I kind of got myself in trouble today and got my foot in my mouth; I made a surly remark on Twitter about how all the contests lately seem to require posting pictures on Facebook or at least on someone else’s web site. Make no mistake, this annoys the crap out of me. Doesn’t anyone put any thought into marketing anymore? Nope, they let YOU do it for them! And people rush like lemmings to participate. I’m a person who doesn’t even like to wear logos if I can help it; after all why should I do the advertising for manufacturers of expensive stuff? Oh, because they send it to me to wear around for a while for free, that’s why. Eep, I taste shoe again…OK, so I’ll wear logos occasionally but I draw the line at doing other people’s work for them by posting pictures of myself on their web sites for them to use for advertising. I’m actually pretty amazed that so many people are OK with doing that.
So anyhow, I made this comment and one of my favorite Twit friends/followers/lemmings/what the hell ever it’s called had just posted a Facebook contest. She apologized and said that the last one they’d done was for Twitter and all the Facebookers complained. So then I felt like a tool because I hadn’t meant to single her out; it was just coincidental timing. It was an equal opportunity complaint but I’m sure she felt persecuted. I still feel kind of bad about that; I didn’t want to insult anyone.
However, I really am sick to death of seeing “like us on Facebook!” or “follow us to win!” or “retweet for a chance to win!” and the worst of all: “If you didn’t know yet, we’re now on Facebook! Head on over to check us out!” UGH. Really? The sad thing is that it probably works, at least to get people to click here and there and “like” and “follow” and “fan” like crazy. But does this all really mean ANYTHING? I have about 600 Twitter followers, which is neat, but I only converse with maybe 20 of them. So….what am I getting out of this?
So, yes, I use Twitter, and I find it pretty fun. It’s a good way to disseminate information to lots of people and even have some entertaining conversations with people you don’t know at all in real life and never will. You’re limited to 140 characters for each interaction, which probably explains why it’s easy to like people on Twitter; they just don’t have the room to get up a full head of steam and show all the annoying things about them. When I don’t like someone on Twitter, I know I would DESPISE them in real life. How can someone be annoying in 140 characters? I like to think it takes me a full blog post to be annoying. In which case people who are annoyed can just stop reading, else they’ve nothing to complain about because they’re doing it to themselves. Twitter also lends itself to the formation of impressions and assumptions about you which usually are wildly incorrect yet most of the time flattering. An excellent site, indeed!
But I’m really getting tired of Facebook and Twitter driving the flow of communication. Am I bringing it on myself by being on Twitter? I was hoping for good conversation and information flow, but the majority of what I get is a barrage of “please market us for us by thumbs upping us on Mybooksterspace and we’ll pay you back by using YOUR image in one of our ads! Bythewayweowneverythingyouposthere.” Something about this seems, er, backwards to me. No one is doing me any favors by using my picture in an ad; they need to pay for that, not act like it’s something I should pay for. If I pay for being used in an ad, hello, it’s called advertising and I’ll do it for my own business!
I admit to deleting boring or useless feeds off my list and I’ve stopped clicking on links that I suspect lead me to Facebook. Mostly I want people to be doing more interesting and in-depth articles and stories that everyone can access, not just Facebook users. I’d like to see contests and articles based on someone’s writing, perhaps, or their actual accomplishments, not just another link to someone’s carefully edited POV video about their day of skiing or someone’s Facebook profile picture in which they’re wearing that brand’s gear. But see, if people do something in depth, they’re going to do it for their OWN site or their OWN blog, which makes perfect sense. Brands and manufacturers are stuck forever with the fluff, the easy-to-throw-together, the takes-little-effort-to-participate crowd. I’m not missing anything by not participating in that and neither are you.
Let’s face it, the idea of “social media” is such bunk. I hate it. There, I said it. If you didn’t like this article and want to provide your opinion, please limit your response to 140 characters.