Social Media: Costco or Lost in Space?

By Piper Bayard

I took the plunge into FaceBook and Twitter this week. You computer savvy folks might well ask, “So what?” To that I would answer that when I was growing up, technology was a dishwasher that didn’t have two feet and answer to “Junior.” This was a big deal to me. So let me tell you what I found as an alien on my own planet. . . .

In the beginning, Facebook was like my first trip to Costco. So much stuff! So many people! There’s the buddy who got me into social media over by that stack of self-help books, the extended family who probably don’t remember me next to the mashed potatoes, and the “Is she really still alive?” on the chair in the pharmacy section. How cool is that? I was like a kid stumbling with wonder through Toyland.

Then it happened. I tripped over that friend of a friend I hadn’t spoken to in twenty years. The one who knows too much. The warning went off in my head. “Danger, Will Robinson!” That’s when I realized that my jaunt through surreal surprises of seemingly endless stacks of stuff might be more like one of those sci fi shows where you think you’re in paradise, only to find you’re really Lost in Space.

Allow me to explain. If you think about it, everything that ever happened is still happening if you just look from the right vantage point. For example. Anyone 20 light years out in space can look back and see exactly what you were doing twenty years ago. Sort of a creepy thought, huh? Someone could still see you TP-ing their prized, new truck on a damp night so that it would set into a “body cast,” or tying your college suitemate’s door shut to make her boyfriend have to climb out the second story window. *whistles innocently* Anyway, though such things are long past in our awareness, they’re still happening if you’re looking from the right spot in the time/space continuum.

Facebook is the same way. Sure enough. There’s Truck Boy. Wonder how long that TP stuck in the crannies between the cab and the topper? And Suitemate. Has Hell frozen over yet for her to forgive me? (That was her timeline, not mine.) I pause with trepidation. To friend request, or not to friend request? Will the memories of stolen kisses, wild road trips, and shared losses be enough renew the latent bonds of ages past? Or are there still good reasons we didn’t keep in touch? . . . What the hell? Space is supposed to be an adventure, right?

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15 comments on “Social Media: Costco or Lost in Space?

  1. Hi there — Found you via Kristen Lamb’s gushing. I’m new-ish to Twitter, too (and I must say that I don’t like Facebook for the very fact of the friend of friend’s who know too much). I have no tips — just here to say have fun. Oh, and, watch out for the major time-suckage that is apt to commence…

  2. Susan S says:

    Welcome to the Tweet-o-sphere Piper! I need to find your handle so I can follow you, or just send me a tweet (@SusanSpann) and I will hop on the follow-train!

  3. Ellie says:

    Cyberspace relationships. The first rule: DON’T PANIC. Second rule: always carry your towel with you.

    And how could you have ever thought Blog was the cousin to the Creature from the Black Lagoon? Everyone knows she’s his aunt.

    So happy to see you’ve finally plunged into the bottomless time-suck knows as Facebook and Twitter! They’re delightful! You won’t regret it–for a few minutes more at least.

  4. Chaz says:

    I signed onto facebook to stay in touch with my kids better. They are mofe often with their mother 20 minutes away.

    Using my real name, many friends and increasingly, old friends, began sending friend requests and likewise did I.

    It is indeed a social awkwardness unique to present day to make that big decision, to send or not to send the friend request. And likewise to accept or not accept the same.

    People we may not have been likely ever to cross paths with again now appear and potentially have access to quite a bit of information about us.

    My position and practice on this matter is to be reasonably liberal with my befriending. I let awkward feelings fall aside and be left where they belong, in the past. I am also cautious in the amount of information I share. My info page is sparse.

    And probably most importantly, I simply realize that there are some with whom I will never connect or send a friend request to or receive one from, and I spend virtually no time or energy thinking about it. I just leave it in the nebulous “is” category of life.

    Ciao.

    Chaz

  5. Piper Bayard says:

    Thank you for your comment, Chaz. Sounds like wise advice. I’ve taken pretty much the same approach. I figure the worst thing that can happen is that they post something mortifying on my wall, and I take it down and remove them from my friends list. After all, it’s not like I’m running for office, or I’ve befriended Julian Assange. 🙂

  6. JJ says:

    Even though I’ve been on FB for a couple of years and in Twitterverse for a few months, I still feel that same Costco feeling sometimes. Twitter especially has me wanting to hang up social media but then I think about all the great writers and other people I never would have met otherwise and continue another day. 🙂

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Twitter is certainly a powerful force that can pull us in and spit us out hours later, wondering where the day went. It reminds me of the college party house that has the hint of Hotel California about it. I’ve met some awesome people there, though, so like you, I do it. But I quickly limited myself to only checking social media sites when I’m sitting on a very uncomfortable chair. Love the interviews you’re doing with The Walking Dead. Makes me want to see the show. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  7. JJ says:

    The uncomfortable chair thing is wise. Thank you for checking out my interviews – they were so fun to do, especially the one with IronE Singleton. The Walking Dead is a great show but you should wait to watch it a few months because the new season doesn’t start until Halloween so then you won’t have to wait as long between seasons. 🙂

  8. lryanis says:

    Piper, just finished reading two of your blogs thanks to a twitter mention by Kristen Lamb. Love your writing. And when you talked about Facebook and all of the history it stirs up, I totally laughed. Just last night I uncovered a huge box of old photos that shows exactly what some facebook friends were doing 20 years ago, including myself. And it’s not pretty. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Hi Iryanis. What a lovely name! I laughed, as well, about your box of old photos. One of my deep, dark history friends asked if she could post old photos, probably similar to your own, on my wall. Fortunately, I can trust her discretion. I hope. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  9. […] all of the compartmentalized segments of decades converge, I wondered in a blog if it was more like a trip to Costco, or a trip to outer space?  I actually have an answer now. Facebook is like being dead. Everyone I’ve ever known from any […]

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