Facebook may be "The Social Network," but what is facebook without its users? The people, the society, are the true social network. Facebook, is just one way that we connect with each other socially. People use youtube, twitter, blogs, and a variety of other sites and services to stay in touch and try to "connect" with each other. And sometimes this is annoying.
One of the problems with social media is that it makes it a lot easier to bug people on a larger scale. Do you know how many times I have been invited to play Farmville? Me neither, but it is a lot. At first, this was a little annoying, but thank goodness I can block Farmville requests if I want, so really it shouldn't be that bothersome. And honestly, I find it a little obnoxious that whenever there is a football game on, my facebook feed is filled with status updates giving me a play by play of the game. But really, why should that upset me? My friends are sharing something that is exciting to them, and I am a part of it! It's actually kind of cool that, although I would never go to a football game or party, I can still share in the joy and anguish my fellow man is experiencing online.
And sometimes people really need your help. I am always amazed at how few people are willing to take one minute to help someone else out. Whenever someone posts that they need votes for something, I always take the time to give them a click. Even if it's someone I barely know, my taking a few seconds out of my otherwise time-wasting activities can really make a big difference to someone else! A while back I even devoted a whole blog to my friend Kristin's tea video, asking people to like it on youtube. It seemed the least I could do. I mean, if her video wins, she could win a job! This is no small thing! How could you not at least like her video for her?!
It's funny, but when I decided to really do this blog thing I sent out a request to every one of my facebook friends, asking them to "like" me on facebook. I sent the request personally to over 600 people, and 20 of them said yes. All they had to do was to click "like." It wouldn't have cost them anything, and they would not have been spammed by anything in any way, and yet almost nobody did it. Crazy, right? I mean, maybe they don't really like me, or they hate blogs, or they have carpal tunnel syndrome and one more click might put them over the edge? I don't know, but it seems odd to me that we can't take three seconds out of our day to support each other. I am up to 39 likes on facebook now though, so maybe I shouldn't complain.
What got me thinking about all of this was my good friend J Bitner's recent request for help to win a supremely awesome prize. All he needs is votes to win a Superbowl party, complete with gigantic television and home theater system! Literally, if enough people click on his stuff, he wins! A no-brainer! I immediately clicked in all three places to vote for him, as I would have done for any of my online friends. But then I thought about how many of his friends would not do this for him, and I felt moved to write this post. If we truly want to be a social network, let's try and support our friends in their endeavors. I'm not saying you have to sign up for Farmville, but give your friends a click now and then. It means a lot to them, and takes almost nothing from you.
P.S. - You can still like Kristin's video if you are so moved, and J's video can be liked in three places:
and Here (you need to "like" gramophone before you can "like" J's video).
UPDATE: Because people were asking, you can get to Tenor Dad on facebook here.