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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

No Facebook, No Biscayne Hooker Report and the other joys of social media

Last night I was hailed by a long time acquaintance at Publix in Miami Shores.  "Hey I want to read your Biscayne Hooker Reports."  Now granted, I never dreamed that an occasional paragraph about the latest fashions and happenings of the "Women of the Night" in my neighborhood would warrant a "shout out" at my local supermarket, but in a sick way I was pleased.  Lately the Hooker Report has gotten me into a bit of a snit with certain church ladies who have "self selected" themselves out of my life. 

I asked if he was on Facebook, he said "no not really". 

My answer to him: "no Facebook, no Hooker Report."

Of course it got me thinking about social media in general, and to those people who "opt out" of the whole phenomenon.  I am an avid user of social media and I understand it's power. However I never expected to called out in my grocery store about "the hookers!" that are on my Facebook page. Nor did I expect to end a personal friendship in the real world, by my activities in my cyber one. Far more often it's the other way around. 

I think about those people who choose to eschew social media because "they're too busy" or "it seems like a waste of time." They may be concerned about their privacy or some other such foolishness.  These are the people that still send jokes or say "hi" via a very clogged email system.  Worse, they might even call me on the phone for a chat.  If you want to chat with me, just send me a message on Facebook, because like my snail mail, I only check my personal email box a few times a week. Better yet, send me a text. As far as privacy is concerned, what's the point. Marketers know where I live, what I make and where I spend my money. If the government is interested in my doings, I doubt seriously I could do anything about it. 

The beauty of social media is that unlike email, snail mail, or phones is that it's a passive medium, just like TV. You can pick and choose what you want to read, respond to or who to communicate with. If you ignore a posting nothing happens, but there is a social risk when you ignore a call, letter, email or text. For the latter you ignore them at your own peril. However, if you want to read about Jenny's dogs, Mike's political rantings, or Kirk's opinions on street walkers it's all there for you to see, or not. It's like those people back in the 90's who proudly proclaimed that they "didn't have a TV" and couldn't laugh at cultural references like "soup nazi" or "we were on a break" are the same people who don't understand the significance of "honey badgers" (my own animal totem) and "shit abuelas say". Yet at the same time spout their "superiority" for not being on social networking sites. How superior can you be, when social networking is the front line of democracy for Arabs, Chinese and women fighting for their rights?

I mean really, what do you do when you're not social networking? Working? Not even the busiest person can fill a 40 hour work week with just work.  Exercising?  No, I believe those people who are not "into" social networking are doing what we all did online before Facebook: watching porn and shopping. 

To ignore this new phase of human interactivity and endeavor you do so at your own peril. There's old 20th century adage: "the end of the world will be televised", but in this century you'll read about on Facebook first.  So if you're missing the Biscayne Hooker report, send me a friend request......or not.