Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Burden of Social Meh-dia

I'm not a recluse, I swear it.  If those of you who do not know me personally were to meet me, you would consider me rather extroverted, in fact.  I hide my insecurities rather well around others.  Essentially, I perform.

Despite my level of comfort in social settings, it is limited to real social settings.  By this, I mean ones where the person you are speaking with is actually present right in front of you.

Sadly, most "social" interaction these days is conducted in a far different manner.  The word friend is most often a verb.  Our statements need to be kept within certain character restrictions.  We check in on what our acquaintances are doing without them even knowing that we just checked in on them.

I think I was one of the last people in my age bracket to sign up for Facebook.  I did so only because of pressure from my brother to stay connected.  I found myself getting in touch then with a lot of people I hadn't seen in a long time.  While it took me a while to get comfortable with my Facebook persona, I eventually embraced it.  I felt like my presence in the realm of social networking was satisfactory.

I was wrong.

My wife encouraged me to begin a LinkedIn profile.  She filled out a few things on my behalf and it now sits there, collecting virtual cobwebs.

Soon, Twitter came along to show everyone that doing the same thing on Facebook, just with unlimited characters, took too long.  Eventually, I realized it would be prudent to start a Twitter account.  For the past several months now, I have been struggling to try and understand the purpose of hashtags and how to give someone a mention in a way that that is effective yet not desperate.

I was quickly overwhelmed by the social media landscape.  I wanted to get the word out about my blog, but found myself drowning in tweets, follows, mentions and likes.  I keep getting requests for people to join my Google network and I don't even remember signing up for that!  Still, I forge ahead.

Yesterday, despite my growing discomfort and sneaking suspicion that someone is tracking my every movement through social media, I started a Flickr account.  I didn't really want to but realized that the best way to share the images from my blog with the millions...ok, dozens...of readers who would like to have access to them is to post them on the popular photo sharing site.

I hope you all appreciate what I have done.  Rather than remove myself from the social media mire, I have plunged head first into the Great Abyss of Sharing (that is my new name for the entirety of social media as a single entity, patent pending) and committed myself to joining as many ridiculous networks as necessary in order to provide you with the highest quality blogging known to man.

So, please take a look at the Transformer Generation Dad photostream on Flickr, which we will be updating regularly, by using the link in the right hand column.  While you are at it, please follow TGD on Twitter,on Google Friend Connect and "like" or "friend" (or whatever the hell they are calling it these days) us on Facebook.  You can then be entertained at a moments notice by all the random nonsense oozing from my brain.  Then, if you feel so bold, click on one of the myriad of other buttons to follow our RSS stream or vote for TGD on the Bloggers' Choice Awards.  Otherwise, all this stress on my part will have been for nothing.

I swear, if the right hand column had any more buttons added, it's going to start looking like Napoleon's jacket.

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