Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"No, I don't need to watch Obama on CSPAN ... I follow him on Twitter."

I have to pick on my friend for a minute … or well, for a blog

The identity of this ambitious friend of mine, of course, can’t be revealed. Henceforth we’ll call him Smart Guy, which is self-explanatory, right? I will, however, expose the meeting place of said friend and myself, our initial encounter: Twitter.

No need to re-read that last sentence, Smart Guy and I really did first become acquainted via Social Media. You see, we’re both Charlotte residents, both follow and are followed by the same people. We even throw up hashtags and trend similar topics; seems inevitable that we would become tweeting cohorts, right?

Somewhere people (mom) are reading this and they’re pondering, “What exactly is a hashtag?” … and to them I say, google it – which is precisely what I did, by the way. Anyway, back to my smart friend and our more recent conversation which naturally landed him here. My smart friend keeps me in the loop with his dating endeavors, which is fascinating. I love to listen to guys discuss the girls they’re into. Girls, guys are absolutely just as nervous, excited, petrified, and sappy as we are – they just conceal it a hell of a lot better.

Just the other day, Smart Guy messages me (yes, via Twitter) to update me on his more recent love affair. He and this new girl of his have already gone down the path of the drunken make-out session, and like any budding romance, flirtatious texts/tweets have been exchanged.

However, soon after, love interest must have lost interest. Twice plans were made, and twice plans were broken. And since the pilot of the last-minute cancellations was a text message and since this is my smart friend we’re talking about – he shrugged his shoulders, and he let it go.

Post this short-lived romance Smart Guy’s love interest threw him what we’ll call a curve ball. And by the time this friend of mine communicated his recent bungled romance, he was already terribly concerned. His pressing concern: the second night she cancelled she “Liked” his Facebook status, and Smart Guy wants to know, “How do I respond to that?”

When I read this, I laughed out loud. Smart Guy – if you’re reading this, I absolutely couldn’t help myself. He followed this up: “Do I unfollow her?” and also, “She’s my Facebook friend” … “Do we stay Facebook friends?”

Being a terrible friend, I honestly didn’t know how to answer this. My first response: extreme laughter. My second response: what a ridiculous question. Who cares about Social Media?

I am so wrong.

And the more I pondered my guy friend’s dilemma, the more I realized this. I thought back to the day my facebook status changed … and with it the world as I knew it. Then I thought about how I religiously check my Facebook/Twitter at work, or in class. Just to see, I conducted my own experiment. Having drinks with a few of my friends the other night I made mental notes (and napkin notes) on our references to Social Media. Below are just a few of the statements that made it into our two hour session:

“Yeah, they’re dating. I saw it on Facebook today”

“She’s disgusting, do you read her tweets?”

“He tweeted they were hanging out tonight”

“Please put that on Facebook!”

“Please don’t put that on Facebook!”

“Oh my God, I’m tweeting what you just said”

“He follows me; I wonder why he doesn’t follow you?”

“Oh, his tweets are the best!”

“I had to stop following her, she tweets non-stop”

“I can’t believe you untagged me”

And finally … this one was directed at me:

“Jordan, why did you take down your relationship status with Ben, his is still up … I checked.”

I don’t know that in our two hour conversation we discussed anything else even remotely close to how often we covered Social Media. We literally stumbled into a Facebook or Twitter comment with every topic. It is no secret these social mediums have revolutionized everything. Social Media is our new book, our new magazine, our new paper. It’s our new CNN and our new ESPN, our new chat room, our new scrapbook; Social Media is our new reality.

When we’re not communicating through it, we’re communicating about it. So of course Smart Guy is confused about what he’s supposed to do now. If you have a fight with someone or you break up, or if your friendship ends - is it only appropriate to de-friend on Facebook?

Sadly I admit I have been both the de-friender, and the de-friended. And when it occurs, is it because we’re trying to prove a point or are we just desperately attempting to avoid any information we’d rather not know? Do we feel as if our de-friending action is appropriate, or is it just spiteful?

And more importantly, how did we get here? To this place where in order to be in a legit relationship I have to confirm the Facebook relationship status request, or to let someone know they’ve hurt my feelings in some way I have to click the “Unfriend” icon? Is this modern advancement the culprit behind the demise of face to face problem solving.

In this Social Media world are we marketing ourselves, or are we just marketing our social circles?

And because this idea is stuck in my mind, I did research i.e. I googled Social Media cartoons. What? They’re a good time …

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