Personal Blog 1: I Do Not Exist
One of the many reasons why I chose to take this particular class is because I have very little knowledge pertaining to social media. Not only that, I am not very technologically savvy either. I just bought my first new computer in over eight years, I only recently started texting for the first time on a phone so old it has no internet access (which I have dubbed my “dumb”-phone), and I have absolutely no social media presence. I get by just fine this way. Why over complicate an already complicated life with unnecessary hindrances? Yet, I can’t help but think an entire world exists out there that I have absolutely no part of. When it comes to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., I do not exist.
In “If You Don’t Exist On Social Media… You Don’t Exist. Period!”, Ash Roy takes my figurative cyberspace absence and turns it into a literal real world dilemma. The author mainly describes how businesses don’t exist without a social media outlet, but he also goes on to say:
“As an individual you need to have a LinkedIn account if you want a complete identity in the corporate world. Apply for a job and you can be almost certain that the recruiting manager will check you out on LinkedIn. Hell, she might even even check you out on Google to look for any quirks (usually exposed via indiscreet Facebook status updates) in your personality outside of office hours that could present a problem as an employee!”
I have been able to get jobs just fine without a Facebook or LinkedIn profile, but I completely get the idea. We live in a digital age, whether I want to or not. If I don’t succumb to the pressures of creating such social media accounts, perhaps I could have less of a chance of landing a job one day. Dr. Robin MacKillop illustrates this perfectly in “If You Do Not Have An Online Presence, You Do Not Exist”. Still, I am a firm believer in real face to face interviews and the portraits the potential employers paint in their head of my character and worth. A human resources representative can get a vague idea of a person’s work history by googling them, but it takes actual eye contact and conversation to pick the right candidate for a position. Nonetheless, the ‘social’ aspect of social media can be a little discomforting when you are technologically inept like myself.
Every single one of my friends has a social media presence. All of them have a Facebook account, some also use Twitter, Instagram, etc. Even my parents use Facebook. When people ask how to find me on the social media giant, I am almost ashamed when I explain to them that I don’t use Facebook. I am fine without using it, but their reactions make me feel awkward and as if I am doing something wrong. I tried Facebook a few years ago and I hated it. I have friends. I talk to them and hang out with them on a regular basis. I meet new people in real places. I felt I had no need for Facebook. Upon creating my account, people I hadn’t spoken to in years were suddenly my Facebook friends. It was nice to catch up and all, but with the risk of sounding course and robotic, I didn’t really care what these people were doing with their lives. They were not my real friends. They were more or less old acquaintances whom now I suddenly knew what they were listening to on the way to work. If Facebook didn’t exist, I would have forgotten all about them. Furthermore, I got the impression that most of the updates I was receiving were basically just self-indulgent and vain. I finally deleted my account after a couple of months when I couldn’t stomach another picture of somebody’s dinner or someone at the gym. Facebook just wasn’t for me. Still, for some reason I can’t help but long for that digital world I didn’t particularly care for. Facebook has become such a hugely popular thing that it is more normal to have a profile than to not.
“If You’re Not On Facebook, You Don’t Exist” explains this longing I have to be part of the digital world I am absent from, yet it also goes on to say that I am not a psycho for not having a Facebook. It’s simply my choice. It didn’t do anything for me. A plethora of people love Facebook and check it every day (an ex-girlfriend of mine checked her updates nearly every hour). It’s great that people have found something they love so much and a new way to stay connected to people. I wasn’t trying to put down the social networking site, it is actually a pretty great human achievement if you think about it. However, for me, I am already connected to the people I care about and could care less if a potential employer can’t find me on LinkedIn. Regardless of how I feel about Facebook on a personal level, I do believe the social media site and others like it can be used as powerful tools for social and political change, like I am learning so far in our assigned readings. So, I do hope to learn the ropes of some of these online places I have been neglecting over the years; I just won’t be creating a personal Facebook account again any time soon.
Is anyone else in class as far behind as I am when it comes to social media?