Dear Internet (A Call to Socially Mature)

To all my friends on the internet – Facebook, Twitter, fantasy sports and the like, we need to have a talk…

That intro sounds a lot like a break up. A bad break up. Like when you were in 7th grade and you had your friend tell your boyfriend/girlfriend, “It’s over.” Reliving that is ugly. Sorry if I just took you back to a bad place in Junior High.

It’s not a break up, I love you all very much; it’s admonishment, an encouragement.

I took a brief hiatus from Facebook back in April after my wife decided to take a break. She was the brave one, quitting on her birthday. The day we all look forward to getting oodles of notifications from people we rarely talk to wishing us a happy day. Admit it, you love it. I do.

Anyhow, I followed my wife’s brave lead into the unknown.

We both came back in the middle of June feeling refreshed from the social R&R. We returned to Charlotte’s World Wide Web because our friends are there, and we like our friends. It’s great being able to connect with friends in Colorado, Missouri and literally across the globe (my brother was in Cambodia). Yet here I am feeling bombarded by the “Blah” of  internet overload again.

I realized we are not becoming mature Social Network users. We share about ourselves without asking about others. We have two internet mouths and no internet ears. So I compiled a short list of minor pet-peeves.

These may not all apply to you, and I am certainly guilty of some them. Let’s fire’em up, bullet point style!

  • The Meme (These are fine, but can we limit them to one a week? Unless it’s this guy.)
  • Food Photos (Once again, let’s limit them to once a week until they enable a “smell” app so we can all take a whiff.)
  • Duck Face (Stop. Now.)
  • Baby Photos (In my face. Sick burn! I do love seeing your kids grow up though!)
  • Updates About Nothing (No explanation needed)
  • Users who do not “like,” comment, update or…anything. What are you doing on here!?!

I’m sure there are more, but I’d rather know what yours are. (P.s. Please share what your social pet-peeve is in the comments!)

Here’s what I’d like to imagine: Our future social network experience. The time when we are invested in each others’ lives. When we click ‘like’ and really mean it. If a friend has a band/company/idea we buy their product, attend their events, and share their page with others who might like their work. Our updates are not meaningless, repetitive, or irrelevant but speak to the shared interests of your network; sharing news and information that blesses those who consume it.

This wouldn’t take a lot of work on our part, just the conscious decision to invest in our friends’ social adventures. More bullets!

  • Read an article? Share it! I, personally, read nearly every article posted by my friends. I especially appreciate if you wrote it. 
  • Had a great eating or drinking moment? Tell us how, where, and why! I want to taste those delicious flavors as well.
  • Please share the monumental moments of your/your child’s life. I love to hear those victories, and I’m sure your friends do too. Let’s rejoice with those that rejoice.
  • If you saw a movie or heard an exciting song let us know. I want to enjoy good culture too! There is no way that I could listen to every song or watch every movie and T.V. show, however, if you find one that is quality please do tell. Nothing is worse than buying an $8 ticket to a bad movie, or paying $9.99 for an album with only one good song.

Facebook is now 9 years old (Twitter is 7) and since Moore’s Law states that technology doubles every two years, based on a 2 to 1 year ratio (like dog years are 7 to 1), that makes Facebook 18 years old. That is about the time that parents will sit their child down and give them a “Your responsibilities as an adult” speech of encouragement. It’s not comfortable for either side. Though it is necessary.

God knows that as soon as I post this I will do something “Social Networky” immature (most likely post another baby pic, she’s just so gosh darn cute!), so please forgive me as I improve. I’m committed to doing my part to promote a continually improving internet experience for you, my internet friends. Would you do the same for me?

But seriously…This guy! -> 

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