As you can see I no longer write very much in this journal. In the past I used it as an open diary of my daily discoveries, experiences, thoughts and opinions.
While I still like to express myself through writing, I find I must be much more cautious now. The reason is that what one writes can and most probably will affect them in the real world now. Corporations, co-workers, HR and most likely your boss will check the internet for information for the first interview and most certainly if they decide to hire. Instead of the internet being a place where one can freely express themselves it has turned much more into an all seeing big brother who wants to snoop on you.
This wouldn’t really bother me if it were only my friends but “social” has now spread forcefully into work life as well. Only two years ago most companies really didn’t know what to do with social media and put vague restrictions on it. Now, there is a push to have employees become social for business reasons.
It is not Facebook so much as it is LinkedIn. I do not feel uncomfortable with this but find it weird that anyone can simply look you up and learn very much about you just by visiting a profile. This unease really came to me when I noticed the “see who has viewed your profile,” and saw there were plenty of people checking me out on a weekly basis.
I’ve always been a first adopter of technology and especially various movements on the internet. To prove this, out of all the people I know (in my FB network) I was the second to sign up. Only one Ivy League HS classmate beat me to it. Now I’d like to continue this trend by pulling back a bit and becoming a bit Antisocial.
Of course Antisocial to me simply means pulling back and deciding not to post every single idea that pops into my head.
Socially: In case you hadn’t noticed, going on Facebook now means receiving political instruction and which politician sucks, a bit of life advice, directions on what to do or what not to do when interacting with the poster and if we’re lucky a short snippet on how great Jesus is.
I for one have decided to post only beautiful pictures regularly and perhaps a witty saying or two from time to time.
My FB network breaks down like this:
80% – Voyeurs – These people never post. Most of them just check out others profiles but it also may be many do not use FB much at all
10% – Constant posters – These are the 8 posts a day people. Anything that that happens no matter how mundane will be posted about. Recently I read “Enjoying my morning coffee than going to take a dump.” The poster of this proclamation is quite comfortable sharing his every move!
Isn’t it like these folks are creating their own Truman Show? Remember that movie how Jim Carey realizes his entire life is a TV show? Isn’t posting everything a bit similar?
10% – Occasional posters – No explanation necessary.
Business: Us old Netizens realize that once business has conscripted an internet movement, the fun is definitely over. Yes yes, I realize LinkedIn is a great way to network and build up a great variety of contacts. When used properly and with enthusiasm it can actually make one very successful.
The problem I see is that everyone and their mother are trying to be successful on LinkedIn and one of the main ways this is done is by becoming an “information center.” Now I have a very big portion of my network jamming my newsfeed with “important information!”
I subscribe to three magazines I very much like and often I don’t have time to read all of those. Why on earth would I want to read all of this “important information” on my LinkedIn feed when 99% of it is stuff I really don’t care about? Besides, this information is being shoved before me, not requested by me. And if I wanted to know, I would just find the answer on Google in .5 seconds.
In summary, I think we as a society are riding the social train a bit too enthusiastically at the moment. Social networks are new and just like a new toy are being played with a bit too much at the moment.
My prediction is that there will come a time in the next few years where people start to become a bit more Antisocial. This should occur first on FB where people will realize they should not just spout off about politics, religion and whatever else they wouldn’t bring up so easily in real life. Secondly it should occur in LinkedIn. Right now LinkedIn is an open door where any stranger can walk in, have a long look around and walk away with your career. LinkedIn is going to have to put some privacy restrictions on there.
Finally there is the worst which is Twitter which I have never understood. My image of twitter is a massive mob of neurotic patients with their faces constantly buried in their cellphone screen who become distracted by every beep ping and buzz.
Even the news is now quoting Twitter. The caption seems to be along these lines:
So and so SAID SOMETHING!
That is what the headline translates to in my brain. Now, we have a gazillion so and sos’ SAYING SOMETHING on a daily basis and the common person really wants to know everything so and so said!
As I listen to this beautiful piece by Arvo Part I am peacefully reminded that we start everyday with a blank slate of possibilities. We can be whatever we choose and create whatever type of life we desire. For me, this involves a lot of introspection and a firm grasp of who I am.
I find this peace, the quieting of the mind quickly slips away if I involve myself too much with the hordes demanding that I be social and pay attention to not only what they said, but what so and so said as well. Yes, I am going Antisocial and am sure that given time others will follow.