I started using Twitter more frequently for two reasons. First, to connect with and pick the brains of fellow upwardly-mobile twenty-somethings. Secondly, to route, re-route and seamlessly gather passengers onto my reckless, colliding and self-proclaimed philosophical trains of thought. I naively assumed that these were top reasons for most Tweeters/Facebookers, thus following and friending an array of seemingly interesting people. Some were old classmates. Others were folks who tweeted the most profound and poetic one-liners. Still, others were down-to-earth celebs with cool Instagram pics and an appealing perspective on a crapload of topics. I was diggin’ it the most, striking up conversation, getting my social networking on.
It never dawned on me that some (and sometimes MOST) of these people would end up Dougie-ing on my LAST FREAKIN’ NERVE. Had that thought occurred, I might have hit “Unfollow” as quickly as my happy behind followed some of these clowns. Or maybe I wouldn’t have, being that I was the type to obsess over “unfollowing”/”unfriending,” wondering if the person in danger of my withdrawal from their online life would get upset and retaliate in a way that would leave me looking like the bad gal. But one day it hit me. I looked up from a headache-provoking FIVE MINUTES between Twitter and Facebook with a serious WTF! face. I was hemmed up in a 6 by 8 foot cell made of overly-personal status updates, senseless Blonde moments, excess party promoter flyers, hypersexual tweets, borderline rage-a-holic Twitter rants and perpetual hide-her-shoelaces-depressing poetry.
No one made me link up with these people. So, who put this virtual gun to my head to KEEP me a follower of their bullcrap? *hangs head and slowly raises hand* Me. Dumba** me. And to this moment I still don’t know what exactly made me remain friends/Twitter pals with some of these people for as long as I did, besides my need to be pleasing to everyone. These sites used to be fun/interesting/uplifting/thought-provoking/informative to visit. They weren’t anymore. What did I need to do to fix that? Because there was no way I was completely giving up social networking. Tried that. Failed miserably.
I went on an unfollowing/unfriending spree that would make the cast of Mean Girls sit it down and shut it up. Was I trying to be mean? No. I was looking for CLARITY amongst the garbage I had allowed into my online life. Party promoters? Gone. Would you throw a bunch of flyers in my face if we met up on the street? No. So stop it online. Stuck-up girls? GONE. One more status update and Instagram photo about your Jimmy Choos and there’s no way a court of law could hold me responsible for my actions. Downright gutter dudes? Yes, gone. If every other tweet/status update is about your man parts or her “fat p***y” (direct quote), you need therapy and I’m not certified. Be gone.
Please don’t misunderstand – I think social networking is one of the greatest developments in communication since advertising. It provides a central place to rally behind causes that matter, catch up on the haps with old friends, bandy ideas back and forth, interact with role models in whatever field of study/work… all from whichever electronic device you fancy most. Cool.
But what people have lost sight of (including myself there for a minute) is that REAL LIFE is what counts the most! Social networking is supplementary to living a full life. It should not be a source of needless stress. Some of us worry more about Facebook likes and Twitter follows more than we allow ourselves to sit down and actually experience real life in real time with REAL people.
I long for the day when, “Oh, so this b***h unfollowed me? Bet!” is a thing of the past. The day when Twitter will JUST be Twitter and an unfollow won’t hurt feelings. The day when we collectively G-check ourselves out of our cowardly hostage-to-social-networks situation. It’s more than okay to press “OK” when asked “Are you sure you want to unfriend this person?”
I can adore you in real life and loathe the breath you breathe online. That’s cool. I can love your persona online and think your company in person is more painful than an anesthesia-less hysterectomy. That’s cool too. Preference is preference. Everybody won’t be everybody else’s cup of tea. Let’s woman/man up and accept that. We’ve made social networking harder than it has to be and less enjoyable than it was meant to be.
Just know this: If I get on your last severely-frayed nerve ending, feel FREE to unfollow me. Don’t worry. I’ll get the hint.
La Truly is a late-blooming Natural-haired Aries. Her writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself and a passion for young women’s empowerment, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change. Check out her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and her thoughts/jokes/rants on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.