Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Anti Social Networking

I’ll be honest. Despite being a denizen of the internet for the last 15 years I am not up on the whole social networking scene.

I dragged my heels with Facebook (and still grit my teeth when I use it).

I tried MySpace and loathed it so dumped it. I now have NoSpace and am much happier.

Skype I’ve heard about but can’t bring myself to install.

Messenger I have permanently disabled because I hated the way it would launch itself on me as soon as I turned on my PC (like being hounded by a happy-clappy stalker).

Twitter I use infrequently and cynically, i.e. only when I have a blog post to sell.

I admit I tried ICQ (remember that?) in the early days but found it bothersome and frustrating – I’d be at my computer trying to do stuff and people would bug me for inane conversations overloaded with smilies and emoticons.

Emoticons. Urgh. I hate both the word and the concept. Let’s break it down: emotions / cons. You get my drift? :-P

But some Social Networking facilities have made it through my taste firewall. LinkedIn is one of them. It seemed a good idea at the time and helped me to reconnect with an old friend but since then I hardly use it. I’m Connected with a handful of people – some old school friends, some blogging pals and, er, that’s it.

Nobody – and I mean nobody – has used the site to contact me in the manner recommended by the site’s administrators, i.e. nobody has offered me work / money / commissions / contracts. It has done absolutely zilch for my career prospects.

But nevertheless I’m on there. Pimping myself. Or rather, pimping my online persona. Links to my web site and this blog. The kind of unthinking self promotion that we all do from time to time.

Suddenly, within the space of 2 weeks, I have had Connection requests from 2 people who work in the same Local Government corporation as me. People who I see once in a blue moon and only ever in a professional capacity. One of them is very, very high up in the corporation hierarchy. Very high up.

I confess it has put me in a spin.

You see, I don’t want these people getting too close to my online persona. I don’t want them reading my blog and the comments upon it and realizing what a cynical, back-stabbing little turncoat I am. I want them to continue thinking I’m a good boy who keeps his head down and deserves the money that they keep paying me every month.

This Connection thing is too close for comfort.

And utterly pointless.

I mean, what’s the good of them Connecting to me on LinkedIn? Are they going to offer me a job?

Hello? I’m already here.

So the barricades have gone up. And by barricades I mean I have ignored the email from LinkedIn – including the reminder email that tells me these people are still waiting for me to confirm a Connection with them.

I don’t want a Connection with them. The real life connection is bad enough. I don’t want them following the breadcrumb trail back to this ‘ere blog and the harsh excoriating heart of my lifelong malcontent.

I am simply too anti-social for Social Networking.

Too curmudgeonly. Too grumpy. And that’s the plain honest truth.

I mean, they’ll be wanting me to Poke them next. And that folks is just an interaction too far.

I think I may just have to be permanently AFK.

That’s all, folks. Goodbye.

P.S. Do feel free to RT this post.



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54 comments:

Being Me said...

Aaaaaagh god. I SO feel your angst on this one. What the bloody hell good is LinkedIn anyway? I have NO idea why I joined up. No real reason to be on there. I connect just fine via my blog, I am only on Facebook and Twitter for the same reasons as you (to pimp my writing) - but I will say, I am having more fun on Twitter since I stopped being a turncoat curmudgeony grumping strumpet myself.

Steve said...

Being Me: but I was always taught at school that it was the strumpets who had the most fun in life. Now I am just plain confused.

Rol said...

I have twice had Facebook friend requests from someone I consider to be one of the biggest See You Next Tuesdays on the planet. He was someone I encountered through work, though he didn't actually work for the same company as me.

I have twice declined his requests, only lamenting the fact that when you do so Facebook doesn't send an email to the individual in question stating "Look - HE DOES NOT WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND - deal with it".

I thought maybe he'd get the message anyway... only now my company, in its infinite wisdom, has given the fucker a job. So now I will have to deal with him more and more... and you can guarantee the requests will keep on coming.

If I give you his address (Strangers On A Train style), can you by any chance pop round and bump him off? I'm happy to return the favour.

Help me, Steve Kenobi, you're my only hope.

Being Me said...

No, no, I think you're getting strumpets confused with bit o' crumpet(s).

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Yes, this LinkedIn thing is puzzling. I keep getting requests, so I link to them, but I just don't get it - I can't see where it is leading. So I'm ignoring it too.

Twitter can be a laugh if you jump in and join in a bit: too often I'm just a sad voyeur.

Steve said...

Rol: I'm sorry, but I'm not the droid you are looking for.

Actually you could try shitting on his desk. That's a message that most people get first time.

Being Me: I think you'll find that strumpets and a bit o'crumpet are actually one and the same thing...! ;-)

Trish: if voyeurism makes you sad you're not doing it right. Try turning the binoculars the other way around.

Rol said...

I know someone who used to work with a very famous celebrity (or at least, someone who was a very famous celebrity back when you and I were kids). He tells me that the very famous celebrity in question had a habit / fetish for taking a dump in his colleague's desk drawers.

I couldn't possibly tell you the name of the famous celebrity in question. Not on a public forum anyway.

Steve said...

Rol: damn. I really want to know. Are you on LinkedIn?

Kelloggsville said...

I met my husband via ICQ ! I use linked in for work. Facebook for family and close friends and twitter for blogging. I don't mix work, family and pleasure ;)

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: you show a level of organization that I can only admire.

Keith said...

It's all part of your 'online presence' or so I'm told. In the hope that the accumulated flotsam you leave floating in your wake adds up to more that the sum of your physical parts I suppose.

Facebook is just sanctioned stalking. Other people's holiday photos are SO much more interesting if you can spend half an hour really scrutinizing the buff strangers they mingled with. Or the riotous mingers... depends where they went.

I have only been poked once. And I didn't know what I was supposed to do, so it lingers there, on the web, like an unpulled cracker.

But Linked in has yet to prove of any worth at all.

p.s. I had crumpets for tea last night. Does that count ?

Heather said...

i have often wondered about the point of linkedin myself. No-one has ever contacted me through it and offered me work.

Just a thought my dear, you are aware that you don't have to 'friend' someone on linkedin for them to see your profile, aren't you? So whether you accept them or not they can still see the links to your blog etc - I think...starting to doubt myself now...

Gorilla Bananas said...

If anyone is offended by anything in your blog, just ignore them unless they challenge you to a duel. You would then have to choose between fighting and begging for mercy, but you can cross that bridge when you come to it.

Steve said...

Keith: I suspect that's more crumpet than most. And you're right about other people's holiday photos on FB. I always feel a bit sullied after looking at them. Especially if I've spent hours trying to enhance them in Photoshop.

Heather: OHMYGODOHMYGOD! What???! Are you kidding?! You are kidding, right?! Shit shit shit shit. Shitfuckarsejismdamnablefucknuggets! Job Seeker Plus here I come.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: that's very comforting. I don't think mercy would be an option so a fight it would have to be. Not being a gentleman I would feel it encumbent on me to fight dirty. Sadly my colleagues would be more than a match.

RB said...

I think I am the opposite to you. I dislike the old blog pimping approach. I am a purist I guess and don't cross-post at all (well, I have occasionally). I used to Tweet but it irritated me (all those people trying to be funny all the time) and I do still blog occasionally. Facebook (yes, I know, I know everyone hates it) is actually the only one I use regularly now (I post once a day and probably waste about 20 mins per day on it one way or the other) and I like it because it has such a bizarre mix of family, local friends, long term real friends and also a few online friends I've never met. And sometimes they talk to each other in my comment box - and that is kind of weird! And rather intriguing.
I have never used Linkedln (what a silly name) and have no wish to do so and I do not use Messenger.

Fran said...

Carry on like that and you'll be back to quill and parchment in a few weeks.

Steve said...

RB: it's funny how different programs appeal to us while others don't at all... I guess, as in real life, we all gravitate towards what we prefer.

Fran: I was thinking more of cowhide and finger-painting.

the fly in the web said...

I have never wanted to be involved in any of these activities...if I start promoting my blogs there'll be two sets of lawyers after my worldly goods, one lot in France and the other in Costa Rica.

My brother in law is on Linkedin, lying about what he does.

Mr. Fly managed to open a Facebook account, and after cursing him roundly I forgot about it until recently when he called me to the computer to reveal 76 people who wished to be my friend...starting with brother and sister in law.
I think they're using it for stalking....their noses trouble them!
I'm just wondering about UK stalking legislation....but life is too short!

Steve said...

The fly in the web: I think if anyone has any hankering for a private life that they can control, social networking is not for them. I hate the way they all link up and feed into each other. All so incestuous. Electronic chinese whispers. But once you let a little information loose online it seems to snowball.

Thank God for mixed metaphors. I swear by them.

Owen said...

Totally agree with almost all points... I use Facebook reluctantly and only under an assumed name and second e-mail. Dumped MySpace. Don't Tweet. No LinkedIn, don't want it.

Skype, however, is an excellent service, extremely simple to install to use, and for a family like ours with relations in the USA, a sister in law in Tahiti, a sister in law in Beirut, all of whom we can call for free on Skype for as long as we want, with excellent connection quality. Big savings on phone bills...

(and no, I don't work for and don't have any stock in Skype)
:-)

Steve said...

Owen: thanks Owen - that's a big vote for Skype and I may consider it as a number of my friends use it.

Can't quite bring myself to say definitely yes though.

Marginalia said...

A serious comment for once.

Facebook, I love. Our Resident's Association has a page and it's great to let people know what's happenin' on the block. My wife's business has a Facebook page. So many people see it. I have a Facebook page and I'm embarrassed by what some of my friends share.Aren't we all (except them).

I don't understand Linkedin. No-one has offered me an interview, but I didn't expect that, but I've learnt a huge amount about ex-work colleagues. I didn't know my ex boss's PA had a Ph.D. in Medieval History. Also, through LinkedIn not Facebook I'bv reconnected with people I knew 40 years ago.

That's awesome or hugely terrifying.

Steve said...

Marginalia: I don't know how to respond to a serious comment. You have completely thrown me. But you have validated my membership of LinkedIn and for that I thank you.

Mark said...

Linked in - dreadful, refuse to ven contemplate it. Facebook the same; and when you have teenagers going on Facebook is the equivalent of a Dad dancing at a disco. I can just about stick Blogger!

Phil said...

J’know what?, I cant think of nuffink to say at all this time. Nuffink. Not one little fink. Weathers been nice today innit. Just fed the cats. And made a chicken pie. An spoke to our neighbours dog for a bit. Hmmm.

J’want me to tell you a joke then?

Steve said...

Mark: more and more I find myself thinking the same thing.

Phil: no! Nuffink to say? That's like harbinger of the end of the world, like. It's practically a Biblical prophecy for the end of days. Nuffink to say??! Phil! I'm shocked and appalled. And won't ever allow you to forget it.

Phil said...

Yawn - No...nuffink. Naff all finks. Not on Facebook, Mugbook, Linkety Link or Tweeter.

Got a couple of jokes though. J'wanna here em?

Steve said...

Phil: the moon has turned to blood and there's a plague of locusts outside my backdoor. Thanks Phil.

Go on, tell me a joke then. It'll give me something to laugh about while the horsemen of the apocalypse maraud over my vegetable patch.

Phil said...

Kay. Here we go then…

An ugly girl came up to me and said, “What does reincarnation mean?”
I said, “It means, when you die you come back as something else”.
She said, ”When I die I’m gonna come back as a dog.”
I said, “You’re not f**king listening love”.



Two friends are fishing near a bridge. Suddenly a Hearse and two funeral cars go over the bridge, so one of the men stands up, takes off his cap and bows his head. When the cars have gone he puts his cap back on, sits down and carries on fishing. His mate turns to him and says, “Dave, that’s one of the nicest most respectful things I’ve seen”. Dave replies, “Well we were married for nearly twenty years”.


What colours the moon now then?

I’m off to watch ‘I am love’ with Tilda Swinton.

Nite nite.

Löst Jimmy said...

I'm thinking of starting a novel idea, how about a social networking site which features a cartoon bird and where you can send short messages limited to 140 characters...I'll call it Squawker

....what do you mean it's been done already?

Steve said...

Thanks Phil. Both corkers. Four horsemen are pissing themselves laughing and are in such a good mood they've invited me down to the pub.

See, this is really what social networking is all about. Which brings me back neatly to the original subject of my blog post. Nice.

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: you'll have to make sure the site is "down for maintenance" at least 3 times a day to ensure it has that bona fide feel...

joebloggs said...

I too share your distrust of facebook and as for twitter there is a clue in the name.
I always thought that they were grooming sites for peado's anyway.
Even stalking isn't what it used to be eh?

Alienne said...

I ended up with friend requests from people I did not want to be friends with on facebook - my brother in law; my ex brother in law's new wife(!); my husband's cousin's brother [also his cousin obviously but he lives in NZ and I don't actually know him]. In the end I deleted the account because i never used it. Don't miss it either. I have never used messenger, I don't tweet (or twat as someone else once said).
Skype has its uses - mainly lengthy free video calls to elder daughter at uni. I can also walk the laptop round the house to show her the new bookcase or the blind I have put in her room etc. I am a very sad person.

Vicky said...

I grudgingly use facebook maybe once a month and apart from blogging that is all. Hey I still have a VCR for gods sake!!

libby said...

I'm a scaredy cat, the only thing I do is blog, and I get the vapours thinking about that sometimes.......

Steve said...

Joe: everything is done by gadgets these days. What I don't trust about FB is they way they feel they own the photos we put online. I have very few on there as a consequence and aim to keep it that way.

Alienne: another vote for Skype then. I think people just like the idea of collecting friends on FB - even if it's people they don't even like. It's weird. How many of us total up our real friends and then decide to get some more because we're unhappy with the amount?

Vicky: don't worry - the 21st Century isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Libby: to be honest, if I could go back in time, I would seriously curtail the amount of sites I sign up to. Your way is the best, seriously.

Nota Bene said...

But Linkedin is for business networking...I'm completely confused as I have a Facebook account in my real name, a blog in my blogging personna, a twitter account in my blogging personna, a business twitter account and erm another one that I'm not sure what it's for and Linked in in my real name, but associated with my business. Do I use them? No not really

EmmaK said...

Ha ha me too I'm too anti social for social networking. In the 'real world' I am the sort who crosses the road if they see someone they don't want to talk to and I guess in the cyberwall I spend most of my time trying to deflect peeps who wanna be Linkedin pals.

Steve said...

Nota Bene: the idea of using any of them is probably the crux of the matter. I wonder if anyone really uses them in the real sense? Are any of them really useful are they just more instances of internet fluff?

Emma: that will explain why all my emails keep bouncing back from your account...

Suburbia said...

Don't get me started on messenger! Slows everything down and does stuff you don't want it to. As for Twitter, used it once now can't remember my password! Aggggh!

Steve said...

Suburbia: I share your pain.

Selina Kingston said...

"I am simply too anti-social for Social Networking"
That is the best line ever and I'm going to have to nick it for all those times people keep telling me they can't BELIEEEEVE I'm not on Facebook as apparently it's so me. What the hell does that mean??
I don't want people to know all about me.
....Anyway, excuse me now - have to go and write my next post!!

The Sagittarian said...

I found you by reading all the literature on the walls around town and in phone boxes in the seedier parts....

Steve said...

Selina: you may use the line as often as you like for the price of small royalty fee...

Amanda: my fame knows no bounds. Talking of the phone boxes... I hope you disguised your handwriting this time...

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I share your discomfiture and prejudices about the various social networks Steve, particularly re Twitter and MySpace.

Am thoroughly fed up with Friends Reunited who keep deluging me with what the kids who used to bully me are up to now. Duh?

And you are right that one has to be so careful who sees blogs etc, not least when you like me, have your name on them!

Steve said...

Laura: you plainly had a better class of bully than me. My lot couldn't speak properly let alone type well enough to use a computer...

Tenon_Saw said...

I have hsad a few LinkedIn requests (I'm not on it) and I detest the reminders I receive as if I am dragging my feet.

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: I know what you mean. I hate those nagging emails. If I haven't responded to the first email that's because I don't want to do it!

Val said...

I used to hate emoticons but I use them (nearly) all the time now. They come in useful for people who don't understand my sense of humour or for when I'm being serious for a change and people don't realise it. The worst of it though is that I find myself doodling them in letters... that's just beyond a joke!

I hate Facebook and I refuse to use Twitter. I can't see anything more pointless than saying something banal in 140 characters.

For me, blogging is my social networking of choice.

Apropos Skype, as far as I know you can talk just to one person with it if you want, I've never associated it with social networking. But then I've never used it!

Steve said...

Val: as in all things a little discernment can only be a good thing!

Livi said...

Lol! You don't know what you're missing :P

Steve said...

Livi: only other people! ;-)