<old guy talk> I remember back in the day you “made friends” on the Internet </old guy talk>.
What happened to the concept of conversing, getting to know and developing real relationships with people? I used to do that and many of those friendships spread IRL (in real life- a term used back when people had real lives). We don’t do that any longer. We just “follow” people.
Is this the same sheep-like tendency that makes people mindlessly listen to televangelists and Dr. Phil? Does it satisfy some visceral gregarious need to be part of a flock?
I think people just like to hear themselves talk without the inconvenience of a two-way conversation.
Social networking is about as asocial as you can get. It has become one-way conversation where the speaker imagines hoards of adoring followers hanging on his every word. Meanwhile, said followers are too distracted by making their own profound statements regarding the superiority of Sonic over Burger King.
There are so many things wrong with this structure. To begin with, it’s stalking. Without even letting you know I exist I can put you on my Twitter roll and read your wall on Facebook. I can find out what you had for dinner, who you voted for and if you masturbate with bubble wrap.
Granted, this virtual voyeurism is fun- until you realize that people are following (stalking) you as well. Maybe your psycho-ex. You know, the one you changed your name and left town because of. Maybe a serial killer. Maybe a Jehovah’s Witness.
We don’t care about the people who follow us, be they celebrities or baby-eaters. We want numbers. We are so obsessed with gathering large amounts followers that we make the Pope and Hitler look like the review committee at a country club.
Beyond it sucking the life out of human interaction, I have a problem with the general concept of “following.” Sheep and liberals “follow.” They just go wherever the one in front of them goes.
I am surprised that the bleeding-heart PC ninnies aren’t protesting these precepts. They are all about egalitarianism. How can they ignore a system that blatantly ranks people? I follow you, which means I see you as inherently better. That’s the way following works. Just ask the sheep and the liberals, or the shepherd and the media.
I suppose I am trying to keep back the ocean with a bucket. Follow mania has spread beyond traditional social networking venues. You can follow people on news sites, Google, and even Amazon. Why would I follow someone on Amazon? Maybe we could talk about the great deal she got on a Backstreet Boys CD.
Among the few places you can’t follow people are porn sites. Which is good because it would be disgusting. Besides, what are you going to talk about when you only spend five minutes at a time on the site? “Dude, I needed to use three tissues.”
There is one thing I especially love about social networking. Whenever you sign-up on a new site, the first thing it says is “find your friends on this this site!” Why? We are already friends. Or do you think I would like to downgrade from conversation and an actual relationship to soliloquies about the dog chewing up the couch? And do I want all of my friends on every site? Just how many times do they need to hear that I took a two-flusher this morning?
The only way to end this travesty is stop doing it. Stand up for your right to be a real person instead of just follower #987. Close those accounts, shut off that computer and get out there and meet and relate to real people. We can overcome this!
Just follow my lead.