July 26, 2010 | life

Social Media’d Up

In 2005, just before I moved to Japan, I stumbled across a peculiar thing called MySpace. I was horrified. Why would anyone want to put themselves out there like that, I thought. A girl had put pictures of herself up and people were ripping her to shreds. I don’t want any part of that, I said and quickly navigated away. Fast forward to today, I have this blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Soundcloud…basically, there is no escape from me on the internet. I got sucked in.

What happened is, when I got to Japan, I saw my roommate was using MySpace. She talked me through the benefits and said it might be a good way to meet people. Hmm. I set up a profile and within a couple of weeks, it had basically become like my own personal dating site (hey, we were in Japan – there’s a lot of lonely American military men out there, what can I say?)

When I moved to Canada at the end of ’06, everyone was talking about something called ‘Facebook’. I don’t need that, I’d say, I have MySpace. But after a while, having MySpace was like being the last person at a party. Plus, the only friend requests I was getting on there at that point were from random death metal bands in Ohio. Yup, I had no choice, I had to defect – so, off I went to set up my Facebook account.

At the end of ’07, this blog was born. Last year, though it petrified me, I decided to start making video blogs. Gradually, one little thing at a time, my online life has grown to the point where I’m online all the time.

So why do we do it? Those who don’t ‘get’ it, say it’s just all so narcissistic to put ourselves out there like that. Do I think that what I have to say is any more interesting than anyone else? Of course I do! I wouldn’t waste my time otherwise. In reality, is it any more interesting? Of course not! First and foremost, as someone who spent much of my twenties galavanting around in other countries, it was just a way for me to keep in touch with my friends – if other people wanted to read what I had to say, cool.

People who don’t use any form of social media love to look down their noses at those of us who do. We’re just all sad little losers, living a fantasy life with no real friends. If that’s all they get from their internet experience, they’re doing it wrong. I’m happy to say I’ve met so many wonderful people through blogging and happily count them as friends now. I Β use Social Media to grow both my online and personal connections. For me, one is not really separate from the other.

It takes a while to get used to, as my blog grows, the barrage of negative comments that come every now and then, how people can and will judge your whole life off just one blog post, then click through to some other random portal of the internet without giving it a second thought. How people will make all sorts of suggestions about how you should conduct yourself on your blog or Twitter (how about I just stick these middle fingers up, that good enough?) without considering that they should perhaps start their own blog before offering up their armchair ponderings.

There are a million things about Social Media that drive me crazy (really? Another blurry shot of your drunken night out on your Facebook page? Yawn), but I can’t imagine my life without it.

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Cosmopolitan has launched its Blog Awards and I would be so grateful and honoured if you would take a moment to nominate Β Bangs and a Bun in the ‘Lifestyle’ category. It only takes a second and I will love you long time if you do.Β Click here and make my day. Thank you!

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18 Comments

VickiP

I think it’s wonderful and all these sites have democratized journalism. Your blog is fantastic, keep going lady x

Jade

I think it’s great to be able to connect with real people in the wider world, I feel that sometimes my own little world is so very small that I feel the need to get a different perspective – the internet helps me broaden my mind/experiences πŸ™‚ Oh and I nominated you of course πŸ˜‰

Jen

Great post. I think I said it on my Blog Issue post last week – I’ve been documenting my life online in various forms for about 10 years. I find the possibilities of online communication utterly fascinating – that instant connection just cannot be achieved with any other medium.

There are a lot of ‘old school’ advertisers and brands who refuse to accept social media as a legitimate and progressive form of communication. They think it’s a fad. Well, 10 years after I started my Open Diary I’m still here – that’s a pretty successful fad!

I think people who refuse to accept social media’s influence will ultimately get left behind. You don’t have to USE Twitter to recognise it as a form of human interaction. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

Kim

I find that people are actually much better behaved when using social networks. Just like positive comments, negative ones are a sign of engagement and imagine how many heckles you’d receive if you were standing on a podium in person speaking your mind? (You can’t please everyone!)I’m with you: Totally addicted to my socmed networks!

Lady K

Where was I when I first got down with the social networking or iNetworking as I call it… I think the very first social network I joined was CollegeClub.com. Man talkin about meeting folks and having the best email forwards. Of course no one could get a lock on the IM at that time except for Yahoo and MSN but CollegeClub was the bomb. It was worldwide but you only joined to meet other people on your own campus. That was all there was to it.

I started blogging about a year and half ago. I love Facebook and Twitter. Those are really the only ones I keep up with. I love my peeps on both. So much fun. Thru Twitter I’ve met some awesome characters especially ones overseas (wink wink). Just connecting folks without having any bias against one another. Just love for being fun.

ShandyyyLand

I have still yet to part with Myspace; I mean I have but I haven’t. My page still exist, I don’t know what the hold up is. You are correct that those that do not use Facebook or Twitter do look at us like we’re crazy and “why?”…I ask “why not?” It’s a new day & age, if you don’t want to, that’s you. But don’t look at me crazy for doing me and “keeping up with the Joneses (sorry if that’s spelled wrong)”

The F$%k it List

I NEVER had a myspace account, it was all too much for me and I was tricked into Facebook by a friend. I’m glad I have my social networks though, I’ve met some amazing people and attended some great events because of them. I have had to put myself on twitter punishment in the morning though because I get caught up and forget that I have to get ready for work hahah.

I’m not addicted though *does the Gator dance*

akilah

Working in IT any latest greatest technology “thing” had me hook line and sinker. Social media bandwagon has been no different. I’m so happy I embraced reading blogs\myspace\facebook\twitter\skype\oovo etc no matter what kind of looks I get from people. I’ve met some awesome people via the interwebs and I’m not a loser and my friends from the internet are not axe murderers lol.

I do have to say, I deleted my Facebook account because I couldn’t bring myself to keep ignoring the friend requests from people and for them to then ask, in person, why I didn’t accept their request O_O ummmm cause you ain’t my friend, didn’t seem like a nice response lol

Lollingtons

Couldn’t agree more with what you have just said. I remember when MS was cool. Going back to when I was 12, MSN Messenger and MSN Grapevine chat room were hot. I used to love it. I remember a lot of pervy old men messaging me, and I dealt with it very well for a 12 year old. It’s quite shocking looking back…
Isn’t it funny how BEBO never took off? I know it’s for the younger generation, but still, how crap was that? I used to laugh if someone said they were on BEBO…
Ahhhh….. x

Ha Ha Sound

Yeah, so true. I have a web site, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter and so on. It’s a pretty long list. I think the last barrier will be online dating. When the last remaining wisps of stigma attached to that are gone, then the world will truly be online. I actually have a friend getting married to a guy she met on Match.com. They’re very much in love. It’ll just be interesting to see how they spin the tale of how they met to their grandchildren.

xoxoxo
HHS

Sarah Barbee

Love this! A great overview of Social Media and how it can become a positive part of your life. If the Queen of England can have YouTube, Twitter and Flickr I can have them too!

Claire Nelson

In 2005 years ago I had been in London for almost a year when I fell into a great social group (still my bessy mates today), one of whom was a singer. She urged me to join Myspace to hear her stuff, and soon I was using it to connect with my friends. Admittedly, though, not to make new ones. Then Facebook came along.
“NOOO I don’t need ANOTHER thing to deal with, I have Myspace,” I said.

But I met my current boyfriend and he was on Facebook, not Myspace, so I relented in order to be able to stalk him and, well, post pictures of me looking hot and doing interesting things in order to convince him I was a supergoddess worthy of his time. (That’s what it’s for, no?)
My friends all moved to Facebook as Myspace became stale and restrictive, and full of weird bands. I left Myspace quickly and quietly, without making a scene. I don’t think Myspace noticed.

So I’m happily on Facebook, having converted every friend and member of my extended family, so we can all keep in touch across the globe. It means we can all be lazy and email less, and Mum can comment on my hair from New Zealand.

Then my boyfriend moved to Twitter. Bastard. Always making life difficult.
“NOOO I don’t need ANOTHER thing to deal with, I have Facebook,” I said.
But by now this supergoddess act had long gone and he knew the real me – social-rambling-internet-nerd – and he knew I’d love it. So obviously I agreed to “give this Twitter thing a go.”

Now I’m on Facebook, but only for family and close friends – and Twitter is for making NEW friends, making connections, sharing ideas, news, and generally having the most kick-ass support network anyone could have with a bunch of strangers. I love it. I think Facebook and Twitter are two different things. Facebook is for updates within your personal circles, and Twitter is a public sharing of thoughts and ideas. Both are valuable to me. Mum can still keep an eye on my hair from New Zealand, and I can make wry observations on Twitter which people respond to.

People who poo-poo social media are people who haven’t tried it (or have tried it for a day and then decided they don’t get it). Saddos.

Claire Nelson

Shit. Sorry. Rambled a LOT there.

Bangsy, thank god for social media, or I’d never have met your fabulous booty-gropin’ self!!!

Smarty P. Jones

So, I just deleted MySpace last month. I thought it would just destroy itself if I didn’t log in. *shrug*
I moved to Facebook a couple of years ago, started blogging in ’06. Now I’m on FB, Blogger, WordPress, Twitter, I did Googlewave for the five minutes that it was hot. I also do video blogs, I mean, I’m all over the place. I love it.
I’m the “go to” person for my family when they don’t understand something online. I used to be all embarrassed by it, but I mean, why? It gives me a great chance to keep in touch with people I know and meet new people, like your fabulous self and the NYC delegation.
I’m all for it as long as people don’t get all crazy and stalkerish. It’s all good!

jeelago

Speaking of social networking, there is one thing on this site that behaves differently than other blogs, and I was wondering if it is on purpose or might be re-configured if not?

When one enters a comment here, the user is asked for Name, Mail (will not be published) and Website. Usually that would make your name by your comment clickable to your website. But here it seems the names links back to the comment; that has always struck me as odd.

There are some interesting people posting here and I would love to follow some links to their own e-homes.

I do also chose to use my real identity when posting here (a sign of my own willingness to let it all hang out online these days I suppose) and a link back to my own online home base would be appreciated.

Please consider, Lady Bangs?

Bangs and a Bun

Hey Jeelago – I actually wasn’t aware of that but another commenter pointed it out to me the other day. I’m trying to sort it. Will let you know when I have. x

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