May 21, 2009

Swearing off Social Networking

I am, in general, a fairly enthusiastic supporter of social networking as a 21st century communication norm. But you know what? It's been bugging me a bit of late.

I mean, Facebook's been a bit s*** since the most recent redesign. I can't work out how to block stuff, so all I get is a random series of quiz results about what Disney f***ing Princess or Type of Alcohol someone is. Then I get a stream of requests asking me to take part in "How Well Do You Know Insert-Name-Here?" surveys. Note to internet: I am a sad, selfish individual. I do not remember s*** about you. I am too busy trying to remember where I left my wallet and whether my mother's having a birthday this year. I admit I am a horrible, uncaring friend. But I promise you, it'll be better for both of us if I don't have to answer whether I think your favourite film star is Harrison Ford or Chuck Norris.

Then there's the Facebook marketing droidbots, who assume that because I'm a female aged between puberty and death I must be desperate for every f***ing bit of baby-related advertising under the sun. I'm sorry Facebook, but I know nothing about pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding, and I'M OKAY WITH THAT.

Twitter's been marginally less frustrating, but I fear it may be ruined by a**holes. And not just the a**holes using the service. I'm talking about the type of a**holes who think they're more superior than others using the service.

I think this because I've just discovered Tweeting Too Hard, a website where you can nominate someone's "self-important" tweet, and, ha! let the world world know  - ha! - what a wanker they are! Ha!

Now pardon me, but who the f*** is getting away with this s***?!?!? Who is judge, juror and exe-f***ing-cutioner here? Some random interwebz freakazoid, hands calloused from too many hours thrusting in the general direction of his limited edition Buffy DVD collection, who accidentally found my stream of random tweets and decided I had it coming?

Let's face it, everything about social networking is self-indulgent. We're sitting in our house, or our office, or - thanks to 3G phones - in a car, on a boat, in a pub or theatre, on a beach, in the middle of the f***ing rainforest or on top of the Eiffel Tower - sharing our minute, random, inconsequential thoughts with people.

If that's not the definition of self-importance than I'll go eat my hat.

I'm not saying be ashamed of it, I'm just saying get some f***ing perspective and look at your own damn shadow.

Once all is said and done, I probably won't swear off social networking. But hot-darn-it if I ain't gonna break my asterisk key swearing about it.


  1. Argh.
    I know.
    I'm at the end of my facebook tether. I just bring myself to look at it anymore these days because my feed is full of 'what kind of princess monkey zoo keeper are you?' quizzes. I don't think I can count the number of these things I have said 'HIDE' to - but they just keep multiplying.

    I joined facebook to see what my friends are up to, and to see their photos.

    I can't really see either of these anymore - which is why I've spent more time over on the often over-bloated twitter, where I am quite ruthless in my friends list. Removing people if they tweet too inanely.

    All I can say is, I feel your pain. My asterisk key died a loooong time ago.

  2. Yeah i walked away from facebook when dodgy characters from my past who would have beaten me up as a kid, or girls who didn't give me the time of day at school wanted to be my friend. I am abusing the hell out of twitter for the moment... I get to dive in make a glib comment or response to someone and bounce on out. We'll see it takes.
    I don't tend to take anything I do online, as too serious. the minute it get serious, i walk away.

  3. Great post

    and don't go picking on the Buffy Collection.

  4. LOL. I am so now following babesmcphee because of that site. She's the fucking bomb!

  5. All right, Birmingham, I admit, I went to look at this Babes McPhee on the site, and she is fairly amusing.

    But then, below it, was the biggest
    douchiest line from the King of Douchebags, John Mayer.

    So maybe that site has a role to play after all...

  6. I think you have to expect a big chunk of it all to be a wankfest, and use your own filters to find the bits that are wonderful. Just like, well, life really.

    It used to shit me a lot, all the things that you've listed (well, except for Tweeting too Hard, which I LOVE because sometimes wankers do need to be outed) but I'm learning my own ways to sort through the crap.

    Without the internet and it's "social stuff" (I don't like all the labels given to it as if it's a marketable commodity), I would never have taken a 3 month trip around the US on my own, staying with people I had never met in real life before. I wouldn't have met about 50 REALLY amazing local people who get together regularly socially. And so many other things.

    But yeah, you've got to wade through some shit to get there.

  7. could not have said it better

  8. I love the Tweeting Too Hard site, especially as on their all-time worst list they have a post by the great comedian Peter Serafinowicz, baffingly missing the point.

    Moral is, follow Peter Serafinowicz. @serafinowicz

  9. I tend to agree with you on the social networks.
    I'm on Facebook and Twitter, though not frequently.
    Twitter is sometimes annoying. Some of the Tweets are ridiculous. Some Twitterers think too much of themselves.