More like Anti-Social Media, Amirite?!

Now, I know I’m not the first person to conclude that spending many hours on a computer does not a social person make.

Many psychiatric professionals (mine included) have explained how hiding behind a monitor or an iPad or a smartphone removes some of the components which are essential for building healthy human relationships (eye contact and vocal interplay, for example).

There are even  plenty of self-confessed “awkwards” who admit that they feel more comfortable typing out a tweet or a Facebook status than they do speaking to a fully fleshed human being.

That’s why when you see a profile like the one at left you think, “This must be a guy who doesn’t know how to interact with real people, is probably an online stalker, and likely lives in the basement of his divorced mother’s house.”

It’s a stereotype, for sure. But it’s easy to reason that a person with extensive social media involvement would not have time to do much more than go to work (or class) and then park himself in front of his computer screen.

While the overextended social media user may be a bit odd and creepy, flamers and trolls are disturbing in a malicious way. Anyone who gets off by inciting controversy on Facebook threads, Tweet streams, blog comments and private forums must have some sort of personality disorder, we reason. We typically write off these assholes as attention-seeking narcissists, and we do our best to not let them bother us.

So, we’re kind of familiar with the potentially pathological prototypes described in the above examples. But in the last couple of months, we’ve seen the emergence of a new type of anti-social media user: people who join social networks and then get angry if you try to interact with them.

Since Google Plus was launched in June to limited users, eager Internet junkies were literally begging for invitations.  But when they finally arrived at the party, they didn’t seem to know what to do there. Was G+ supposed to be a replacement for Facebook? Should they post the same type of material they shared on Twitter? And, most significantly, whom should they add to their circles?

As more and more users joined, people noticed that complete strangers were adding them and the “veterans”  were bewildered! I’m not sure why they were so perplexed, since many of these folks were already active on Twitter where it’s customary to be followed by people you don’t know. So, while some simply pondered the mystery of the unknown followers and posted innocent queries on their G+ Wall (or whatever Google calls it), others were besides themselves with rage. Take a look  at this recent post, for example:

Whoa! Relax, honey! Why so hostile? I believe if you’re that upset you can just block the offenders, no?But it kind of makes me wonder why you’ve joined this network if you didn’t want to meet new people.  I’m sure your existing friends are lovely, but don’t you see enough of them on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr? And if you’re so upset with the way social media suggests followers for you, just get off the damn internet and text or email your buddies. That way you can get the privacy you crave.

Okay. You know what? Do whatever makes you happy. Thrown open your circles for all the world to enter or seal them shut after letting only a few of your besties sneak in. But your belligerent tone really turns my stomach.

Actually, I should probably thank you. Posts like this one help identify which people I definitely do not want to add.  Much appreciated.

Oh, by the way…you spelled anonymity incorrectly.




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3 responses to “More like Anti-Social Media, Amirite?!

  1. Trevor

    While I can see the point behind this post, I also see what the person in the photo is trying to say. Being someone who is a friend of the person who posted this originally, I think it’s pretty biased to only quote the main post and not the rest of the argument. If you were anyone of intellect, you would have read through the post before selecting this person out of the crowd and trying to make her seem less intelligent than she is. Had you actually read through the post, you would have seen that the person in the article was slandering the people in G+ who go out of their way to add as many people as they could to “build up” their “follower list”; many of these people being advertisers and salesman.
    The whole point of a “social network” isn’t to add as many random people to your followers list as possible, in hopes that in the end you will have the biggest e-peen. Futhermore, it’s called a “social network” for a reason. If you add a person to your page 2 months prior, and never make any effort to contact this person or converse with them, then it becomes less of a “social network” and more of a “stalking network.”
    I think that before you go out of your way to make one person seem like a belligerent, anti-social idiot, you should at least make an effort to read through the rest of the posts and try to grasp why the person is upset in the first place, and then also try to convey both sides of the argument. Or are you trying to affiliate with Fox News?
    Something else I should point out: “Anonyminity is a virtue in this day and age.” is a quote by famous electric bass player and singer, Les Claypool, as well as lyrics from his song “Here Come The Bastards.”
    Maybe you should research what you post about before you post it, less you sound ignorant. 🙂
    Finally, I’ve linked this page to the original poster of the page you felt the need to screencap, as well as all of the others who joined in on the tirade (I.E. Stef Ray, Link Tray, and Sprk Gurl). I don’t see why you would feel the need to have such animosity against a conversation you weren’t even a part of, but either way, have fun with your internet scandal.

  2. Link Tracy

    You’re tiny, single comment screencap of this conversation fails to capture the true reason behind our animosity. That one fellow, Rasheed openly admitted that he wasn’t trying to be friends with anyone. He spoke, at length but always vaguely, about some “business” he was friend-ing us for. A business that he did not give the name of or try to give us any details about whatsoever. I think it is more likely that he was part of some tired garage band, including us in his circles to make us appear as though we are part of his 4300 person “following”.

    I’ve been called anti-social before, but not because I tell off some people who are using me as a cardboard cutout stand-in for one of their customers or fans.

    Also, the screencap you MEANT to use was this one. From a completely different thread. Just so you can get the facts straight.

    • Angry people are ANGRY! Although I tried to click on the “correct” link, I got a 404. Deleted?

      I can understand why someone would be a little irritated that there are people on social networks who want to accumulate as many as they can in order to bump up their implied clout. Yeah, that’s bullshit. But the degree of rage that emanated from this thread is astounding. While I may not have chosen the “correct” post to use as an example (which, by the way, I did disguise so as not to identify the author), I heard from a very lovely young man who felt like he was ripped to shreds by the author and the author’s friends for simply adding someone he didn’t know.

      I will fess up to my errors, but there are a few facts here: 1) I didn’t try to “out” anybody. No names were included; 2) The group did try to bully the young man I referred to above; 3)This post was just one example – read “example” – of the sentiments I’ve been hearing from G+ users.

      So, in the scheme of things, this post really isn’t about the author or her group of friends. It’s about a social trend. Sorry if the author of the post wanted to feel important in being singled out. She was just a convenient example.

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