Now, I don't know about you but there are a lot of things that make me insecure. Being alive, for example. Wet sneezes when being introduced to royalty, for another. And on the surface, social media such as Facebook and Twitter should help alleviate those insecurities for the very simple fact that I can interact with people without actually having to see them or be in their presence. Also, I have the ability to review and revise every word I type, unlike the whole talking thing where every goddamn word I speak just shoots out of my mouth like a giant, ill-advised Pez.
The downside to social media is that it actually quantifies your popularity. When I was in middle school, quantifying my popularity just meant being told by prepubescent mean girls which of their friends hated me that week. Sure, there were usually charts involved and a monthly slide presentation, but more often than not, I could just let the derision go, like water off a duck's back. Sometimes I strapped an actual duck to my back to facilitate the process. (Not true, PETA. Don't sue me.)
But nowadays, every time I log onto Facebook, I can see how many friends I have. And for the most part, I'm happy because it's a nice healthy number and it likely means I won't have to hire professional mourners when I pass on -- an important savings in today's troubled economy. On the downside, I can see when I lose a friend and IT DRIVES ME CRAZY. It happened last month and I spent three hours sitting on the couch wondering if I should turn my obsessive-compulsive disorder to "ON" and comb through my friends list to determine who the missing
Twitter can be even worse because of the dreaded spambots. Was I devastated to learn that Foxxy6969 was not really my friend but only there for cheap and tawdry marketing purposes? Yes, I was. I'd never had a friend with two x's in their name before and I was looking forward to some in-depth 140 character discussions of tyopography. But no, she was not even a real person!
One particularly terrible afternoon, I lost 20 Twitter followers...and ended up sifting through all of my tweets trying to figure out which of them could have triggered the mass exodus. That was no help at all -- they ALL could have driven people away. (My pledge to you: no more drunk Twittering. It's my new standard of excellence.) There's simply no way of knowing why a Twitter follower comes or goes. The only rational way of coping with the loss is to turn to the tried-and-true philophy of WWSD: What Would Sockington Do? How does the most popular cat on Twitter handle rejection? He probably just vomits spitefully and goes to sleep in the sun, right? And if it's good enough for him...
So what about you? Does social media stoke your insecurities...or is it, um, just me?