The Whole Social Media Thing

To begin with, I can’t see sh*t.  That is because I got new glasses about a month ago, with the usual promise that “I will get used to them.”  Having worn glasses for 53 years, I do have some experience with that phenomenon.  These are wrong, and I’ve been round and round with the eye people about them, so until I get that straightened out (probably by forfeiting the $385 they cost me and going elsewhere), I have about a centimeter of lens in my left eye that I can actually see out of.  So if I make typos (horrors!) here, please forgive Little Miss Picky because she is mostly blind at the moment.

Social media: WordPress.  Facebook.  Twitter.  Google Hangouts.  Google Plus.  Or is it Google+?  I don’t care.  For some reason it infuriates me.  Perhaps it’s the feeling of chaos that overcomes me when I know for sure that I have no control whatsoever regarding what little groups, or big, or medium groups I get included in.  I’ve tried posting on Google+ that I don’t want to be included in it.  Of course that generated discussion, good-byes, and affirmations that people would respect my wishes.

Not.  I keep getting family photos, adorable pictures of the new baby sister, etc., all on Google+.  I don’t respond to any of it, so the way I know it was heaved in my general direction via Google+ is when I get an irate, or disappointed, or whatever negative emotional reaction, in my actual email inbox.

Other people try to send me stuff (or register their displeasure at my non-response to Google+) via Facebook.  I look at Facebook, oh, maybe once every two or three months, except when there is a war and then everyone in my country uses it to communicate so I am on several times a day.

Quiet returns, I’m no longer there.

Oh right, Skype.  F*ck Skype.  They send me all kinds of communications in I think Icelandish, by the look of it.  I don’t understand that language.  I do use Skype once or twice a year, but I sure as hell do not leave it open so that it can start ringing and disturb my train of thought.  Anyone who knows me well enough to Skype me knows my email address.  We can make an appointment.

Twitter.  Yeah, I’m sure it’s really useful, especially in times of war and natural disaster.  It’s just that, people, I am on the autistic spectrum and I just don’t care about most things.  I care about my family, my dog, my son especially, my ethnic group, the scary situation with the honeybees, the scary situation with the bats (another very important creature that most people don’t even know about), the bad things that are done to whales by our “Defense Department(s),” and other things I’m quite sure most other people don’t know about and might not care about even if they did know about them.  I do not give one shit or Shinola about my mother’s hellish cat.

So Twitter, unless there is a war or natural disaster that you want to keep up with, is just plain intrusive.  I finally figured out how to turn off audio notifications in my current flavor of Android (who the f*ck cares whether it’s “Ice Cream Soda” or “Strawberry Suppository”?).  They’re just trying to keep up with Apple’s infuriating system of naming their big operating systems after big cats.  Jeeezus K. Reist (thank you R. Crumb), not only do we have to figure out how to stop the effing Apple Store from taking over the whole damn computer, but in addition have to remember what CAT we’re running?  I HATE that.  “Hello, Applecare, there is black smoke coming out from under my keyboard.”  “Oh I’m sorry to hear that, are you running Leopard, Snow Leopard, or Abominable Snowman today?”  “There’s no such OS as Abominable Snowman.”  “Oh yes ma’am, you’re right, I was just fucking with your head.  Now how may I help you today?”  (I discreetly send reverse amplification to their dumb and dumber terminal, causing a chain reaction on their side that blows every circuit in their personal MacBook Pro Titanium, and also gives them a hell of a toothache.

So.  No, Twitter gives me a headache.  Use my email if you want to talk to me, OK?

There’s an email in my right sidebar.  You’re welcome and encouraged to use it!  And of course I fastidiously monitor and respond to comments on my blogs!  That’s where I really feel there is a personal connection.  It’s great for people on the Autistic Spectrum, because you can interact on a personal level without ever having to do air kisses, or hug people you don’t know, or try to avoid people crushing your arthritic hands in their “firm handshake,” or smelling their idea of perfume that makes you gag, or making eye contact for any reason.  Right.  It is a panacea for all of the threatening forms of social intercourse, while opening space for actual exchange of ideas and, yes, emotion, Dr. Spock.

In the meantime, well….there really isn’t any meantime, since you’ve already read all about it above!

Love yas all, peace…..

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38 Comments

  1. Oh, man, I hear you! Most social media annoys the crap out of me, too. I don’t use Skype because I don’t want people to see that most days I don’t even bother to brush my hair. Facebook seems to be mostly used for picking fights. I enjoy that once in a while, but not on a regular basis. Twitter annoys me, so I use it exclusively for work. (It is useful/necessary for that.)

    I think my objection is that most social media feels like information overload without any human connection. What’s the point of that? But like you, I feel like blogging is the exception to that, which is why it’s the only one I consistently keep up with.

    Reply
    • Oy, most days I don’t even bother getting dressed, and some Orthodox rabbi in Israel clothed completely in white because he is a Kabbalist Skypes me, and female Orthodox Jews are supposed to be in a certain state of modesty, and when that has occurred by chance, I make him call me back after I’m modestly attired. So I have shut off my Skype and if Orthodox rabbis want to Skype with me they can very well make an appointment like everyone else. I share your objection.

      Reply
      • I don’t usually get dressed either because most days I don’t leave the house. And right now it’s too hot to motivate me to wear real clothes anyway. Plus, the only person who’s ever asked me to Skype is my mother, who I don’t want to talk to anyway. She can deal with it.

        Reply
        • **snort** I blocked my mother on Facebook!

          Reply
          • My mother and I are still Facebook friends because I don’t want to deal with the crazy drama that would ensue if we weren’t, but I don’t really post personal stuff on Facebook. It’s mostly political stuff and me talking about how much I hate my guts, in the literal sense of the phrase. She basically just posts pictures of herself and her pseudo-husband on the beach once a month or so. *shrug*

            Reply
            • Ah. The difference is, my mother really does not understand the most basic workings of FB. All she knows is that she never sees anything from me in her news feed. I just shrug and say, well, I hardly ever even open up FB anymore, which is true, and leave it at that. I’ve already told her numerous times that it is poor FB manners for parents to lurk on their children’s pages, but she doesn’t “get” that one, so we have to turn to “logical consequences,” i.e., “you don’t get to ride your bike if you leave it in the street, and if you don’t honor my social media privacy wishes, you don’t get to see it at all.” Kind of tough having to pull out the preschool character-trait building big guns on my mom, but she has never understood the basics of boundary respect, so there you go.

              PS speaking of guts, I have not forgotten our project. I have simply been so emotionally overwhelmed during the last few weeks that I have been clinging to blogging as a means of just getting through this part. It will happen.

              Reply
  2. Well that made me chuckle and at times hold my breath I didn’t try the two at the same time x

    Reply
  3. Hum…….Let’s see. Yup, I get it. And I ended up just taking my frustration with this new world communique and chalked it up to techno evolution for dummies and accepted that those born before 1974 have to just “deal” with it. Now, I cannot say I come even close to the “pot calling the kettle black” and not using this cray cray shit when I FaceTime, I Text, I know the term “OX” and stalk Facebook to see who I can help with WORDS BUT may I say, I fought the resistance to engage in Social Intercourse as long as I could and then realised abstinence for someone born in 1972 was almost impossible save putting on a finger condom. When we had mega color TV, new boy Hairbands and a Mosh Pit of identity confusion upon our wicked breasts, I figure I just better use this techy shit wisely.
    P.S.- There is a reason it is called “apple”. I do love you Dr. Laura. You just hang in there. The social blogging sites are booming with those like us.
    Namaste, Todah and Praise Jesus! 🙂

    Reply
    • I can’t stop laughing–if I pee my pants it’s your fault–maybe I’ll learn to Instagram it, quick!

      Reply
    • songtothesirens

       /  July 14, 2014

      Oh, your post made me laugh…..thank you. As someone born in 1971, I can relate. And, I really liked Hairbands 🙂

      Reply
      • Great, glad you liked it!

        Reply
        • songtothesirens

           /  July 15, 2014

          It was really funny. I remember being in “gifted” class at about age 12, and we got one of the first Apple pc’s. The DOS kind that you had to program yourself. I think that’s when I fell in love with computers even though I think they will eventually take over the world.

          Reply
          • Hmmm, thinking back, the first time I used a computer was in 1975 or so. I worked in a hospital lab holding down the graveyard shift, and one of my jobs was to start up the computer that ran the blood count analyzer. You had to start up the processor, then the CRT/TTY (it printed via the TTY). Then you had to calibrate the blood machine by running a control specimen. Now they have normal controls out of a box, but at that time you had to use real blood, so I had to learn to draw my own blood and use that for a control. Luckily I was a healthy person, physically, and my blood always looked normal so the only abnormal thing was if someone walked into the lab while I had a tourniquet and needle stuck in my arm….I did get a fiendish pleasure out of that….then the next time I used a computer was as an undergrad where we had to write code for calculus problems, using the mainframe Supercomputer with a dumb terminal. We had to sign up for computer time in 2 hour increments, 24 hours a day. I always got the middle-of-the-night spots, which I didn’t mind since I’m a natural night-owl anyway (B.M., that is…Before Meds). That worked out fine until one night I got into an infinite loop and somehow it disabled Control-C and cranked away, printing till it ran out of paper, and gummed up the mainframe till the geeks came in in the morning and had to reboot the mainframe. I was banned from the computer lab forever after that, which made me happy. I did feel sorry for all the other “normal” students who were bleary-eyed and just wanted to get their work done and get out of there! And BTW it wasn’t even DOS, it was BASIC! I guess that’s why I gravitated toward Mac….

            Reply
            • songtothesirens

               /  July 15, 2014

              That’s what I learned was basic on the Apple. We had to write a “choose your own adventure” game……so many if-then statements…..

              And somehow i can see deriving “fiendish” pleasure when someone walked in on you taking your control sample 🙂

              Wow, you are a much more advanced computer “geek” than I am. I am aspiring to “geekdom”…..it suits my personality 🙂

              Reply
              • Um, I don’t think genuine geeks accidentally mess up whole computer systems….anything I know about computers was most likely learned by causing some sort of disaster…plus you know code, which I don’t, so you win the geek tee shirt LOL

                Reply
                • songtothesirens

                   /  July 15, 2014

                  That’s how I learned. I broke stuff, and then had to figure out how to fix it due to lack of funding for new computer. Once, all it is was was a loose transistor. Took me a month to figure it out. Made me slightly insane…… I like being a geek…..it’s something I think is positive that I can own 🙂

                  Reply
                  • Loose transistor? How the heck did you make the diagnosis, Doctor??? You are amazing. Yes, I think you have right and truly earned the title of Geek. It is very positive indeed! 😀

                    Reply
                    • songtothesirens

                       /  July 21, 2014

                      I wiggled everything very gently yo see if anything was loose. That’s how I found it. Took a while because I must admit I was stumped. And thank you…..I like being a geek 🙂

  4. I agree. I have not signed up with any of the social media outlets except WP, so I don’t have any problems with intrusiveness. I just ignore google friend requests. There is only so much time in the day and one must figure out for oneself where to focus.

    Reply
    • See? Someone agrees with me. My brain keeps me busy enough. That social media shit just muddles up what the voices are trying to tell me, so they start shouting over each other and…oh yes. I’m with you, L

      Reply
  5. savemefrombpd

     /  July 14, 2014

    Ah I relate to this post.

    I’m constantly in battle with myself regarding social media. First of all Facebook because I see how much your personal details are shared around even if you have things set that only your friends are allowed to see, it doesn’t always work out that way. I cancelled my Facebook account twice but went back to it, just couldn’t stay away and now it’s worse that I am in different groups and I tell myself that I learn things from the groups and can also ask people, so I’m looking more than several times a day, or around that and it’s too much.

    I think I just need to strike a balance. It’s especially for me because I have no outside friends that I meet with or socialise with outside of Facebook so if I have no Facebook then I am even more lonely which is not good for me, or anyone for that matter. So I allow myself to use just Facebook and try in moderation. But you’re right, when there is war for example or things like this, then we use Facebook even more so.

    Tough one. It;s tough. I’d like to think that I can go on every month or something and maybe just be notified about the most important things via email from Facebook… That will be my next step once I hopefully build my life day to day outside of the rectangular screen of my computer! Hopefully then I can rely on it less.

    Anyway, blabbing about me, but thought I’d put in my 10 agarot!!

    Reply
    • LOL that was more like 2 shkalim. You bring up a lot of good points here! I also hung out with groups a lot in the not so distant past, when I was coming to terms with the fact that I had been a sex worker and that it had done so much damage to me and essentially trashed my ability to form relationships, and all stemming from verbal/emotional/psychological abuse as a child. So there are several really supportive groups for “us” exited or wanting to exit sex workers, and it helped me find the support I needed to finally accept myself as a real person who has not done that for over 40 years. So I am not dissing FB totally, not at all; just that at this point I need my peace and quiet more than I need FB! No doubt it will creep back into my life somehow or other. It’s a great way of connecting with others who share our issues/interests, and of course as a source of support and news in difficult times. Shtei (or is it shnei, I always forget) shkalim back atcha!

      Reply
  6. I am also a blogging person. It is good to read what people think about situations and things in life. I would like to read about bats though I am really scared of them whenever you get the time to write.

    Reply
    • Hmm, I’m sure bats in India are different from bats in the USA or in South America or the Middle East or Africa. I shall have to look into this! Sounds like a fun project. I’m scared of certain bats, but I love the little ones. Did you know, they eat THREE TIMES their weight in mosquitos every night? Each of them! There’s a reason to love them right there!

      Reply
  7. songtothesirens

     /  July 14, 2014

    I have a WordPress blog that I use to connect to the “larger” world, I wouldn’t know what to do with Twitter nor do I care about most people’s “tweets”, especially celebrities, can’t Skype because I have no webcam and yes, there is a reason for that. Somehow my blog got connected to Google+, and that really irritated me so I spent a whole day trying to disconnect it. I do admit to a daily visit and sometimes post to Facebook, but is largely due to the fact that many of my friends live their lives on Facebook, and if I want to know what is going on with them, I have to check.

    While I am not on the Autistic spectrum, I do have what my doctor calls an “avoidant personality”. In other words, while I will go out when necessary (and sometimes for fun), I am perfectly happy at home by myself with my cat. If you really want to know what I am thinking you can read my blog. As for email. I am only interested in shipping notices for things I have ordered. The rest, other than the blogs I subscribe to, is spam.

    The one thing that really gets me about the so-called smartphone, and, yes, I own one. And, much to my shame and inability to avoid wanting what others have, it is an iPhone 5s. But, that’s where I stop. I will not be in the market for an iPhone 6. I have what I want, but as usual, I digress. Why can’t people use their phones to make phone calls? I thought that was the purpose of the phone. No, they text everything forcing me to text back using this tiny little keyboard. Thank goodness for predictive text otherwise nothing I sent would make sense.

    But, truthfully, I really think social media is overloading, and for me, also having ADD, it is a little overwhelming. I can concentrate on my blog, but I can only handle so many usernames and passwords.

    I agree with your assessment of the boom in social media, although for those of us with “avoidant personalities”, it is a way of staying in touch with the larger world without having to actually deal with it. So, I suppose there are ups and downs to the plethora of ways to communicate using technology. Oh, and not to risk your ire, Snow Leopard is a flavor of Linux. I only know because I refuse to use Windows, and in fact, hate it. So, I run Linux which is so much more flexible, and if you know a little code, gives you much more control over your computer. But, I understand your meaning.

    Please have a great day, and thank you for what was probably not intended to be an amusing rant.

    Reply
    • I love your rant! I am totally on your page, about halfway down.

      The reason they called it Snow Leopard, I think, is that MacOS is really a dumbed-down iteration of Linux. I keep thinking it would be great to learn Linux and thus be free of effing OS but somehow, along with everything else, it slips my mind. My shrink keeps nagging me to take my ADD meds but I never remember to. What a conundrum.

      Reply
      • songtothesirens

         /  July 15, 2014

        I am so med-compliant it is almost sad. It means I took everything they gave me trying to “even” me out. Boy, was I overmedicated for a while. Then I learned these suck, try something else. Ended up on atypical anti-pychotics and anti-anxiety meds. They work most of the time, except when I am really stressed.

        I totally agree that the Apple OS is trying to be Linux. But, even with it’s greater flexibility over Windows, you just free opensource code and the ability to put whatever apps you need or want on your computer. I wonder why they name them after cats? That’s just weird….Apple, I mean.

        Reply
  8. Hi, Laura. I agree that social media can just be so much noise. I turned off all notifications for almost all apps on all my devices, not just audio, but badges and banners, too. I’ve even turned off email badges. So much more peaceful! Have you considered removing the social media promotion buttons from your blog? Of course, if you want us to send links of your blog posts to our social media presences, then leave them alone. If it adds noise and clutter, delete them.

    Reply
    • Heavens no, there is an appropriate use for almost everything, including the whole social media thing. For instance, if you and everybody else tweeted and Facebooked and, uh, Tumbl’d and did anyone all that kind of thing, you know, to my posts, and at least one went viral, and I got interviewed on the Huffington Post and people started sending me just LOADS of cash just to get an original signed copy of–what was the question?

      Reply
  9. For the sake of irony, I tweeted this blog post. Forgive me.

    Reply
  10. I completely respect your opinion and wishes on this matter. I have the very few blogs that I follow, don’t do twitter, only Skype with my daughter who lives across the country from me, don’t have Instagram, ignore my Google+ completely and do participate in facebook (mostly a private group of 20 people I belong to). Oh, I have a Pinterest, too, and occasionally spend time on there, but it doesn’t require much interaction with other members if you don’t want to. I like more personal contact with a few people over superficial everything with a whole bunch of people. I like close relationships, getting to know people or keeping up with family and very close friends. And I’m not Autistic…my oldest son is, so I understand where you’re coming from quite well. I don’t even have a smart phone (I think that’s what you call it when you can connect to the internet (and much more) from your cell phone). My husband and I share a pay-as-you-go Trackphone when we’re out of the house, otherwise it’s turned off. I don’t want texts every other minute. I’m an old fashioned kind of girl in many ways and this is one of them. it’s sad to me how much time people spend looking at their cell phones these days! Thankfully my kids aren’t too much into that either. My daughter does have a fancy phone, but she doesn’t keep it in her hands all the time. She’ll set it down, live life, and check for texts every so often. I’m proud of my kids for that!
    So, you have someone in your corner 🙂 Peace to your heart

    Reply
    • Well, I am replying to you on my smartphone, so I guess I’m guilty in that respect 😉 But I’m very impressed that you and your husband are taking care of your communication needs in a simple and sane manner. My 87 year old mother just got an iPhone and an iPad and it’s hilarious watching her learn to use them! I have to give her credit for not being intimidated by the “smart” part! xxx Laura

      Reply

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