The Weirdness of Social Media
The past few days on social media have just been … odd. It started with the State of the Union, where I found myself getting physically tense because an author whose book I was reading (and at that point enjoying) starting tweeting some really problematic items. Things that disparaged people with low incomes, people who need childcare, people who need healthcare. Then I continued reading the book, got to a really disturbing part, and had to figure out how to write a review that would go up on a public blog that expressed my anger but that wasn’t over the top. Once I did post the review, a friend asked if I’d thought of contacting the author to see why she seems (to me) to have this huge disconnect in her writing, and I responded honestly that I can’t do it on Twitter because who knows what kind of responses such a public figure would elicit, and I won’t do it privately because I don’t trust that she wouldn’t put it on her blog and mock me.
Then, last night, I made a mistake and deleted everything from the 2 Do app. If you use it, you’re probably familiar with the interface. Each tab is a category, including one that says ‘all’ and one that says ‘done.’ While there are many steps to delete items, if you are in the wrong tab, there could be 100 steps and it still wouldn’t matter, because you’re already in the wrong place. Anyway, user error, I deleted everything from the ‘all’ tab instead of the ‘done’ one. But 2 Do allegedly has multiple back-ups, including to Toodledo and one on the Android itself. Both Austin and I jumped into action, but neither backup system worked. And that was not user error – that was the app not functioning as advertised. I posted a (surprisingly not snarky) tweet mentioning the issue. They responded with those same fix options (which I appreciate), and I thanked them but said neither worked, so I was going to have to switch apps.
Then things got weird. Whoever manages their social media decided that it would be funny to get snarky and question why I would change apps due to “human error.” They even included a smiley face. I said if they mean human error as in the humans who programmed both back-up systems that failed, then yes. I, too, included a smiley face. After that I stopped responding, as I was at work. But I the next time I checked Twitter I found something like eight messages from the 2 Do account (I can’t confirm, because I’ve now blocked them) essentially trying to call me stupid.
Look, I freely admit that the initial error was mine. But since the back-up system the app claims to have (multiple ones, actually) didn’t work, I think the less reasonable thing to do would be to stick with them. If I make an error again – or the app itself freaks out – I don’t want to lose everything a second time. I didn’t choose to engage, because I got a brief taste of the attitude that comes with engaging with someone who isn’t happy with you on social media. The repeated tweets brought with them someone who thought it would be fun to @ me and join in the snark. Which, dude. I don’t know you. You get blocked. And now so does 2 Do. It was the tiniest of tastes of the kind of bizarre entitlement that social media brings with it, and I did not like it. And I starting thinking about what kind of entitlement I feel when I’m on social media.
Somewhere in the middle of that, I chose to tweet on the #7in10forRoe tag related to the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. It was a pretty basic tweet, but it ended up retweeted by NARAL and Huffington Post (their ‘women’ account, I believe). Which then brought many more favorites than I’m used to, and a few new followers. Yes, I’m on social media in part to interact with others, but coupled with everything else it just struck me as … weird.
Apparently, despite writing a public blog, and maintaining two public twitter accounts, I’m really not comfortable with public social media interactions. It was a good reminder that there are people (like me) behind these accounts, but also that sometimes the people behind those accounts act like giant assholes. Did I include 2 Do in my first tweet in the hopes of getting a response? Definitely. Although for once I wasn’t trying to shame a company who fucked up – and yet I ended up getting treated poorly all the same. Not sure what the lesson for me here is, other than maybe it’s time to cool it with the #ing and the @ing for a spell.
Or not. Something might REALLY piss me off tomorrow.