Socially Unacceptable Social Media

If I look at one more picture of a dinner plate on my Facebook pages, my next status update will be from jail for assault.

Social media is simply out of control.  I wish it was as mundane as posting dinner pictures, but people are getting a little too comfortable sharing their most personal, intimate thoughts on their Facebook pages. These pictures of their innocent children on the first day of school, their vacation plans, or their real feelings about neighbors, religion or politics seem harmless on the surface, but consider this.

The average Facebook user has 338 friends. Okay, don’t ask me how I figured that out. It’s a terribly complex and difficult formula that I came up with all on my own. Out of those friends, only a handful are people these users actually know; family, coworkers, and real life friends account for an astonishingly small percentage of those 338 people.  That leaves an alarming number of people they really do not know on a personal level that subscribe to their page.  Friends of friends, people who pop up because of a shared interest or mutually “liked” page or TV show, and downright strangers make up the rest of the 338 people.

Many studies have been conducted regarding the various Facebook or Twitter users who feel it is necessary to inform everyone of every action they take throughout the day.  “Going to the bathroom, brb.”  “Taking out the trash.”  “Just woke up.”  “Going to the gym. Again.” And the selfies…good God, the selfies.  These are people who try to validate themselves through social media.  No one gives a damn about your carefully orchestrated duck face as you post that must-see picture of you holding your teacup poodle…all carefully filtered of course.

Yet, the people who make these posts really do think people care.  As if people are waiting with bated breath to see what they might post next. They randomly friend people who comment on someone else’s posts, and just as routinely unfriend people who don’t like that adorable selfie they took by the beach.  To be unfriended by someone is apparently devastating to the extreme, and they will take to their media of choice to cry about being unfriended.  In fact, in one astonishing case, being unfriended was a reason to commit murder. I mean, WTF?

Want to bet they duck faced for the mug shot?

This is all pretty frightening, but it hardly even scratches the surface of the social media lunacy.

People, mostly females for some reason, become so obsessed with actors that they post their reaction to every move the guy might make.  I’m not entirely sure what they hope to accomplish with this; perhaps it gives them a cachet and makes them feel important. Maybe they think this ultra-rich, ultra-handsome, ultra-everything will notice their post or tweet or whatever and simply appear from his island getaway to sweep her off her feet.

This was brought home to me a couple of days ago when I was watching an excerpt of a British talk show featuring host Graham Norton reading Facebook posts from women talking about their lust for actor Benedict Cumberbatch (Kahn in Star Trek: Into Darkness, Sherlock, Doctor Strange.) Poor Cumberbatch’s acting skills were really put to the test as he sat there and pretended that he was amused and not revolted or uncomfortable at all to hear someone say, “Just bury me in a Y-shaped coffin,” or “I can get pregnant just looking at him.” “I look at him and my ovaries explode.” Those were the “decent” ones. I could go on, but my mother reads this blog, and I try to save the ensuing lectures over my…ahem…colorful language…for rants I’m truly passionate about.

Oh, and just so you know, we have recently found out what makes women pregnant, and let me be the first to reassure frightened women everywhere that eyeing up Sherlock’s junk does not in fact contribute to pregnancy. Whew!  I know, right?  That was a close one. And by the way, get a grip. It’s one thing to have your private fantasies about an actor whom you like – there’s nothing new in that. We all do it. But to look at him solely as a sex object? Yeah, I suppose you could say it’s tit for tat as men have been looking at and objectifying women’s bodies since forever; long before the advent of social media. But still. Do two wrongs ever make a right? And to blast it out lewdly for all the world to hear see? That’s a little much if you ask me.

What’s the common phrase men write on message boards? “I’d do her,” referring to some actress whom they might not like in a role, but who looks so good that they’d “do” her anyway. I hate to burst that bubble, boys, but chances are the actress in question would never give any one of you the time of day. They’re on a whole other level from “normal” people. I’m also willing to bet my next Facebook picture of a baked potato that if 90% of the guys who say “I’d do her” on these message boards ever actually met the actress in question, they wouldn’t be able to muster up the nerve to say word-one to her…at least not coherently.

So, although I was somewhat revolted by this…psycho-gushing is the nicest term I can call it… it got me thinking about people who post things on social media of this nature. Do they expect the actors they’re talking about to read these posts? Do they secretly hope they will? Do they think the actor in question will actually want to meet them after reading this stuff? “Oh my goodness, did you read that!?  I just have to meet that revolting amazing person ASAP!”

These actors are real people, for goodness sake. They’re not just characters on a screen or a photo op in a magazine. They. Are. Real. People.  It is actually possible for them to read these Facebook and Twitter posts and what’s equally disturbing, so can their families.  These real people have wives, children, mothers, and fathers. People on the actor’s staff have to read this garbage, too; someone from Graham Norton’s staff obviously monitors the web very closely to find anything written about the actors he’s about to interview, for one.

Now as regular readers of my blog know, I’m a serious Marvel movie and TV fan. I like to think that if I ever met any of the actors who star in these creations (I’m looking at you Loki Tom Hiddleston), I’d act like a mature individual, say, “Hi, I enjoy your work,” and let them get on with their lives without 1.) thinking that they’d be so taken with me (one fan out of a thousand to greet them on any given day) that they’d even remember me 5 minutes later, or 2.) be that lewd, babbling stalker they do remember and recount as a “you’ve got to hear this one!” story on Graham Norton. That is if I’d be able to talk at all instead of just stare. But “Here, sign my boob!” I would never utter. At least not sober. It’s enough that I can enjoy their characters on the big screen, and know in real life they are totally different with lives of their own.

Long story short, Facebook posters and social media users everywhere, get a freakin’ grip.  Now, excuse me while I go post this incredible picture I just took of my lunch.

11 thoughts on “Socially Unacceptable Social Media

  1. Excellent, excellent post! It’s funny because I think I had about 338 Facebook friends before I deleted 100+ of them. I just couldn’t handle some of the posts anymore. People are too open with what they share, thinking everyone else is dying to know what they’re up to. We aren’t.

  2. I can’t be on FB in any consistent way which makes me sad because I have good friends there who I love to follow but it is just too inane. I can’t handle the people who post photo after photo of them self, every post about them self. I get their narcissism but it’s more, it’s almost as if they need their reflection repeatedly on FB to convince themselves they matter, they exist, which is just really sad.
    I think Zuckerberg is wrong. FB is not the emotional connector of the world. It is the dumbing down connector of the world.

    • I find that a great many people are on Facebook simply to argue, no other reason. They seek people out in order to argue some point or other. And others, you’re right, are there for the attention — as if it’s a mirror. And it IS sad.

  3. I continue to swing back and forth about whether I should join Facebook and maybe even Twitter. The only reason I am even considering Facebook is to stay connected to friends who use it as their primary channel for communication and photo sharing. They won’t email, read my blog or mail/text photos. They are Facebook loyalists. Your post is swaying me back to my original position – that it’s more about narcissism than sharing and connecting.

    • I’m on Facebook a good bit for work — managing social media and all that. If you keep it just to family and strictly friends you know in real life, you’d be good. It’s when you branch out that you find a whole other world. And not necessarily a good world. Although to give the Facebook platform some credit, advocacy groups have been able to do some real good on Facebook. Of course, there are groups that have been able to do some bad too. But talking strictly people (and not advocacy related)…it’s sad and frustrating a lot of times.

      • I was thinking that if I joined FB for social purposes, I might try to promote my business writing services at the same time. Are you saying it is best to stick with my social circle for FB? Maybe for the business side, I should better utilize LinkedIn, which is designed as a professional network- no photos of babies or recipes there.

        • Well, my organization uses it for business and advocacy and it works very well — it can be a good way to network and reach many people. There are ways to filter audiences and advertise so that you’re reaching the audience you want which is a good thing. It’s definitely worth a try. The only thing I would suggest, is BOOST POSTS and BOOST POSTS even if it’s just for $5 bucks at a pop. Because Facebook has made it impossible for business pages (even for nonprofits) to reach their audiences in full for free anymore and you will truly see a difference in you boost. I just meant for personal purposes — if you stick with friends rather than “friending” strangers you’d probably have a lot less stress. Even with friends it’s sometimes like the holiday dinner that never ends. LOL

  4. Finally someone gets it!!!! I don’t need to know you are taking a s… or having sex with …or whatever. Social media is too socialable. And yes I agree most people on facebook have well over 300 people. I don’t. Only people I know. Family friends etc. Not friends of friends because you get their whole thing of their posts and some are to raunchy for public reading. Not to mention it make you look bad. So if I don’t know the person, never heard of them … I will deny the friend request.
    Great post!

  5. I wrote about this last year. It’s insane. Such a display of nonsense. I assume people who do not have anything else have to share what they eat and what they wear. I agree about selfies: I sometimes feel uncomfortable reading comments under some extremely terrible selfie. While everybody goes like: you look so beautiful or wonderful, I think they didn’t wear glasses. Well, social media loves trash, and it’s obvious normal stories are not read, nor is anybody interested. That’s so different from blogging. Most of FB friends are actually people who I know fairly good or very good. I have not that many, 250 maybe. I worked as a high school teacher back in Europe, so I had thousands of students, a few keep writing, also colleagues teachers.
    You noticed it right: people share everything about kids and newborns, and I sometimes think that newborn grows up and runs for president and somebody digs up an old FB picture where that guy doesn’t have underpants … I mean, many parents do not think that Internet is not like you deleted and it disappeared. Well, it’s definitely better to keep private things private.
    I hate FB, but I just need a place for my ads about classes and their messenger is good hence perfectly works from phone.
    Great post as always!

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