The Babbler #1: Social Network V.S Social Life

I am, almost, on every social network. You don’t believe me? Well then, go to a random site; mycatchup.com, facebook.com, myspace.com, linkedin.com, twitter.com, or you could go to the face book of Germany: studivz.net. No, I’m not some little weirdo living in his mother’s basement with a pot on my head and no real friends besides the 901182340 friends on mycatch.com or 99999999 friends on fackbook.com. I am a writer trying to use the World Wide Web to promote my book Happy Face.I know, I know, what a shameless plug, right? But how different is it from facebook.com adding ads in the news feed. Let’s say it together class: Product Placement; meaning that the rich is helping the rich get rich by the fact that face book is a corporation helping other corporations find more customers by having their ads in the news feed reaching millions of people. What is he talking? I know, right, really that’s not it, because anyone can place an ad on face book. It’s just that the 99% is confusing me and I’m sure there are others who are lost about the point of the 99%. If I like the fact Americans could pull together (Sorry, I’m so hype to find a concrete cause or movement that would define my generation; which I affectionately call the generation of hip, tech, broke, and the retarded) and fight for a cause, do I have to agree with them? But I can’t because I have no idea what there mission is because most of them, other than a few of the homeless (who could have made their cause more cohesive) have laptops, cell phones and face book accounts, which completely contradicts their anger at the 1%. Why are we supposed to be mad at the corporations that make the things we use in your every day life.

Being a writer makes me observant to my surroundings and people, especially people, because people make your story work. For a writer who focus mainly on the human condition I almost need to watch people (sound stalker-is, right.) to make the construction of characters for your story near realistic as possible even if your writing Magical Realism or Sci-Fi. And recently my observations have led me to believe; everyone’s life is nowhere near what they have expected. Go ahead and check a status or a tweet or some one spilling the beans and you’ll see, even from your most optimistic friend, that life is hard. That’s not what gets me, because I know that life could get rough. What get’s me is that we love to talk about it. We love to post that our boyfriends are dogs or our women are whores. Or that our boss should died choking on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I don’t have a problem with that because we need to talk our problems out (think about it, we live in a pill popping and therapeutic society to keep us from stressing or becoming depress) It shocks me that most people in their normal lives wouldn’t except a random person to call their cell phones and ask them to become their friend and place their number in their contact list like they would on any giving social network site. I know this personally because one day I dialed random numbers and asked people and of course the attempt was not so successful with most people simply hanging up on me while others cursed me out, but 2 people did accept my friendship. They thought it was some new hip trend. I changed my phone number.

Winks (from mycatchup.com) are okay but you can’t walk up and poke a person (or was the poke created in a sarcastic in-joke reference to sex; which actually would be delightfully hip). I beg you to try it and poke someone right in the rip or forehead or wherever. I bet you will not because we already know that you might get punch, even from somebody you know. So I ask, why is it that our social selves seem to open up more on social networks then in the real world? I guess it’s because we believe that, although I place all my real information on a social site since I’m on my cell phone or my laptop in a private or at least familiar place, it gives me a false feeling of being anonymous which differ from meeting a person face to face and telling them what books I like and if I’m in a relationship. So as I try to promote my writing and myself I too am guilty of freely talking about ‘Me’ on social networking sites. But in life as a whole I always been social but the other day I came up with the great idea to act the same way in my daily life that I act on social sites just to find out if there really is a difference in my behavior.

Instead of laughing I would say L.O.L, which so annoyed my girlfriend that I found myself ducking from airborne balls of socks. I took my neighbor’s 1980’s style boom box radio on the bus and played my playlist loudly. The bus driver kicked me off of the bus. When I stopped by a friend of mind house, I wrote: ‘Wassup’ on his wall. I wrote it on his living room wall as I waited for him to get his jacket. He didn’t responded by writing back on my wall but by attacking me like a retarded boxer. I wrote the message in chalk so it was easy to delete, but by his reaction I really considered taking him off of my friend list; it wouldn’t had been that night because he was my ride. The other day I went out and brought one of those big round buttons girls use to wear in the 80’s with their pictures on it and used it as a badge declaring that I was in a relationship. The button had my girl picture on it and her name, her full name. To my surprise my girl’s 1st reaction was a laugh and not ‘Why the fuck are you walking around with a button with my picture and name on it.’ To her, besides having her full name on it, she thought it was cute and romantic. ‘But your full name is on face book’ I said trying to pull something worth writing out of this stunt. ‘That make’s sense.’ She said. ‘I’m going to get one with your picture on it too.’ (Could anyone say backfire.)

The next day I wrote down all my friends and family and people that I was some how associated with names on sheets of papers and taped it along the left side of my body. On the top of the 1st sheet I wrote Friend List. I walked around like this all day and other than stares, no one really said any thing until I was in the present of some actually on the list. It was a guy that I was incarcerated with during my experimental criminal days. ‘What the fuck is that?’ He asked. (I must 1st tell you that although I met this guy in prison he wasn’t a harden criminal but had some sort of mental issues. Oh, and he was 6’6 and easily 300 pounds of muscles, darker than the night sky and cross-eyed. But he was a very friendly to those he that were friendly to him. And I was always friendly to him) ‘It’s my friend list.’ I said. ‘A friend list?’ ‘Yeah, like on face book or mycathup.com.’ I continued to explain to him my little research that I was conducting. I had his attention at 1st before he started actually reading the list and found his name on it, which change the tone of the conversation. ‘Why the fuck do you have my government (meaning his full name) on that list?’ ‘Well because don’t I have your full name on my facebook.com friend list?’ ‘Yeah but this is not face book Do you see anyone else wearing their friend list on their clothes’ ‘No but I just explained the research that I was doing.’ ‘You’re working for them aren’t you?’ he said. ‘Working for who?’ I asked getting nervous a little. He then ripped the sheets off of me balled them into his oversized coat pocket and ran off screaming about big brother, the 1 percent, the Illuminati, and Jay-Z. I was stunned and did the most logical thing a person could do after such a scene; I ran off in the opposite direction.

Now I was drained from my quasi-research realizing that it was pointless because the answer to my ‘Why people act different or accept different rules of interaction on the social networks (Or the internet in general) than one does in life? ’ was simple because the internet was a new form of human communication and like every new form of communication the rule and how we communicate will differ from how we act in physical reality. Plus the internet is relatively new and soon in the future we will have theorist writing books about the philosophical value of the world wide web and how it shapes our life and changed the form of communication forever and so on and so forth (I never really knew what ‘So on and so forth’ really meant but it just sound as if it go right there.). Now that I gave up my quasi-research I had one last thing to do, which should have been 1st. I stepped outside on my front step and at the top of my lungs I let the word hear my status. ‘GN. TTYL.’ (Translation: Goodnight. Talk to you later.) And of course someone commented on my status with ‘Shut the fuck up, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning.’

 
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