Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Social Not-working

I have two sets of friends. I have my "real life" friends who know me from work, school, and whatever else I've done along the way. Many of these friends are on facebook - and think that facebook is the end-all be-all of online interaction. *yawn* 

I also have my online friends. These are people I've met through twitter and/or blog interaction. I've met some of these folks in person - but social media is one thing that we all have in common.

It's great when I have problems with my "real life" friends and family. I can complain to my online friends and they can offer advice, or just an ear (well, eye, really - maybe two). The one problem with my online friends is that sometimes they forget basic manners and how to translate them from real life (like how they learned them in kindergarten) to the online world where we interact.  

What about a problem with an online friend? Can I ask my real life friends? Sure. But not before I go through an hour long explanation of twitter or blogs; the etiquette, what's acceptable, what the expectations are and how they mechanically work. *sigh*

I hate to judge how people interact online, because it feels like I'm judging the person. If you want to use facebook to run a mafia, grow a garden or work on a farm - who am I to judge? If you don't want to be on twitter, that's your choice. [Never mind that it's the best way to get and share news and information, as well as a great way to grow your business, advertise your not-for-profit or spread the word about your cause - all for free. But whatever - it's your choice. #eyeroll <--That's right, it's a hashtag; figure it out.]

So, judgment aside, I still need a way for you to all speak the same language. I speak both, and I need to be able to interchange easily. To that end, I'm going to attempt an online-to-offline dictionary with some basic translations of real life situations and their virtual equivalents.

While I work on that - tell me, does anyone else have this problem? Or is this one of those things that only happens to me?


  1. Maybe because it's been a long time since I've been involved or maybe my friends and family pretend well, but while they don't understand why I do it, at least they get that I do...give it time, it'll start to click for them. It might also be that I just talk about my "Virtual Friends" as if they are part of my circle. Perhaps dropping the distinction would make it less frustrating.

  2. The fact is that you do indeed get to know your "virtual friends".

    In fact, in my experience, when you finally meet these folks it's a very seamless, comfortable and easy transition. Almost like you have met them before!

  3. Thanks. My real problem is I can't get advice when something happens on twitter or a blog, because none of my friends get it. If it's private, I can't tweet or blog it to get advice from those that do. So, I'm out of options. *shrugs* Thanks though - the rest, I'm sure, will fall into place.

  4. "#eyeroll <--That's right, it's a hashtag; figure it out." <---THIS!

    I would LOVE to be able to move some of my Facebook-fam to Twitter but like you've stated some people just don't get it. As far as venting about personal stuff in a public forum...there's always discussion boards with anonymous alias. If you can find one that suits you they can be great places to get advice about the personal stuff without giving your life away.

  5. Very true. I've found ways to be anonymous so I can share and get feedback, etc. I don't much care who knows my life, but I still change details. No one else deserves to be hurt just because I got stuff to say, ya know?