As a child of the 90’s, I had the fortune of growing up with the continually changing technology that has raised our present day communication far above the bar. I made a MySpace in 8th grade and rushed home after school everyday to see who posted a comment on my page. Though MySpace quickly died a tragic death for me after I found my pictures being used on another MySpace page with Spanish captions.
My brother Zach first introduced me to Facebook when it was still just a college network, but by the time I opened an account in 10th grade I was way behind the rest of my peers. Tumblr, Twitter, Skype, Oovoo, ChatRoulette, iTunes, Google Plus, etc. they all pave the paths of tomorrow’s social interactions.
I can’t say I completely understand the social etiquette of Facebook, but I’ll try to get the gist of it right. There’s a language to certain posts and responses that mean different things depending on the context of the situation.
1. Such as when your “friend” posts a status about going to the mall, “liking” it would mean you either want to go to the mall too or you like the idea of going to the mall.
2. If said “friend” was joking about something, “liking” the post would mean you’re laughing along with them.
3. When your “friend” posts a pissed off status of day-to-day troubles, “liking” it makes it seem like you’re experiencing the same thing.
4. And when a real depressing status is published, “liking” does not actually mean you like it at all. It mainly just means you’re acknowledging their misfortune or actually saying you agree with whatever they’re complaining about.
I muddle these guidelines up all the time. Honestly, there should be a “How To…” book written on how to properly respond to online interactions. I grew up with this culture, probably helped create it in some way, and I still have trouble figuring out what people mean when they “like” my status about my grandmother deciding to skydive as a bucket list wish and forgetting her parachute because of her alzheimers. Cause honestly, it they truly liked the fact that I was one less grandmother, I’d be pretty pissed off. That’s just insensitive.
My point to this long-winded exemplary blog post is that online social interactions can be misinterpreted way too easily. Maybe we should all unplug every once in a while and chat face to face. But now that I think about, I probably have never met half of my “friends” on Facebook in person.