Social Media: A Glorious Timewaster?

After I actually spent a decent amount of time searching for people to add to my dinky collection of friends on Facebook the other night, and I only mean dinky in terms of the sheer poor little number, not the caliber, although that’s up for debate at times, I realized that the whole social media thing has really gotten out of hand. I’ve never given a flying crap about being popular, yet now I feel inadequate if every blog post I write doesn’t make Search Engine Watch, every person I contact doesn’t want to be my friend on Facebook (Rand Fishkin, you better watch Fatal Attraction again and see what happens to people who ignore nice Southern belles), and I am never tagged in photos on Flickr. Sure, you aren’t supposed to upload photos of people being spanked by black hat spammers, but that is no excuse.

Social media is such an utter waste of my time, but it’s also the latest big thing in SEM. Thus, I’m on it like a homosexual on a man sandwich and I spent an inordinate amount of time doing online networking, with really nothing at all of value to show for it other than some Sphinns (which are really nice, by the way!), a few Facebook wall posts, and the knowledge that Rhea Drysdale and I do not share the same taste in movies. I will also admit to enjoying poking and being poked by Lisa. Sorry some of you men can’t make this same claim.

Since I am prone to musical references (I mean references about music, not references to something where I play the theme from “Deliverance”) let me give you another one…and please stop groaning. You probably have to go check to see if anyone’s Facebooked you but hang on for a minute. I’m busy as hell too but I am taking the time to write this post. One second…need to poke Lisa.


OK then, the reference! Adam and the Ants. Yes, again. They were an absolutely amazing band early on, and they even kept it up for a bit of time before disappearing. Then, years later, Adam morphs into Doctor Evil and all hell breaks loose when he gets into a fight in a pub because some locals, quite understandably, made fun of his cowboy outfit.

It’s the embarrassment factor. Obviously I am not TOO embarrassed to mention Adam since I do so every three posts, but my point is that his band was mindblowingly enjoyable when it first started, then no one wants anything to do with him. I’d be willing to entertain the notion of being his love slave if he’d put on some more of that white war paint, sure, but I am certainly not going to post that on a blog for all the world to see! How soon before we’re as embarrassed about falling for social media as we are about doorway pages and meta keywords? And yes, I have written several posts about the greatness of social media so I am, currently, starting to become a tad bit embarrassed myself right now.

What has social media really done for anyone, other than help us make connections? Yes, it is nice that I can tell the world that I like The Pogues and Father Ted but I still see no actual benefit in this other than to remove the need for chitchat when you actually meet someone in person. As you can tell, I really do enjoy social media, but there are all these articles and blogs about how to use it for your advantage and why you need to do it, but nothing really seems to be even remotely upfront about the fact that, in the end, it’s all just a lovely waste of time.

So why is it everywhere? Because it’s easy, it takes very little thought to do (sure there was a mishap when I tried to use the Upload Photos bit of Facebook but nothing a few reboots and curses didn’t take care of). It could, of course, be that I just haven’t yet discovered how to really utilize social media to do anything besides send a virtual drink or poke Lisa. Like anything else matters…I just have to wonder though, if this is the Emperor’s new clothes all over again? Are we all on board with it simply because we’re supposed to be? If it’s helped anyone gain anything even remotely good, then great. Personally, it’s afforded me lots of amusement and I’ve been able to learn that, if I were a character from Harry Potter, I’d be Fred and George and Dumbledore.

This isn’t saying anything about the capabilities of SEOs either. I think it’s a very telling thing that SEOs spend so much time being technical and creative that they have flocked to something so simple as putting up a profile and adding an application that pokes another person. That reminds me, need to poke Lisa. Social media HAS been the next big thing, and it still seems to be, and it’s fine to enjoy it, but let’s not take it so seriously that we spend tons of time trying to make it out to be something it isn’t.

By the way, Adam Ant, if you’re on Facebook, check out my profile! Take my movie compatibility quiz. Oh, and you’re more than welcome to poke me whenever you want. You devil.

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