The title to today’s post began a few months ago as a working title for my comedy—Social Medium: not tall, not too short, but like to talk a lot. But as I perused Facebook the other day I realized that it is, for me, what most people are doing with social media—using it only to a medium effect on society and most often using it as their medium to be seen and heard.
Saturday Night Live aired its 40th Anniversary Special Sunday night, which I didn’t get to see until Monday.* Before I did, I saw a myriad of criticisms about the show and its lacking. I still liked the show, the haters didn’t ruin it for me. Why did they not just have fun?
I saw a story on Huffington Post that featured a Twitter fight between celebrities. I haven’t been able to find the story in my browser history to reproduce it here, but what struck me about it was all of the hashtags, retweets and abbreviations that proliferated this conversation really made humans look ridiculous. If observed by aliens. And if so, and they’ve been waiting, this might be the time where they blast us to oblivion because we just need to be “gotten rid of.”
I would imagine they would be monitoring our electronic signals from afar and so stuff like tweets and posts and OMG this blog! is what they’d see. They’d see that there’s not intelligent life here and they’d just put us out of our misery like a poor animal on its last leg. They probably couldn’t register any value in cute cat videos. They’d see that we can’t talk to each other in complete sentences, don’t want to talk to each other in person, yet don’t want to let each other be if we don’t agree. We have no respect for each other, so why should some alien show us any respect when this planet could be saved, cleaned, and used as a resort destination. There’s lots of water if someone just cleaned the pool.
But then I started to think, that’s with the assumption that the aliens are smarter.
Every science fiction movie makes aliens out to have superior intelligence, but do they? What if the aliens think we’re the cool kids. If they’re the little off-green shriveled creatures Spielberg made them out to be, they must be just biding they’re time until they can do something that makes Kim Kardashian smile. They’re the geeks just waiting and learning so they can say the right thing to impress the hot chick!
Hmm. Which way could it go? Personally I still think we can clean up the language, think a little bit more about what we’re saying and doing, and throw out the garbage. But what do I know I’m just trying to write funny stuff because women like a sense of humor. I’m after the hot chick too.
For years people have speculated on the existence of life on another planet in the Universe, and what it would be like if they visited Earth, would they be friend or foe. And I think they might be right under our nose. They are the young celebrities. Think about it. Just like all great science fiction movies, we think they’re cute and harmless and then they destroy the planet. The only thing is, how much time do we have?!
I’ve been trying to figure out why people are so fascinated with the celebrities that are famous for being celebrities. Why is Kim Kardashian so famous, admired and popular? Because she’s luring us in. As are Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and a host of up and coming youngsters on YouTube who are endearing our young people, making them idolize and mimic the actions of these individual’s (and I use that term loosely) attitudes, style and dress and them KABLAM they take over the planet. They steal what little natural resources we have and fly off into outer space in the ships that are hidden in the basements of The Gap and Old Navy. If you don’t believe me about that fact, just tell me how many times you’ve asked the sales clerk if they had any more of your size than was on display and they said “they’d look in back” but always came up empty-handed? That’s because it’s sealed off and they know that, but any kid knows that any excuse to get off the sales floor is to be taken advantage of.
And look at what these celebrities and non-celebrities are famous for. First of all, they all have great gobs of money and jewelry and expensive cars and shoes and it’s like swinging a shiny object in front of the youth of America, thinking they can have it. It’s no accident that these talents (again I use the term loosely) have come along when the economy has been in poor condition. Second, they don’t stand for anything or seem to have a point of view so there you go, more of the population to attract to their web. And lastly, they are all masters of modern technology, social media and trending—and everyone knows from all sci-fi that the aliens might be shorter but they have far bigger brains and are really quite intelligent. Case in fact—the whole Miley Cyrus thing was to make it look like she was a crazy Twerker but it was just because there was so much about the NSA and the hacking of our privacy they wanted to make sure no one would dig where they shouldn’t.
Cause that’s how it’s gonna happen. Not with some giant lasers but from one single tweet. These folks have loosely based themselves on real talent because they know that people love stars and when they amass just the right amount of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and blog followers, they’ll just know where to strike. And we’ll all stupidly open some link like we can’t resist a cat video and we’ll be lulled to sleep.
And they’ll be off with what’s left of valuable stuff here on planet Earth and we’ll be sitting on a big rock that’s got a little bit of mud and leftover Twinkies cause enough people hoarded them and they last forever.
I have wanted to make this blog more about entertaining than baring my soul, I’d rather make you laugh than feel sorry for me or find comfort that someone else is feeling what you’re feeling. But maybe, just maybe there is someone out there who can relate to my troubles—and we’ll help each other. I’m talking about, of course, the rash of trending postings on social media where you’re told which photo should melt your heart.
Please, I beg of you, click on the link above! Number 12 did not melt my heart. Since they weren’t numbered I made sure and counted and looked twice. But it was my least favorite.
What is wrong with me? Why am I seeing things differently than all others? This keeps happening. I pick the wrong cat, I pick the wrong baby, I PICK THE WRONG MUPPET!
And obviously, if I’m being told by the media, which knows everything and everyone and how people feel because they pay attention to everyone and would never try to sway anyone because that would be irresponsible journalism, than I am wrong.
Is there anyone out there who understands? Bloggers-I have commented when I knew you were hurting. I’ve tried to help. Is there anything you can say to me?
Does anyone think that Number 14 with Number 3 running a close second melts your heart?
Because I don’t know what to do? Should I stop looking at all of these social media pieces because I’ll always get them wrong? If I’m getting those wrong am I also misunderstanding the people that send me the emails where I can keep the rest of the money after I send them my personal check after receiving their funds? My God, have I had it wrong for 20 years and all those people that buy lottery tickets everyday by the dozens are really rich?
Please dear reader, I beg of you. Take pity on me and lead me down the right path.
WARNING: I may sound like an old man here. I’m not sure, but I thought I’d give you the opportunity to skip this blog and return tomorrow. But if you are in your 20s and 30s and agree, I’d also really love to hear from you. I’m putting this out late on a Saturday night so only the hard core followers might read it or the bloggers like me that have no social life.
Social media is such a necessary part of my work as a web designer and writer, yet it goes so against the grain of how I was raised and developed as a professional entertainer. It’s just this close (insert tiny space between thumb and forefinger held closely together) to feeling as fake as if I’d ever gotten a toupee.
Because—I go under the assumption that no one cares that much about me. I’m really happy that people read my blog, but that’s all I could want. I don’t expect them to care what restaurant I’m at, my thoughts, I meant tweets, on each and every incident in the world, or whether I’m experiencing an emoticon.
I was raised, and by raised I mean listened to overweight or over-lived men who were the mentors in a magic group I was in as a teenager. I mean raised in the professional sense. These guys had worked the bar and the nightclub scene in Chicago, so they knew late nights and how to have a killer act that would shut up drunks. And that’s no small feat. These guys lived by the motto “always leave them wanting more” which is entirely counter intuitive to the idea of social media whose motto is “exhaust the f*ck out of them with all your useless thoughts and behaviors.”
And then there’s how I was raised by my dad, and mom, really, not to complain. Not to air out dirty laundry in public. So I’m mystified by the notion that people feel better airing out things on Facebook and Twitter. I sort of get when celebrities do it, or I should say I just assume it’s to get attention. But how regular people can say things about their family, their friends, their job and think that’s ok, just—escapes me. Do they check to know that the people won’t see it? Are they too chicken to say anything in person? Should a breathalyzer be installed on everyone’s laptop, pad and mobile device?
I like the idea of Facebook. I joined when it first started and it seemed kind of cool to get in touch with people you hadn’t seen. And it’s worked out for me to get the word out about my shows and now my writing. Maybe I just need to let people be the way they are and not let it get to me. Let them use it the way they use it and I’ll use it the way I use it. Check in once a day or so and just skim. Get in the game but don’t be ruled by the game.
And maybe I should get that toupee.