I’ve just started using Twitter. Yes, I got sucked in to one of the latest social media fads. I’ve also only just started blogging – again, mostly because I’ve never been great at keeping a journal. I’ve tried several times, but as Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” It’s taking a great deal of discipline on my part, but this is me – doing.
Anyway, I got to thinking about the whole social media environment. I’ve used Facebook for some years now and posted on my wall and the walls of my friends. I’ve posted items that many people liked and commented on and shared. I’ve also posted items that most people never saw and no one acknowledged. Why I thought that Twitter and blog posts would be any different is beyond me. But I did. I thought that somehow more social media would make me more visible, more accessible.
The truth is that no amount of social media dictates how interesting a person you are. And, much like alcohol, social media only enhances your true personality. Great news for you if you have a likable, easy-going personality. Not so good for the rest of us if you’re an annoying jerk who likes to be obnoxious in order to get attention by default (picture certain bratty celebrities who are always in the news for drunkenness and/or lewd and questionable behavior).
I’m a decently likable person at least in my own opinion. Of course, MANY irritating people think themselves decently likable as well. … HMMM … Maybe I should reconsider my self description. But I digress.
Social media status (or rather the attention we get for our updates, posts, tweets, and blogs) defines us almost as much as the clothes we wear, the people we associate with, and what we like and dislike. When I began tweeting, earlier this week, I was sure that I was suddenly going to be blessed with the ability to write witty, unforgettable statements that would be shared and retweeted around the world – twice – even though I haven’t flexed my writing muscle in years. So, imagine my surprise when, after only a few days, none of my tweets had been favorited or retweeted or referenced. What!? You mean I’m not super-popular with screaming fans? But I’ve joined Twitter, and I’ve tweeted like 20 times! Surely someone thinks I’m interesting, right? Well, probably, but it’s going to take longer than a day or two.
When developing relationships in person (People still do that right?), it takes work and time to get to know people. The same holds true for online relationships as well. So, why do I, and others like me, get upset or saddened when our social media missives aren’t wildly popular, when our ideas don’t go viral? Because we want our stories told. The internet is our version of a cave wall, a Civil War diary, or a collection of World War II letters. We want to matter. We want to leave our mark on the world.
So, here is one part of my story. This is me calling into the void that is cyberspace and asking – Does this social media make me look fat?