We don’t like social media; We love it. It’s tailor made for people like us; verbose, attention-starved men and women who feel most comfortable and most safe when being paid attention to.
Last night, lying in bed in a half-sleep, these answers as to why we use social media came to me. They are laid out in numerical order so you can (assuming you use social media – which of course, is like saying, “assuming you have lungs or a spine”) see what motivates your particular usage.
Number one. The S.O.B.’s —The Show Offs and Braggarts.
These folks use social media as a means of showing the world how wonderful they are. An SOB needs constant reassurance that they are adored. And now thanks to the Web, they can get this reassurance from the entire globe. Whether this will help or hinder their personal development remains wholly subjective.
Now I know you’re already thinking, ‘This isn’t me, I only post things that are interesting and informative.’ While this may be true, just as with any altruistic act, there are hidden motives and secondary agendas, which may, upon closer examination, reveal themselves, not as secondary, but as primary motivations for your so-called ‘informative posts.’ In fact there is very little nuance to the look-at-me mentality of the SOB. What you’ll always find in this category are the most blatant boasts: “Don’t I look amazing, aren’t my kids smart, isn’t my wife gorgeous, aren’t I smart, aren’t I successful…?”
I’m not naming names here, of course, you already know who you are. And trust me, I’m guilty as charged with doing this kind of thing quite often too. Oh well…
Number two. The U.R.’s —The Unbalanced Ranters.
UR’s are second only to SOB’s in the race for ‘most-annoying on social media’. They are very much akin to the person who screams invectives of all sorts from the safety of his or her car.
The difference here is that everyone can read exactly what kind of hyper-emotional, barely though-out, scarcely rational shit UR’s have been thinking. Not that you dyed-in-the-wool UR’s have asked for my advice, but I offer it anyhow:
When you post you don’t reason, you scream. That makes you look like un-marriageable, unemployable, unbalanced, and unwashed moron. Whether you deem your particular screeds to be worthy or not, the unbridled emotionality of them, and the very often ill-conceived ideas you attempt to purvey, (and often with multiple exclamation points, all caps, and cursing) convince readers that you are simply A FU$&ING IDIOT!!!!!!!!!
Number three. The E’s —The Enlighteners.
The E’s walk a fine line between S.P’s (Sales People – coming up next) and SOB’s. If E’s truly want to ply their potentially important and often interesting wares on social media they must be diligent in sourcing or creating only the most relevant items, and they must contextualize them in ways that truly benefit their reader’s lives — or at very least, entertain the crap out of them.
Here again, if one is not careful he or she can find themselves treading in the habitat of the SOB’s. A good litmus test is to ask yourself: ‘Has this article or song (or whatever) moved me in some way, or taught me something that drives my life forward in a positive direction?” If the answer is yes; then even if you’ve gone a little into the SOB side with your post, you’re still on relatively safe ground.
But here’s where it gets tricky. While what you’ve put into the virtual public square may well be enlightening to some, it doesn’t escape our collective notice that you haven’t posted anonymously. You have put into the world, what can be roughly construed as a transaction. “For the price of informing you,” you plead, “please give me recognition for my having been smart enough to curate this or that interesting tidbit.”
Allow me to opine here if you will… It has long seemed to me the Internet’s most valuable offering is in the area of The Enlightener. This is where the “miracle” of the technology itself is revealed. I know we’ve largely become inured to the fact that we’ve got what is quite literally, the repository of all information collected by the whole of mankind since time immemorial at the tips of our fingers, but take a moment with me to step back and reacquaint yourself with just how mind-blowing, dare I say —sacred —this all is.
Of course, on social media, one person’s enlightenment is another person’s nightmare. We can, along with say, learning French or listening to Stravinsky, find the ten best ways to build IED’s, the most effective means of killing someone by stabbing, or a hundred fifty ways to secretly cheat on our spouses. Not that I needed to tell you but; information alone does not equate with enlightenment.
Number four. The S.P.’s —The Salespeople.
S.P.’s range from out and out spammers to more subtle types who pose as E’s. For example, watch for things like this YouTube post:
“Hey check out this old video from Stevie Wonder. When he gets up off his Fender Rhodes and mounts the drum kit, you’ll be blown away!”
Okay, all good, still safe in Enlightener’s territory. But then when you read what follows:
“If you really want to be blown away, come see our band, The Recently Bathed Grease Monkeys (fictitious name) at Mort’s Sports Bar in Moose Lake Village tonight!“
At this point, you’ve shown your hand as an SP and not only will we no longer feel the full effect of being blown away by Stevie’s drum solo, we will have come to dislike both you and your band. (A word to the Recently Bathed Grease Monkeys, I too am guilty of this more than I care to admit.) Oh well…
Now, as an offering for your having taken the time to read this piece (which itself, by turns, narrowly sneaks into the E. category, while crossing over into SOB territory, and might, if you’re creative —which I’m sure you are—slide a big toe over into SP country) here is a delicious chicken recipe of my own creation.
(SOB warning! Chef bragging to follow.)
My Incredibly Tender and Delicious Roasted Chicken With Organic Carrots, Fresh Sage, and Preserved Lemons.
One whole organic chicken
One large onion
One and a half pounds of fresh organic carrots
Two preserved lemons (get these at any Middle Eastern market, or make your own)
Bunch of fresh sage
Bunch of fresh rosemary
One cup of maple syrup
Three tablespoons honey
One cup Ponzu sauce (get this at any Japanese market)
Three tablespoons of soy sauce
Three cups white wine
Salt and pepper
Clean chicken well and remove any feathers and set it aside
Now, place medium-sized pieces of chopped onion and julienned carrots on the bottom of a large roasting pan
Place chicken, breast side up on top of the carrots and the onions
Cut the two preserved lemons into quarters and place them into the cavity of the chicken, along with large, uncut pieces of sage and rosemary – leaving some sage for later
Pour the maple syrup, the honey, and the Ponzu sauce on top of the chicken and drizzle some on the carrots as well (allow all three to drip off the chicken and into the pan
Pour the white wine into the bottom of the pan
Pour the soy sauce on top of the chicken and salt and pepper liberally
Chop the extra sage into tiny pieces and sprinkle on top of the chicken
Cover the roasting pan and place into an oven set at 350* for two hours.
After the allotted cooking time, the chicken, even though it’s been covered, will no be brown and beautiful because the maple syrup and the honey will have created a delicious and appealing glaze.
For extra tender chicken, reduce heat to 230* and allow it cook another hour.
When serving, place the chicken in the middle of a large platter and ring it with the carrots. Pour the remaining sauce from the bottom of the pan onto the chicken the carrots.
Serve as any good Show Off Braggart/Enlightener might!