Twitter Trawling


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I am for the most part apathetic to social networking sites. Almost a year ago I wrote a vituperative verbose on social media. In my teens I was more receptive to these things than I admittedly am now. The nomenclature of networking sites I found myself on was quite nauseating looking back at it now. I was very much active in these parts up until the invention of Facebook. Facebook came and put a callous end to my social networking curiosity. Anything that came after Facebook failed to capture my attention. Maybe there was more emphasis on the networking element than selfie promotion back then. I have no desire to have multiple social media presence with my over filtered self, overzealous status updates about my ‘oh-so-perfect-self’ for all and sundry to gawk at.

People don’t join social networking sites these days to network but to compete for pseudo statuses and epithets such as fashion icon or MUA and to make one’s mark on the virtual world firmly known. Neo social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Snap-chat (and whatever else that I am not aware of) have created a generation of young people who are fame hungry. Everyone wants to be famous; everyone wants to increase their following.

In the last decade social media has come a long way since the days of Black Planet and MSN. There was no pressure on us users to have filtered selfies (photoshoped I believe was the word back then). People were more interested in meeting others and having a good old jolly chat in forums. Let’s not exaggerate there were weirdos, peados and bullies lurking around back then as well.

After upgrading my dilapidated phone last October I joined Instagram. For someone who enjoys a bit of visual art (and stalking) I found it refreshing. There was a remarkable array of pictures on everything from what Instagrammers were referring to as food porn, though most times it was something out of the local chippy that was filtered with to look like something out of a Michelin star restaurant. The fakery was disquieting. From the demonstration of perfectly drawn eyebrows (you know I am a sucker for a bit of an arch); to coma inducing landscapes.

I was hooked and soon Facebook took a backseat.

Of course Zuckerberg couldn’t stand my absence so the guy purchased Instagram…the cheek!! So now I am left with instalments of fake pictorials of femme fatales who claim mastery in something or another- unbeknown to Zuckerberg that some of these folks I know in real life and wouldn’t want to extend the acquaintship to the virtual world too. Instagram’s excuse for suggesting these folks to me: “based on what you might like”.

Conjectural ideas always lead to distaste.

Yesterday I had a picture suggested to me of someone that looked familiar. Nosiness had it that I clicked on the said picture. After scouring the account my suspicions were founded. The person was indeed someone I met at a social gathering and here they were with endless selfies portraying their aptitude in the application of makeup. In fact they were urging people to book them.

From experience (the observatory type of course) anyone who mixes primary colours on their face and has inverted commas for eyebrows is not to be trusted with your own face.

I’m just saying…

And then there is the adverts thing… It is always related to chocolate. Admittedly I salivate over it but then I quickly snap out of it and wonder if there is anything these people don’t assume I would like.

Damn you Zuckerberg, this is Facebook all over again!!

Fast forward to August of this year and I joined Twitter of all things. I mean I wasn’t a pseudo celebutante that needed to preach to my following my latest endorsements, a labelistic activist who needed to start a hashtag revolution of sorts or campaign for the welfare of extinct polar bears in Namibia. What is more, I didn’t comprehend this whole hashtag speech.

After an hour crash course on hashtag speech and all things Twitter from a friend I joined the bloody thing. It was terrifying at first. Everything landed into a whirlpool of hashtags that then turned into a trending topic depending on the number of tweets it got. Thus far none of the trending topics were of any value to me. It ranged from topics condemning feminists as being ugly which then warranted selfie smash down of not so ugly (I wasn’t judging) women trying to showcase that good looks and labelistic activism can indeed be mixed.

After all most of those selfies looked like something you would find in prime numbered pages of tabloid newspapers and Lad’s magazines.

The hardest part of Twitter was getting to grips with the word limit. As someone who loves a good waffle this was and is testing. Hundred forty five characters don’t suffice my tendency to over elaborate, to digress.

Thus far my longer rants, or should that be opinion posts remain with Facebook.

Truth of the matter is Twitter was a pleasant surprise. Apart from the odd unnecessary information, promotion and the likes it has been well…edifying.

In the words of my friend I am old fashioned if I want to stalk someone; I do so in my blacked out SUV!

Disclaimer: I don’t own an SUV blacked out or otherwise!

 

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Here is my Facebook, so add me maybe, baby!


No thank you, I don’t wish to add random people on my Facebook. Actually, hold that thought; yes I might add you just to see what you really are like beneath all that sleaze, ahem I mean charm. Too many selfies warrants some sort of an arrest, because 436 selfies later surely there is someone in your delusional universe that could be coerced into making a guest appearance into one of those 436 Lone Ranger-esque pictures. Where is Tonto?

Precise number, I know. What can I say I painstakingly analyse each one of those pictures for no other reason than for the greater good of humanity. You can thank me later, presumably when they catch the sociopath in question. And yes, once such social analysis is over, I delete the sociopath(s) and block them too. Depending on my disposition at the time they might even be reported; don’t ask me what I’m reporting them for though. The mind is a fickle!!

For all the ills people proclaim that Facebook bestowed on humanity, one thing is for sure that the dating charade is never quite going to be the same, thanks to Zuckerberg and Co. Like the saying goes it is how you utilise things that can either make it a bad or good thing. I am of the camp that Facebook is a positive addition to our otherwise mundane lives. Of course there is always going to be few culprits out there that abuse this social medium and ruin it for the rest of us nosey folks.

Prior to Facebook, you were unable to pre-empt any potential dating disasters. You weren’t able to suss out sleaze bags lurking in the periphery waiting for that opportune moment to strike and before you know it you are coerced into thinking that you are dating an Adonis of sorts, and you go through the traditional method of wasting time and energy dating this person only to find out 18months down the line that he is anything but. Thankfully Facebook has put an end to such callous bureaucracy.  With few clicks you can ascertain everything about your potential date.

Going out on a first date with someone isn’t a pre-requisite these days. Hearing people utter words like “oh how about I take you out for dinner at 8pm to my favourite restaurant and we can get to know each other” is far and few in between and sure as hell you won’t be hearing a potential date say to you “oh where do you live so I can come and pick you up”.  I blame part Facebook part Google Earth for the latter. Curiosity is dead, buried in chambers embellished with conveyor belts of selfies and second by second status updates.

Side note: a friend of mine once stumbled on her boyfriend’s ex girlfriend’s Facebook page (bit of a mouthful). Somehow after scouring few of the femme fatale’s illustrious pictures she felt so threatened by this entity that no longer existed but in her mind.  Needless to say the boyfriend wasn’t aware of how Facebook turned his girlfriend into a nocturnal detective. In fact he even instructed her from the onset of their relationship that they are not to add each other on Facebook as this will ruin their relationship.

An eyebrow raiser of a statement I know… but amidst all the narcissism that reeks out of that last sentence, perhaps there might have been a point to his instructions that my friend so carelessly ignored. In the months that followed my friend’s discovery, she lived in an irrational fear of not being good enough for her boyfriend based on his ex-girlfriend’s pictures (nothing kinky by way of clarification just aesthetics we are dealing with here folks).

Armoured with her newly discovered inferiority complex, my friend ended the relationship to her boyfriend’s dismay. The guilt of dating whom she thought was above her station was too much to take in. This set precedent for many more break ups and make ups that followed over the course of the years. Even when they were back together, she was of the realisation that her boyfriend was an unscrupulous seducer; who was destined to run away with anything with a pulse that wasn’t her because to quote her “he was easy on the eye”. I couldn’t help but think in that moment that perhaps my friend could do with having a cataract operation thirty years too soon! But let’s not get into that now. That is a side note for anther blog post(s).

Facebook allows us to eliminate the weak from the absolute. The dating game is a cut-throat business. There are no leeway’s to be given. Survival of the fittest and what have you (who makes these rules anyways…). Some people love to air out their dirty (always unpressed, sometimes wet, occasionally clean) laundry on social networking sites for all and Sundry to see. Men in particular have a thing for still keeping incriminating evidence from their past. There is no sane reason as to why you would have less than decent snap shots of  you and your ex still plastered on your Facebook wall when that relationship has dissolved; often captioned with soppy  commentary. Is it an emblem of your acquisitions, hmm?

Word of advice for men; you might want to keep your Facebook on private so poor unsuspecting feeble women such as the antagonist of my side note don’t have to contend with the likes of your ex-girlfriends. Women are complex creatures, even if I say so myself. Actually on a second thought DON’T, I quite enjoy scouring your pages, all in the name of research of course.

IS A PICTURE REALLY WORTH THOUSAND WORDS..?


Ten years ago or so that adage might have been valid. In an age of increased use of social networking sites such as the likes of Instagram such expression is starting to lose its essence.

Today a picture isn’t worth that much, certainly not thousand words. All one has to do is log into Instagram (the whole concept of posting pictures to ascertain how high it’ll score on the popularity scale is beyond me) or Facebook (I can live with this one) and all the other countless sites (I still refuse to join Twitter) and your news feed is overloaded with zillions of filtered, photoshoped, air brushed, purposefully one angled pictures of nothing in particular.

It is no longer about one’s artistic ability to capture a picture, a form of art that would convey to others everything associated with the picture least not the photographer’s ingenious. Now all you get is a lousy picture of someone’s mug and if you are lucky and the person can be bothered to explain as to why they saw the need to take such horror and commit it forever to the virtual world; then all you get is an idiotic expression (malapropism is intended) denoting that the person is either happy or sad; presented in the form of a parentheses indicated by a colon followed by crescents atop your 9 and 0 keys.

I mean seriously!!! When did human interaction reduce to such omnishambles? (Yay for omnishambles being 2012 word of the year and frankly the only good thing to come out of that year). But why is the person happy, how are they happy, what was the process of reaching such happiness like, are there different stages of happiness that they ought to share with us, will there be another ‘selfie’ that will portray the next stage of happiness and so on and so forth…!!! You see answers to such penetrating questions (at least to me) will never be known. Let’s be honest here once you press that upload button those “selfies” aren’t YOURS. Ask Zuckerberg I am sure he can furnish you with the intricacies of his latest privacy policies.

Don’t get me wrong I do appreciate a good picture be it a selfie (ideally of Will Smith, then hey I am drooling sister) or that infamous picture of Sharbat Gula with her piercing bluey green eyes that commit to your soul.  Whilst such pictures do epitomise aptly every diminutive data of such visualisation – you know I will be digesting every detail in a Will Smith selfie and rightly so (NB: I am only hoping assuming that he does take selfies, imagine if he didn’t what a travesty! Focus woman Focus). Nonetheless, as I bring my parentheses to an abrupt halt: It is safe to say that I am a sucker for a different type of art – the word format!

There is just something about words that are so fixating and fascinating. A word to me is worth millions of pictures. There is a whole conundrum of things that come with words; from etymology to connotations and unlike a picture words evolve over time. The wicked witch of your parent’s era isn’t so wretched anymore. Wickedness is indeed something to be celebrated these days. To quote Julian Sorrell Huxley “words are tools which automatically carve concepts out of experience.”

So when basterdised English words such as selfie infiltrate into the Oxford Dictionaries Online and is heralded to be the THE word of 2013 it renders me speechless. If words are tools that carve concepts out of experience then the only understanding I have of this word is pouty images of Kim Kardashian. I can already foretell future generations encumbered with the etymology of the word selfie: “a word that was made popular by people {twats} who saw the need to contravene the virtual world with endless pouty pictures of their faces and derrières and sometimes simultaneous glowers of the two”. Surely this is a crime against our future generations, no? A downright insult to our good counsel…?! Am I the only rational thinking human being who is nonplussed by it all? And no I firmly refuse to acknowledge the various selfies that appear in this post underlined in a squiggly red line wanting me to verify them and subsequently add them to my dictionary…hell NO!

…..and the score at the end of that is: duck face luminary Kim Kardashian – One, good counsel of men and women- nil! Quackity quack quack. The saga surrounding the preservation of the English language from impurities continues….

“Every spoken word arouses our self-will.” So utilise those words carefully (and those selfies too!)

Sharbat Gula

Photographer: Steve McCurry Source: nationalgeographic.com

Photographer: Steve McCurry
Source: nationalgeographic.com