Social Network Muchity

Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, Websites, LinkedIN, Email, Text, Facebook, Phone Calls, Voicemails, Evite, Fax, Skype, iChat, USPS, Fedex, and now… Google+. Seriously? How many avenues do we need to contact and keep in touch with people? It’s too much. We really aren’t as elusive as we like to think we are. I find the best way to reach someone is either text or call. Calling is more intimate, and it’s instant gratification. I admit it’s pretty amazing. Our technology IS amazing. BUT… when is it ever going to be enoughhhhh?

OK. I love being in touch with people. I admit to loving my alone time, but after a while, I want some interaction. And I’ve met some really cool friends, clients and contemporaries through social networking avenues. But C’MON! How many do we need? Really. I have so many links to reach people I don’t even know what to do with. I’m trying to manage them as fast as I can, but it’s a little much. And the funny thing is, with all this contact, sometimes you still don’t hear back from people. I stayed off Facebook for a year and only signed back up recently to have an Artist Page. If we’re talking REAL friends, let me say that the majority of “friends” I had listed on FB have never contacted me since. Now, since I don’t have a personal profile set up on FB, there are many things I can’t do on there. While I love posting comments and liking people’s statuses and pics, it’s fine with me that I can’t anymore because now it’s NOT a time-suck. I even got off of twitter because besides the news and an occasional new follower (that would generally stop following me if I didn’t follow them back), it really only connected me with a few new people that actually made a difference in my life. I’m griping again, aren’t I?

Well… the thing is… it’s taking so much effort and time away from my creating art and running my business that it’s turning what should be a cool thing of keeping in touch with people into a sense of “but if you don’t keep up with technology, then you won’t be in touch with ALL these people!” Really? Because I’m in touch with most of those that I need to be. There are a few I wish I were in touch with, but that’s my fault. Every once in a while I’ll hear from an old friend or client and it’s wonderful! I love time apart because it lets me miss people! There is some country song that has the lyrics “how can I miss you if you never go away?” I have always been like this. When a song or a band gets too popular, I stop liking it. I feel like all the hype and buying into it kind of jades it out. I have issues.

I DO enjoy texting. In fact, I’m rather good at it and quick. I make some people uncomfortable because I text too much too fast and I’m a big flirt as well. And my humor is lost on most people in my texts, which is a bummer. So, I’ve scaled back on my texting. I was addicted to Facebook when I had a personal profile and realized it wasn’t a healthy thing for me. I’d take a break from painting (usually shooting for about 15 minutes) and I’d look up from my FB app on my phone and over an hour had gone by instantly. I took back my time with that. It’s been a good thing. I stopped tweeting because, I mean, really. Who really cares what I’m tweeting about? And I’ve finally caught back up with emails. It used to take me weeks to reply to someone. In fact, when I was addicted to other social media, I hadn’t replied to some emails for almost A YEAR! That was crazy. Capital ‘C’ CRAZY. Thank God a few of those people who had contacted me hadn’t really been “waiting” and were happy to hear from me- even if it did take me over 300 days to reply.

So now I blog when I have art news. And I journal here because I need to vent and I just like the feeling of typing. (Yes, I am a nerd at heart.) And I post stuff on Facebook to spread the news, send out invites, give gratitude for support, and share images and other artist’s websites I think people might like.

But this new google+? Is it trying to compete with Facebook? Do we really need to connect to the same people on another channel? Again? I’m a little confused about it. I don’t really have that much to say, do you? I mean… maybe I don’t have as many friends to truly keep up with as other people, but the ones I have I am in touch with and I like not already knowing everything they are up to. That way when I see them in person it’s all fresh and we can interact “old school”. Jesus. Does this mean I’m getting old? Perhaps I will always be a romantic at heart.

I miss running to my mailbox waiting for love letters… or pen-pal letters from over seas. I miss the time in between being in touch because it was MY time and when I finally got that anticipated letter or phone call… it sent a thrill through my whole body. I enjoy anticipating emails. I enjoy the instant gratification of it too. I enjoy texting (when the other person is fun to text with) and even Facebook link ups. I can only enjoy so much of that stuff though before I need real life human contact.

Did you know that even some galleries are going totally paperless now? Its not to save the environment, its to cut back on costs. They only contact mailing lists virtually. It’s a visual art world, people. Not everything translates electronically. We won’t be getting any more beautiful invitation cards in the mail anymore. What in the world will people hold in their hands at their mailboxes? Bills? Gross. What will they post on their fridge now? Some of my best art collectors have saved and framed my art postcards I’ve mailed out. I’m not stopping my mailings. I think there is something to be said for classic letter writing and announcements. There are some things that will be completely lost on our new generations. What a shame.

Blah blah blah. People have said it’s just about “managing” yourself. And time. Perhaps. Maybe the invitation to join Google+ just struck a chord because I’m only just now finally getting my email art list sorted out and vamped (thanks to the amazing folks at My Emma). Can’t technology give me a little breaky-poo? One thing at a time, please. I don’t want to get black listed again or assumed my art news is spam. That has been a royal pain in my ass. But I’m trying again in a fresh new way to stay connected to my mailing list. Technology makes it easy as well as hard. I can’t socially network any faster or longer than I already am. I’m going to get left behind if I don’t hire someone to tweet for me, huh? One person to FB, tweet and blog for me. I see how it is. Google+ has a new thing called ‘Circles’ to only interact with those ‘clicks’ that you want. I guess there is privacy in that. But still. Circles? It’s like high school. And I was a snob in high school. I wanted OUT and was only friends with the coolest of people. If I’m not in someone’s special “circle” now, am I going to feel left out? Am I going to leave someone out? Thats a lot of responsibility. I don’t even want to go back to those days. And circles make me think of rings. Are the social networks competing to be the Lord of the Rings? One social network to rule them all? I dunno… I was enjoying it but now I feel a little burned out on all of it again. I’m trying to keep up, but I feel a little like I’m butter spread too thin over toast. The social networking options are making me feel scattered, smothered and covered. We need it simple. Wouldn’t that be nice? I know it’s just complicated right now because we are moving into something better, but for now, it’s a little muchity. Everyone I know admits to a love/hate relationship with their social media networking. Most love it more than hate it though. What if we could check in to one big click of a network, see all this crap we are looking for and then simply sign off and get back to real-time life stuff?

That said, I’m signing off for now. Time to get some of my real-time stuff done.

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One Response to Social Network Muchity

  1. Update: I have to laugh. As of this afternoon, FB won’t allow me to reply or like any comments my fans leave on my wall anymore. I guess I’m being punished and restricted by going on this rant earlier today & refusing to create a personal profile again. If I end up with another personal profile… there is no telling how well I’d manage it. Once an addict, always an addict? Why is this even an issue? I’ve spent too much time considering this. Clearly. This comment will serve as the last of my social network complaints. There are more important things to think about.

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