Writing Prompt

The Social Network – “Do you feel like you ‘get’ social media, or do you just use it because that’s where all your friends and family are?”

I really should have chosen something that has less chances of me devolving into a rant. Be that as it may…

*crosses fingers and toes* Bear with me… 🙂

Senior year of High School saw me turn in a thirteen-paged Q&A for Bible studies about something or other that I don’t quite remember off the top of my head. I know I did double the work in half the time because the assignment – for the sake of saving time – gave us twelve questions. We asked x-number of people the first six, and then ask an identical y-number of people the remaining six.

I just asked everyone I contacted all twelve questions.

How?

IRC and liberal use of multiple Instant Messaging (IM) windows. It was a simple matter of copying/pasting the questions, wait for the other party to respond in full, copy/paste the text into a word document, format it into something neat and tidy, and submit it the next day.

IRC wasn’t the first program I used. That was preceded by a virtual chat program call “Excite!chat.” If you’re reading this and know the programs I just listed or remember the time when search engines like “AltaVista” existed, give yourself a pat on the back. You are one of the few.

So, asking me if  I “get” social networking seems like a rather short-sighted question, in my honest opinion. I do not “just use it” because friends and family do. I was on the wagon of social networking well before the rest of my age group caught on (and that included family as most of my good friends were through online networking).

I’ve been through where social networking began, the ideals it was built for, and watched it crumble into a rather tangled mess of marketers’ harem for personal information gathering all the way to people making it a personal quest for followers as if that truly held a meaningful purpose.

Don’t get me wrong. If what you do involves audiences (most art professions do), then by all means, you should be on a quest for an audience base. Heck, I’m a fan on a few fan bases out there. 🙂

The thing is, social networking became the unfortunate bastard child of middle-to-high school clique of hierarchy all-grown-up in some respects, and that to me is simply not kosher.

Some of us were part of the “popular” crowd in high school. Some of us weren’t. Guess which one I fell into?

The best thing about those years is that they’re behind me – in fact, it is because they could be put behind me that allowed me to move on, but social networking has managed to resurrect something best left dead and proceed to remind me just how intolerable those miserable years were.

Yes, I know, I’m too old to be bullied anymore, and I agree. I am, and I’ve learned to not take crap from anybody since, but I certainly didn’t need to be reminded of those years just because “select” people popped across my screen in association or affiliation with someone else I know, and these networking mediums did just that. If I experience this, just how many more people are or will come to experience this?

Especially the ones who were mercilessly bullied. We used to be able to tell them “it’s school. It’ll be over soon.” Not quite sure that’s the case anymore.

So, my question is, do you understand the implications that surround social media? I think that is more important than just “getting” social media.

Perhaps it’s some food for thought, yes?

.

Yours Truly, Lavender Wynter ❤

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