I’m Done Peopling

I’m done with social interactions for the most part. I’ve been so completely disillusioned by people over the past year or so. Online interactions are filled with vitriol and even the conversations that should be healthy and enlightening have become conflicting and bitter.

I was a huge evangelist for online engagement — having been involved in the beta tests of Twitter before they split from Odeo, having had a Facebook profile as soon as it was released from the college student limitation, and even being involved in the earliest formations of now defunct platforms such as Utterz/Utterli and Jaiku.

I’ve all but separated from Facebook due to their increasing encroachment on people’s personal lives and privacy. If not for the few pages I administer for organizations there, I’d be gone. I rarely read much on Twitter and only post there occasionally when I’ve seen something to share. Engagement is all but gone. For a platform that gave us the opportunity to talk with dozens — often hundreds — of people a day, this is now a place to read what everyone broadcasts. There is little conversation. If I actually talk to two people there a day, it’s a miracle.

New networks, like MeWe, are trying to reengage communities, but they’re just not gaining any momentum. People don’t/won’t leave Facebook — even when they’re sacrificing their privacy and personal information — because “everyone is here.” I enjoy the creativity of people on TikTok, but I don’t see that as a place where people have true conversation. It’s fancy show and tell.

Even my engagement with people in public is affected by the negativity that happens online. One cannot attempt a decent conversation without someone referring to a tweet, a post, a meme, et al. that soon becomes a dissenting voice of disagreement or conflict. I find myself biting my tongue and working outside my own personality style just so that I don’t have to get caught saying that one simple thing that’s going to set someone off.

My closest friends and relatives will say things about me — thinking that it’s quite alright to say that I have “an attitude” without any consideration of how hurt I become. They’ll say “Oh, you know Rich is going to have something to say about this” or “I can’t wait to hear how upset he gets when we mention…” Even when I’m trying to be polite and not share ANY conflicting views, they’ll perceive that I’m speaking from anger, disagreement or dissatisfaction. I can state a known factual piece of information — and they’ll respond “what do you want us to do to fix that? Or what can we do to make you happier about it?” As though I’m expecting someone to help me feel better about something I’m not even upset about (or would be)?

I’ve had moments when I’ve tried to act as a reasonable mediator to tense conversations — pointing out both the positive aspects, the misinformation, or the benefits of each side understanding the other — and I’m then judged for not taking a side — or for having the exact opposite mindset that I truly have — just because I’m willing to try to share the benefit of compromise.

And don’t get me started about how people act in public. Oh, wait — this is my journal — I will start it: I see more rude actions in people now than I’ve ever witnessed in my life. In most cases, people don’t even know they’re being rude. They’re asserting their need to get what they want, how they want, regardless of how it makes others feel or the damage they may be doing. This goes for dining out, shopping, and, of course, actions on the roadway.

I’m just done with people. For a person that is identified with Marsten‘s DISC assessment profile of Influence — and one that has the Myers-Briggs type indicator of ENFP — I find this current norm to be very painful. It causes depression, disappointment, and internal conflict.

Even in my career, I’ve found myself asking “if people don’t care about themselves and they certainly don’t demonstrate much care for others, why should I care to help them learn how to be more safe?” I’m sad that I feel this way after more than 32 years of service and while I’m approaching the last few years of this career.

Facebook is Not Your Web Site

image of Batman slapping RobinI simply don’t understand why businesses think Facebook is their “web site.”

I’ve been exploring restaurants in the town where my headquarters is located. I don’t live there, so I’m not savvy to the dining options. I have three national representatives coming in next week. We’re going to start our meeting and socialization by breaking bread on Monday evening.

I begin my restaurant exploration by opening Trip Advisor. Three restaurants in the area have completed their Trip Advisor listing with a link to a web site. When I click these links, it takes me to Facebook via the web. Of course, I’m not logged in.

Because Facebook has chosen to be stupid in how they handle visits of this type I can’t even see the business info. I am required to log in to see the business details. I close the window on EVERY one of the restaurants simply because I am required to complete extra steps I should not have to complete.

Facebook pisses me off with this practice. I’m also frustrated at the ignorance of businesses that don’t realize they are truly not sharing the info they intend to share. A person should not have to be logged in to an account to see business info.

When you run a business and do not maintain your own web presence, shame on you. Using these third party companies is a recipe for failure. When they change policies, change their format or even shutter the operation, you are left to their mercy. Why trust your business brand to this? It’s simply lazy and ignorant.

Sensitive Twitter User

I had an experience using Twitter today that I’ve never had. I’ve been using the platform since 2006. Today I responded to a post from Spotify about the 4 [sic] year anniversary of Miley Cyrus’ album, Bangerz. I noted that I didn’t care then and don’t care now. I even mentioned that I could not care less.

Obviously, a few Miley fans sent remarks, but they weren’t over-the-top or terribly vile. One fellow posted:

I thought it was funny and probably good natured, so I replied:
“I’m good with that.” I included this gif:

I was told to join the tasteless, so I thought the gif was funny. A chimpmunk eating is always funny, to me. He obviously has taste.

My accuser sent a photo back asking, “Wut?”

I provided a screen shot [seen above] of his original post as reference. I was only replying and engaging in conversation. I meant nothing mean; I didn’t intend to upset. I thought we were having a simple, very non-threatening banter.

I was informed I needed to stop harassing him. Okay, friend. My apologies. I certainly won’t respond anymore. I meant no harm. 13 years a Twitter user; lesson learned after all that time. Don’t respond if you don’t know them. I can do that.

By the way, I blocked that user. If they don’t want to interact — and I run the risk of causing them frustration — I certainly don’t want ANY opportunity for the conversation to continue. I can’t afford the negative reputation.