It’s a holiday today so I woke up with a great plan to do some spring cleaning. Why I even call it that, I don’t know — we don’t even have spring in the Philippines.
And why I even thought of cleaning, I have no idea either. It’s way too hot to do anything that requires more energy than clicking a mouse or flicking on an air conditioner switch.
So um, forget that. I still felt like cleaning something up though, so I decided to make a list of things I can spring (ok, fine SUMMER) clean without dissolving into a puddle of sweat and grossly unidentifiable goo.
And just to show you how lazy and lethargic this blasted summer heat makes me, I ended up with an embarrassingly short list:
So okay, I guess that’s that, then. Social networks it is.
I’m a bit of a social media ho (more so on Twitter than Facebook) and I’ll pretty much befriend anyone with a pulse.
But as my friend and following lists grow I realize that there are people on my feeds who either (1) piss me off or bring me down, or (2) really have nothing to say/share that interests me in the slightest.
I always plan to purge these people at some point, but I don’t know, I can never seem to bring myself to do it.
Thing is, unfriending and unfollowing is such a nasty business. I mean, seriously, these days it’s like equivalent to a slap in the face. Rejection sucks, and I hate being the bad guy. I mean, geez, that’s like 20% of the reason I love being with my husband. He has no problem whatsoever taking on the bad cop role in anything, so I get to be the good cop all the time.
It’s great. Unfortunately he’s like the Internet equivalent of a hermit, so he can’t help me with my dilemma.
This article entitled You Don’t Have To Be Friends With Everybody did, though.
We live in an age where we feel guilt whenever we have to cut someone off but the reality is that some relationships do need to die, some people do need to be unfollowed and defriended. We aren’t meant to be this tethered to the people in our past. The Internet mandates that we don’t burn bridges and keep everyone around like relics but those expectations are unrealistic and unhealthy. Simply put, we don’t need to know what everyone else is up to. We’re allowed to be choosy about who we surround ourselves with online and in real life, even if it might hurt people’s feelings. - Thought Catalog
The writer has a point. I always say that your social media wall/profile is your space, and you have a right to post whatever you please. I’ll always believe that.
But following the same argument, my news feed is MY space, and I have the same right to see only what I want to see, and cut out anything that isn’t positive, or uplifting, or educational or entertaining to me.
So will I purge? Eep. I still don’t know.
My inner good cop is conflicted. Geez, she’s such a people-pleaser. I may just let my inner coward take over and just “hide” people instead. That’s a start, right? :)
What are your thoughts on the issue? How do you manage your social media feeds and weed out inessentials or undesirables? Let me know. I’d really love to find out.
Cheers! And happy holiday!
I did quite a bit of research for the piece I wrote for Rappler yesterday about how Facebook is ruining our lives, and one of the most fascinating things I found was that people tend to project a different, more stylized and successful image of themselves online.
This is true, right? I notice that even in myself. This is probably why I go to ridiculously great lengths to obliterate any unflattering pictures of myself. I mean, come on, I even tried to enforce a picture posting/tagging procedure on my friends.
Yes, I really posted that and expected my friends and family to follow it. They mostly just laughed and ignored me.
I don’t really know why we do this. I suppose part of it is that we don’t want to be a drag by being all “Woe is me” whenever we have problems.
…especially since our problems are really nobody’s business anyway.
But I’ve noticed that with some people, the crafting of the successful Facebook persona goes far beyond just not wanting to sully people’s feeds with the overly personal or the unimpressively mundane. So much so that I sometimes think they should just call it Bragbook. Or Fakebook. Because really, no one’s life or family is that perfect.
I already discussed in the Rappler piece how this leads to Facebook envy in other people, but I wonder… does the dichotomy between our online selves and our real-life selves have any worrisome effects on us?
According to clinical psychologist Craig Malkin, it does.
“The self is, to some extent, a story we tell,” Malkin explained. “When people are choosing to leave out the normal chinks in human armor, the normal vulnerabilities, how can they again not feel like there’s something wrong with that?”
The psychologist said concealing the less desirable aspects of our lives over and over again “forecloses intimacy,” meaning it can condition and prevent us from nurturing truly intimate connections with others. But what about our relationship to ourselves?
“It affects it deeply,” Malkin answered, “because part of the way we develop a strong sense of self and identity is by being known and known by others — appreciated. They see who we are, and they value who we are, including our flaws.” - Wbur.org
I think that behind every facade (whether online or in real life) is a need to be liked and admired. That’s normal, and understandable. But if people only know and like one side of you - the successful, happy side - I don’t think you’ll ever really be satisfied. You’ll always wonder if they’d still like you if they knew everything.
At the end of the day, we all want to be loved for who we are — in our entirety, not just the positive bits. For better or for worse, and all that. But for this to happen, we need to quit hiding behind the mask of what we think makes us acceptable or admirable.
Just be YOU. Quirks, flaws, crazy mood swings and all. As I’ve said before, sometimes it’s precisely the imperfections that make something beautiful. And here’s a little secret… the less perfect you make yourself out to be, the more likable you actually are. :)
Have a great day, folks!
My bestie Gem posted a pic on my Facebook wall yesterday in response to my blog about the Pope, and I thought it was hilarious.
As Kieran Healy said on Twitter, the Pope set a pretty high bar for Lenten sacrifices.
And now Ash Wednesday’s here and I’m pretty hard pressed to find something good to give up. I briefly considered giving up Facebook and/or Twitter for a while but that didn’t last very long.
So I thought that maybe, as a compromise, I could give up some of the things I DO on Facebook and Twitter instead — in particular, the things I do that can be pretty annoying. That way, everyone benefits.
If you’re stumped for a sacrifice too, and want to do something similar, here are a few ideas for things to give up. (Note: I don’t actually do them all, but once I started thinking of annoying social media habits, I just couldn’t not mention them. :))
If you’re not familiar with humblebragging — believe me, you are. You just don’t know it’s called that. It’s all over the place. A humblebrag is basically a boast dressed up in self-deprecation to make it more palatable.
If you are really sincerely flabbergasted by the compliment (or whatever it is you’re talking about), then no, it’s not a humblebrag.
But if deep inside you’re thrilled to pieces by whatever it is you’re boasting about, and you’re just throwing in an “Aw shucks, who, me??” kicker so that people won’t think you’re insufferable, then yes, it is. Humblebragger.
(If you’re still unclear on the humblebragging concept, check out @humblebrag on Twitter for real life examples.)
2. Emotional Blackmail
Emotional blackmail status updates come in many forms, but the common factor is that they all try to make you feel like an a-hole for ignoring them.
Like the lone sad emoticon. Or the “Sigh. I’m sad.” update. Dude, you obviously want to share. Just tell us what’s wrong already. Don’t make us pull it out of you. Or feel like we’re uncaring when we ignore you.
Also, those “Like this” or “Post this as your status if you hate cancer/diabetes/whatever” things. Umm.. NEWSFLASH: Everyone hates diseases that kill people. Stop making us feel like we don’t just because we didn’t do what you said.
3. Not giving credit where credit is due
We all know that we need to credit the original source of whatever we post online. (If you don’t know this, you should. Plagiarist.).
What a lot of people don’t realize is that when you re-share something you saw on someone else’s feed (a pic or link) it’s common courtesy to acknowledge the person you nabbed it from, and say thanks for the tip.
I don’t think this needs any explanation. Just BAH. Stop tagging my friends. Or even worse, ME.
5. Retweeting praise
I think everyone has done this at one point or another, and it’s actually quite understandable. Some people do it to acknowledge receipt of said praise-filled tweet. Some people are just pleased and want to share their delight.
But when you retweet every nice thing that anyone says about you, that’s a little off. Even if you retweet it with a self-deprecating statement. (Please go back to #1 in this list: Humblebragging.)
Tip: Learn to use the Favorite button.
6. Posting selfies
Like #5, there’s really nothing wrong with this, but if you just read this and thought “Gasp! I can’t!" then you have a problem. Give it up for a while. Forty days isn’t that long. :)
Having said all that, I still maintain that your social media feed is YOUR space — so you should really feel free to post whatever you want. But if you think you’re due for a bad habit intervention, then Lent is probably the perfect time. :)
Have a great day, everyone! And good luck with Lent. :)
I seem to have caught some nasty bug, which I suspect is a strain of the flu, because I have all the usual symptoms.
Not really sure how I got it, but I do find it rather suspicious that it happened the day after I decided to go back on my diet and tried to detox a little bit.
So my working hypothesis is that my body’s mad at me for pulling the plug on my recent out-of-control foodfest. This, my friends, is a REVENGE ATTACK.
Regardless of how awful I feel, however, I’m kind of bored… so I’ve been making attempts to get some work done from home. But since my brain is just a ball of mush right now, that hasn’t been too fruitful.
So when I’m not drugged out on my trusty Nyquil I mostly just lurk on Facebook or Twitter, and waste time wondering why people post some of the pics they do.
I actually spent a good part of the afternoon yesterday pondering on that duck face pose some women seem to think is sexy.
Can someone please explain that to me? It’s ridiculous.
And while you’re at it, please enlighten me as well as to why people love posting pictures of their FEET.
It’s a mystery. Because really, there are more attractive body parts.
Anyway this reminded me that I made a Facebook News Feed Bingo card ages ago, and I think I may have enough material for a new one. So yay - PROJECT!
In the meantime, here — go have some fun with the first one:
And if you have any suggestions for the next News Feed Bingo, just stick them in the comments section.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!
I promised myself I wouldn’t let it bother me anymore, but OMG when I checked my Facebook this morning, people were still posting that stupid Facebook copyright notice, despite the fact that it’s been proven (over and over again) to be a useless hoax!!
It kills me, because if people would just hang on for a sec and think about what they’re about to copy-and-paste, it’s actually pretty easy to identify it as the useless wallspace-waster that it is.
What are people thinking, really?
Like he really wants all those pics of what you had for dinner. And your kid’s costume party. Come on.
And even if for some reason Mark actually DID want to own all your pictures, do you really think that posting something on your wall will stop him from doing it? I don’t think so.
I think our collective time and effort would probably be much better spent reviewing the Facebook terms that none of us really bothered to read before signing up.
According to a Facebook representative (who was probably giggling and/or shaking his head as he made this statement):
When you post things like photos to Facebook, we do not own them. Under our terms, you grant Facebook permission to use, distribute, and share the things you post, subject to the terms and applicable privacy settings.
So yeah, go check the terms and fiddle with your privacy settings, and if you learn something new while doing it, go post THAT as your status instead.
I understand that seeing all those legal-looking notices all over the place gives rise to a certain feeling of hypnotic “OMG ME TOO!!” panic. But please.. try to resist the urge to act on it.
I know you can do it. I’m rooting for you.
And if you need help when something similar pops up in the future (as it no doubt will, knowing the Internet), please refer to this handy 3-step guide before jumping on the hoax bandwagon.
Or, if you’re not in the mood to do all that work, just ask me. I’ll be happy to set you straight. :)
Have a happy and hoax-free day, my friends!
I was in a really good mood when I woke up this morning…
…until I saw an article my friend Ros posted about a Facebook glitch which was causing private messages to show up on people’s public timelines.
Instant panic attack.
I don’t know about you, but there’s a pretty good reason I keep my private messages private. Here’s what my Facebook inbox looks like:
I have a particularly long thread with my sister Bambi that looks kind of like this:
And although our comments are pretty harmless (just not always very charitable), things could become a bit problematic if they ever got out.
So naturally I immediately checked my Timeline, and phew! No pm’s made public.
Panic attack over. No angry mobs incoming. (Again.. PHEW!) The extremely stressful experience did make me realize something important though…
If you’re put into a panic at the thought of people seeing your private messages — then maybe you shouldn’t be putting those kinds of messages online at all.
Let’s face it. Whatever we post on the Internet — no matter what stringent privacy settings we use — could easily be made public one day. There are no real privacy guarantees on the web. All it takes is one glitch, or a talented hacker, and that’s it. You’re a goner.
So watch what you post! Keep your info secure and your private life private, and let my little early morning panic attack serve as a modern day reminder of Mom’s age-old advice:
Have a pleasant and panic-free day, people! :)
I had to log into and “fix” an elderly friend’s Facebook account the other day because she claimed it was driving her nuts.
Hey. This elderly friend wasn’t my MOM, okay? Really, it wasn’t.
Or was it??? You’ll never know. :P
Anyway like a lot of people, my “friend” was a bit overwhelmed by all the different things people were posting (some examples here) — but being the kind soul she is, she didn’t want to un-friend anyone.
If you have the same problem, then this post is for you. (If you’re a Facebook whiz, move along. Nothing to see here that you don’t already know.)
Okay, so there’s no need to go ballistic. I have a couple of simple tricks that may help make your Facebook experience a little more enjoyable.
Trick #1: Hide from News Feed
Let’s face it. “Unfriending” on Facebook is a big deal to some people.
So let’s say there’s someone you’d really like to ditch — because they’re too emo, rant too much, post ugly/blurred pictures, whatever — but you don’t have the heart to do so. What do you do?
JUST MUTE THAT SUCKER.
All you need to do is go to his/her profile page (click their name or picture to get there) and un-check “Show in News Feed”:
Once you un-check that, you’ll never see that person’s posts on your news feed again.
Neat, huh? Okay, on to the next one.
Trick #2: Unfollow Post
Facebook’s like a nosy old spinster neighbor who just HAS to tell you what everyone in the ‘hood’s up to — even if you don’t really care. It does this in more ways than I care to enumerate, but the one that bugs me most is this:
So. freaking. ANNOYING. Especially when you get those notification pings on your phone as well. It’s enough to put you off commenting forever.
But no worries, there’s a quick fix for this too. Just look for the “Unfollow Post” link that magically appears after you make a comment. Believe me, this thing is my best friend.
No idea where that is? Okay, FINE.
Here’s how a post looks before you comment:
Here’s how it looks AFTER you comment:
Yup, that “Unfollow Post” thing is handy as hell. So right after you comment, you hit that link ASAP like it’s a lifeline to your sanity - because it is - and you’ll never be bothered again.
And that’s it! Easy peasy. Go try your new tricks out!
Good luck and Happy Facebooking!
She’s quite the brilliant little firecracker, that Maria.
Anyway I was really relieved to hear there was this whole smart, scientific explanation for the fact that I practically live inside my computer. Before that talk, I honestly thought I just loved social media because it totally allowed me to eavesdrop and butt in on everyone — without seeming super creepy.
"Oooh.. ok. WTF are those???" you might ask?
Well, dopamine is the stuff that gets released into our brains when we do fun and exciting things like fall in love, have sex, go skydiving, take crystal meth… hmm… ok maybe skip the last one. But you get the drift. Dopamine makes the brain go “Wheee! Rewards! Pleasure! Let’s do this! Woohoo!”
Studies have shown that we get a double dose of dopamine when we use social media: first when we self-disclose (i.e. talk about ourselves, share our thoughts & opinions, post narcissistic pictures, etc) and then again when people react and interact with us.
"There’s good evidence the feedback we get from technology — the retweets and bings and pings that come out of the phone every time somebody sends us a text message — create a reward system in the brain that gives us a little squirt of dopamine each time." - Steve Daviss of the Baltimore Washington Medical Center
Isn’t that FASCINATING??? Dopamine buzz! It totally explains why people post cryptic or super-radical updates that beg you to react… or get all depressed when no one ‘likes” their pictures or funny comments! They’re not just KSP! They’re looking for a fix!
Oxytocin, on the other hand, is the same hormone that’s released when you kiss or hug. This is why it’s sometimes referred to as “the cuddle chemical.” And apparently this little jolt of hugalicious joy spikes when you’re tweeting.
So no, my fellow Twitter addicts, we’re not insane — no matter what my husband says.
It explains so much, doesn’t it? But it’s also a little scary… and not just because it proves how shockingly self-absorbed we really are. Basically our brains are being trained by social media to constantly seek these little highs… and I do wonder (and worry) about the effects of that brain-rewiring on our real life interactions.