I didn’t sign up for this! Now, because of my dear followers on Twitter, I feel required to occasionally tweet something out. It’s become a job of sorts because, well, they took the time and space on their timeline to follow my posts, it’s only right that I give them something. Right?
Facebook. Some folks say I share too much on Facebook. Some say I may post the most ridiculous crap they’ve ever heard. Some say, “Well, I’ll always know what James is doing because he’ll post it in detail through out the day.” They’re all right, but it’s because I’m more comfortable talking to people in that format. I can say what I want to say and get it all out without being interrupted every few minutes by someone asking a question or trying to interject their own opinions. Facebook allows me to post as much or as little as I want in a single, simple post and do it without any distractions. But then the real problem comes in who is on your friends list. I say friends, but what we really have are family members, co-workers, people we never talked to in high school a few friends and then a bunch of nosey people who read our posts and talk about us behind our backs. Is this healthy? Probably not, but it satisfies that human urge to gawk at the lives of others through their detailed updates about fights, pictures at their birthday party, a kid’s sporting event or that awkward selfie in their bathroom. Everyone is on Facebook, shouldn’t you be? Well?
Blogging brings out the creativity in people. Or at least attempts to. Some of us – myself included – try to bring out our creative sides, but instead we end up beating on the keyboard with our paws in an attempt to get out something slightly resembling the language we speak. I love blogging, even though I don’t contribute on a regular basis, it’s always the one thing I fall back on. You can just take a look at my archived posts to see that I may not post for days or weeks at a time, but I have been posting what I do have to offer for
several years. Some blogs offer specific content for a specific audience. While I love that idea, I don’t do enough of one specific thing to specialize in it. I’m just a guy with a family and a limited income that can’t go out and buy games every week or go to every blockbuster movie at the theater or subscribe to this or that or the other. So I post what I see, hear, think or experience. Even the bad stuff, which some relatives may feed off of (hi in-laws!) and plot to use in gossip at a later date. Blogging is a fun outlet, I enjoy it most out of the three I’ve mentioned in this post, even if I don’t get a lot of audience participation. That’s okay. Right? I do it for myself mainly, and if I do it right, someone will come along and also find something they like eventually as well.
But how much is too much? Can we continue to stretch ourselves across the social media bridge that holds it all together? Or do we need to step back and unplug and relax every now and then? So many questions have been flowing through my brain today that I can’t make head nor tails of exactly why it formed in the first place. Either way, I think I might understand it better if I were to try and put more of a leash on my interactions. Right now I go all willy-nilly each and every day in what I try to touch in the virtual world. I’ve got accounts and subscriptions that go every which way and no real hold on how far they may run from me. So I need to mind my own advice and start putting a leash on each one of these things. Maybe close a few accounts, change a few old passwords and just see what I have still leading me around when that’s done.