On Social Networkson June 28, 2010 at 1:36 am
The Status Update
Growing up, I didn’t wear logos on my shirts. NO brand names. NO pictures. NO catch phrases. It was a policy that I lived by for a long time. By and large, I still live by it, though now perhaps more out of tradition than for any reason in particular. When I was a child, however, I had my reasons.
The logical reason that I always gave was that logos and phrases, pictures, they all faded away with trends. I did not like the idea of having to replace my wardrobe every time fashion took a new direction. Obviously, this was BS. I was 12; what did I care about fashions going out of style? Hell, I didn’t even buy my own clothes. I obviously wasn’t concerned about the cost of an ever-changing wardrobe.
No, the real reason was fear. I didn’t like the idea of making my opinions public knowledge. I didn’t want to broadcast my likes and dislikes, my ideas and my passions for all to see. That side I wanted kept to myself. And not really because I valued my privacy so much. Largely I hid, because I was a geek. If I didn’t put myself out there, I gave people less ammunition to use against me. The end result wasn’t protection, though. I just became more reclusive and ended up with a muted and fairly boring wardrobe. As my wife puts it, I wear nothing that doesn’t look like it couldn’t have been squeezed from a berry.
What does any of this have to do with today’s comic? Well, for me, social networks are today’s brand name shirts. One’s in style, then out of style. Is it Friendster (does that still exist?) or MySpace? Maybe not. The in network is likely Facebook, now. What will it be next week?
But this talk of trends, like my childhood excuses, is beside the point. Every bit of info on my wall, every status update, even those little game apps that constantly pop up no matter how much I wish they would go away… every one is another phrase on my t-shirt shouting out my likes and my dislikes, another banner loaded and ready to shoot me down.
I know it is ridiculous, but look at the thought Nicole puts into her status updates. Today’s comic is not off the mark. She is absolutely serious. I can’t live up to that kind of pressure. While I wouldn’t likely quote Buddy Holly, or post the word ‘yay,’ I don’t want the strain involved with coming up with the witty joke, the sarcastic retort, or the oh so inspirational message. More than that, I don’t want to be judged for some comment I post in passing. You know how many potential employers check Facebook when considering a new hire?
I prefer to check these sites only in passing, keep my posts minimal, and hold to my privacy, thank you. Why put myself out there to be judged?
No. I think I’ll opt out. And post a blog… and a webcomic… about me… and my likes and dislikes…
Okay, maybe I’m a hypocrite. I’m still not making a status update. So there.