Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thin the Herd

"Honesty is such a lonely word, everyone is so untrue..." - Billy Joel

I like social media.  Facebook & Twitter are convenient ways for me to communicate the way I prefer to (i.e. without using a phone).  That being said every once in a while I run into moments where it is obvious that I must thin the herd, so to speak.  If you have been involved with social media for a while then you know what I mean.  The “friend” from another country who contacts you, tells you nothing but lies and then asks for money or the cell phone updates that keep chirping and chirping and chirping but only for ONE single person that you happen to be following.  There are times when you must separate the wheat from the chaff.    

The thinning of the herd became much easier for me after I saw an article by WIRED Magazine’s Erin Biba, entitled, “Twitter’s Fame Machine: Confessions of a Celebrity Ghost Tweeter”.  You can read it for yourself here:  Ms. Annie Colbert is a Ghost Tweeter and her job is to find technology addled celebrities who cannot figure out how to use Twitter and make them look less stupid by tweeting for them.  She is good at what she does - brilliant, really.  She provides these celebrities easy access to self-promotion and twenty-first century communication without the celebrities actually having to dirty their hands in trying to figure out how to text. 

That got me thinking about whom I follow on Twitter.  Who was real, who was phony, and who just showed up on Twitter one day at the request of a PR person, conglomerate, studio, or publishing house who told them that they “Need a Twitter account”?  So that’s what I did.  If their feed was sterile or generic – GONE.  If they didn’t care about their feed – GONE.  Oh, I still follow a bunch of people but now I am slightly more confidant that that is exactly what they are: people.  Social media provides new avenues for lying, falseness, and fakery, I see enough of that in my real life; I don’t need it when I’m kicking back trying to read my Twitter feed.  No, I crave the actual, genuine article.  I respect the truth; especially since these days I find myself relying on Twitter more and more for up to the moment news (not to mention keeping my finger on the pulse of all things GEEK).  

I’m not going to lie to you; some of the cuts hurt me.  Case in point, America’s weatherman, Mr. Al Roker.  For whatever reason he was the ONLY person on Twitter that my phone recognized; further he or whomever else Tweets for him really, really likes that Twitter account.  This really wasn’t Al’s fault.  I’m sure that it has something to do with my settings but we have come to far to turn back now.  My cell phone would alert me to one message, then another and another and one more and people would ask, “Who keeps texting you?”

“Al Roker,” I would tell them, “America’s weatherman.”

“No.  Really.  Who keeps texting you?”

Forgive me Al.  Know that it’s not you; it’s me.

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