Thursday, August 25, 2011

Follow me? (Forget it.)

I love social media, and waste countless hours on it but I can't seem to grow my skin thick enough for the whole "I'm going to follow/friend you, but then someday I'm going to pull the rug out from under you and unfollow/unfriend you and you will never know why!"  And what really bothers me about that is that I CARE.  I would say that if I saw about half the people on my Facebook friend list in the grocery store or somewhere out in the real world, I would hide so they didn't see me and then I wouldn't be forced to have a stop-and-chat. (thank you, Larry David, for that term)  I know, I'm not a nice person.  Or perhaps I'm just kind of shy?  No, I'm not shy.  Part of the reason is that I hate confrontation.  Even fake confrontation.  Especially fake confrontation, like so:

Facebook friend I don't really consider a real friend but keep on my friend list because the drama in her life provides me with endless entertainment: (FFIDRCF):  Hey Girl!  Where've you been hiding?
Me:  Oh you know, I've been busy.
FFIDRCF:  Ha ha!  We're ALL busy!  What have you been "busy" doing?
Me:  I've been busy with the kids...
FFIDRCF:  You only have two kids!  How busy could you be? (jovial, jokey-type laughter)
Me: .....  I think I just got my period. Gotta go!
FFIDRCF:  Call me!  We have to get together!
Me: ... (under my breath)... I'd rather be murdered in my bed.

I guess I am what you might call an introvert and social media fits that so perfectly.  I watched a show last night about some crazy family that has a thousand kids and how great it is because "you never have to be alone!" and I couldn't think of anything worse.  But I love knowing what is going on in people's lives so lurking on Facebook/Twitter/blogs is perfect to satisfy my social needs (that and of course, you know, having a husband and kids.)

I have recently been trying to figure out Twitter, Stumble and Reddit.  Twitter seems to be for people who like to read mini-blogs, but not necessarily write mini-blogs.  Some of the people on Twitter are hilarious, but I only actually know about three of my followers/people I follow.  When I get an email that says I have a new follower on Twitter I get excited and check them out and nine times out of ten it's a woman from the porn industry that follows eight million people in the hopes that they will follow her and read her very unsexy porno tweets.  So, it's entertaining, but like I say, I don't know those people.  I read stuff on Stumble and Reddit, but haven't totally figured it out yet.

Facebook is great because I can pick my friends.  And if a friend gets annoying in their status updates, I can keep them as a friend, but hide them so I don't have to read their millions of dramatic updates about how their ex-husband is a jerk.

It's all so shallow isn't it?  It's perfect for me.  Except when I get unfollowed/unfriended.  I hate that.  I took the follower option off the blog because I was getting obsessed with it and discouraged that more people weren't pushing the "follow" button.  That eliminated a lot of anxiety.

What do you like about social media? How do you deal with getting dumped?


  1. I'm minus a follower on my blog today.......I really don't want to talk about it........I need some alone time to deal with my feelings......I hurt......

  2. I don't like losing followers, but I realize some people follow you just because they want followers and hope you will follow them back, and if you don't , they stop following. When I follow someone, I'm a real stalker. I read everyone of their posts and try to comment each time, so I can't follow everyone who follows me...I wouldn't have a life! I'd be spending my waking hours reading blogs...I have 579 followers. I find that I can handle following around 150 blogs, since not everyone posts everyday. So I have to really be interested in the subject matter or grabbed in a big way by the blogs I read to follow them.

  3. I'm like you in that I like to keep track of people but I don't necessarily want to have the face to face conversation.

    The whole following thing though seems to fickle. Some people spread it around and some are very stingy with their followings.

    Can you use unfollowing as a sort of emotional blackmail? Can you really mess with someone's head by following and unfollowing serveral times? Why can't you do this in real life? "I'm angry with you today so I'm just going to unfollow you until I like you better."

  4. I would cry some and then I would go to that person's twitter/blog/facebook and unfriend/follow them right back. I would then obsess about it for a couple of days. What did I do? What did I say? Was I offensive?

    These people are quitters and no one likes a quitter!

  5. I hate rejection, that's what it all boils down to, but it seems more personal when someone makes an effort to follow the blog, read what you've written, and then makes an even bigger effort to UNfollow it. Did I say something offensive? Ugh. Makes my stomach hurt.

  6. If you said something offensive can someone please point it out to me? I must've missed it and I could use a little controversy right now to keep me amused.

  7. Dana McKibbage WaldbilligAugust 26, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    This may relieve some of your anxiety about being "unfriended": As an extremely fickle social butterfly with ADD, OCD, and a bevy of other undiagnosed acronyms, I tend to follow/like sites or blogs based totally on a whim. "OOOH! I see a pretty picture!" or "OOOH! You made a funny" or even "OOOH! My friend told me to follow/friend/like this!" Then a few days, weeks, or months later I get an OCD notion to clean out my 'shtuff' and that means all the crap I've liked, followed, or saved on my Favorites list. It doesn't REALLY mean we no longer like you or you've done something that offended us. Honestly. They might just be like me. God help us all.

  8. I feel the same damn way. That's why if I comment on anyone's blog, I do it anonymously. And I want to hide if I see anyone I know at the store too. I hate being around my husband's family because there are so many of them and they are all extroverts. I just want to be alone. I'm afraid to talk on the phone too. I prefer to text.

  9. i hate the google "followers" stuff! mainly because i use an RSS reader to check in on all my blogs; following someone's blog there and then someplace else is kind of ridiculous. i didn't realize that at first, and as a result i always look like i'm not that interested if i don't follow or comment on everything. but sarah, i read every word you write! and not in a creepy, "i'm going to go through your trash and save your fingernail clippings" kind of way. promise! social media raises all sorts of weird questions like this, right? as if our every day, real life interactions aren't confusing enough?!

  10. Amanda, you are sweet and you are right. I shouldn't give the following thing a second thought.

    Anonymous: I think we are social twins. Too bad we'll never meet. That's the thing about being an introvert. You never get to meet like-minded people.

    Dana, I never thought of it like that.

    Inkspiller: It seems so 7th grade, doesn't it? Ugh.

    Eva: You are right, and I can't believe you follow 150 blogs! Wow!

    Jane: You're like the big sister I never had.

  11. Thinking of you this a.m. as I'm cleaning out my list of "friends" on facebook. My husband's cousin, who had never in her whole life even said hello to me, sent me a friend request and I felt obliged to accept. She got unfriended this morning when I saw her pictures from "girls night out." posted from their zany anticks of a free night out without kids last night. I didn't think the "girls" she was referencing were the, you know "GIRLS".... really didn't need to see that. Good bye. There are a few other "friends" that I've regretfully let into my world that will get the boot, too. BUT NOT YOU!


I would love your comments.