In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t blog or tweet or do almost anything on the internet or social media to make money, get thousands of followers, have every tweet retweeted or become famous. I do it because through blogging and tweeting and all that jazz, I found out there are some AMAZING people out there who I never would have “met” without social media and the interwebs. People who can be my friends, my mentors, my sounding boards, my personal chefs, my gif providers and my drinking buddies.
Despite having never met most of these people IRL, they interact with me, reply to my comments, have full-on twitter conversations with me and stop by to read blog entries like this one. These smart, funny and entertaining people, regardless of how many followers they have or how “big time” they might be, still take time out to connect with me and hundreds or thousands of other people (who they also haven’t met) on an individual basis because that’s what social media and the internet is all about for us.
All those lovely people make my day, every day. But then there’s the flip side. The people who use social media to “get theirs” and, no matter how well they disguise it, are determined to only let a few people in to their not-as-hilarious-as-they-think-it-is inner circle of social media. These are the people who “embrace” social media by turning it into a high school clique where only some kids are cool enough to warrant a reply.
They are also the people who will do whatever it takes to get a laugh, a retweet, a favorite, or a follow, even if that means stealing other people’s tweets. I see it in my timeline every day, a funny tweet and then later, the same funny tweet with no credit given to the original jokester. It happened yesterday to my brother and I’ve seen it happen to a lot of other equally funny (seriously @petebeat is hilarious) but slightly more famous twitter users. I’m not saying we can’t all try to be funny on the internet, I’m just saying if you see something funny and you want to share it, give a little credit.
I find it especially infuriating when these people are those who champion social media and the internet as a great connection tool and, even, have careers based on the interaction that social media creates and encourages. Isn’t it going against all the things that you preach when you steal a tweet, or ignore all the @replies from people you’ve deemed unworthy? Isn’t it hypocritical to demand credit for everything you do on the internet but not give that courtesy to others, even if it’s just a silly joke?
I’m not writing this to get sympathy comments or anything, I’m just filled with RAGE most of the time and writing this seems like an appropriate alternative to stabbing people. I also know that it might sound like this is just coming from the bruised ego of an outcast at Internet High School or maybe a place of jealousy, but really it’s not me these hypocrites are hurting (because I’m awesome), it’s social media itself. Every time they ignore someone who thought they’d built a rapport with them or steal somebody’s tweet, it just creates another outlet for tunnel-vision, cliques and ignorance rather than what social media is meant to be: a big internet party with hipster cats, Ryan Gosling memes, someecards, ranty blog posts and friendships based on a shared love of those things.
I don’t care who you are, or what kind of fake social media superlative you give yourself (I’m pretty sure real ninjas are trying to come up with a new brand since theirs has been disgraced), or how busy you might be (cough::auto-DMs::cough), repeatedly ignore the basic premise behind social media and all it’ll get you is a big, fat unfollow from me.