Welcome to this week’s edition of Monday Malice. Today, the object of my ire is Social Media. I can’t be the first person to have noticed that Social Media and Sado-Masochism are both “S&M”, right? We could debate all day about the great and not-so-great things about Facebook, Twitter..the list goes on and on. (I’m leaving the other “S&M” out of this piece; this is supposed to be a wholesome site!) Anyway, today I’ll limit it to just five.
In the beginning, I loved social media. Around the time it really exploded, I happened to be working far from home; I spent a year in self-inflicted exile from my family, flying back every other weekend. Those weekends felt just long enough to reacquaint myself with my peeps before boarding the ungodly early Monday morning flight to the other coast. It was a really exciting and at the same time difficult and lonely year. Social media kept me connected to everyone who was suddenly so far away.
Fast forward to now.
As is often the case, new technologies come along and I swear it takes us less and less time to ruin every one of them. I’m calling this “Dawne’s Law of Communication Ruination.”
- Snail mail was great, until people didn’t write so many letters and the direct mailers took over.
- Email was great! So much easier to keep in touch! That lasted about two emails between you and your long-lost cousin before devolving into forwarding jokes and chain mails, never mind all the spam.
- Then came social media. That took us about five minutes to destroy. Although, I still don’t hate it as much as I hate talking on the phone.
Top 5 Things I Hate About Social Media
Social media rapidly deteriorated from the “OMG! We can now talk asynchronously with all these people we never get to see” to “I’m going to hide behind social media to be the bully I always wanted to be.” Sigh.
I’m not alone in this belief, of course. In a sign from the universe, here’s what popped up on Twitter as I was finishing up this piece: “Remember when we wished we could read people’s minds? Social media has shown just how shitty that power is.” Thanks to Dan Regan (@socialmime) for that perfect characterization.
I could go on and on, but I’ll stop at 5:
- People post pictures of themselves living their “best lives,” instead of the reality of the daily grind that we all experience. These leads others to feel inferior (although, in all honesty, if you believe those perfect vacation pictures, I have a bridge to sell you. #sorrynotsorry). If this is you, please read Inc.’s “9 Ways to Combat Social Media Envy.”
- The bully thing. I am appalled at the behavior of people I know in real life, people who I thought were kind, good, generous people, until I saw their social media posts. It’s as if the screen unleashes some secret inner beast (note: If this is you, STOP IT).
- The literacy level, or lack thereof. I don’t know how I got to be this age without knowing that the vast majority of people seem incapable of correctly spelling words that have more than three letters, like they never got past “Bat, Cat, Hat” in their first grade reading books.
- The insistence (!) on carrying forward the idiotic “chain letter” construct, which has now followed us from probably the birth of the U.S. Postal Service in the 1700s all the way to today. Please, have mercy! News flash: we didn’t die, get struck by lightning, or lose all of our money/hair/earthly possessions by ignoring your snail-mailed chain letter in 1978, and the only thing we’ll lose by ignoring your dumb “group message” is…nothing!
- The apparently uncontrollable urge, among people who I thought had IQs higher than that of houseplants, to blindly share the most obviously fake advice/information since War of the Worlds. “It’s true! Just copy and paste…”
I Will Judge You
I will NOT copy and paste. I will know you are lying when all of your pictures are picture-perfect. I will think less of you when I see you IRL if I’ve seen you be a Social Media Bully. I will not forward your group messages. And yes, if you cannot spell, I will judge you. But you probably already knew that.⧉
Got a beef with social media? Leave a comment. You can also download my free “Coach Dawne’s Law of Communication Ruination”, a fun history lesson with a big dose of humor:
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