Thursday, October 6, 2011

Social Media Mean Girling

There are times when I wonder if social media has basically recreated middle school with all of its insecurities and self-doubt for us.  It's come up in conversation several times lately. Social media is meant to help us all be "social". It should make us feel more loved and included, right? Then how come so often, it doesn't.

The obvious example of this is Klout scores. I'd like to say that I'm evolved and secure enough that I never check my Klout score, but that would be a ridiculous lie.  Of course I check my Klout score.  The past week or so it's been going up but I'm fairly certain that's because I attended some Fusion events and a couple of cool kids with crazy Klout scores replied to a tweet. In the past it's gone down by a point and I've seriously found myself panicking slightly and wondering what I did wrong..... and I don't even really understand what Klout measures! I have three university degrees and I'm threatened by Klout Perks marked "Sorry, this perk is open to other influencers".  Why am I disappointed about not getting free Axe? I hate Axe and generally judge people who wear it.

Some of you might be saying "Don't you mean high school?" but no, in high school I had lots of friends; I found my spot.  If there were "Mean Girls" in high school I generally didn't notice (other than one I really didn't like who wound up living in the same University residence but that's another story) as I was too busy with clubs, activities and friends I actually liked.  I was busy and engaged. It was middle school where I felt all out of sorts.  Girls were your friends one day and then weren't inviting you to their sleepover the next ("My mom says I can only invite three people and you're the fourth"). Social markers seemed to change overnight as everyone hit puberty.  Middle school was awkward.

Someone recently described Klout as a bit like getting your spelling test back every week in Middle School.  I would say that social media in it's combined form sometimes feels like getting your spelling test back at the same time as choosing teams for soccer baseball.

Ever watch a group of people tweet all about an activity that only they can attend? Ever wonder if your comment on someone's photo wasn't as funny on facebook as it was in your head?  Ever pause to decide whether someone will think you're forward for adding them on Linked In when you met them for seconds (But people really do seem to do that! Is Linked In secretly the world's biggest popularity contest?)?

Since moving back to Canada two years ago I've realised how hard it can be to develop meaningful relationships once you stop being a student.  Making friends as an adult is HARD! Just because you work with people doesn't mean you have anything else in common.  Should you meet people with whom you share common interests who's to say they're particularly interested in expanding their social group?  Plus there are all those lovely folks out there who have adorable little ones.  The little ones are wonderful, sure, but it does tend to mean that spontaneous get togethers are out of the question. There are times when it all conspires to plunk you right back into grade 5/6 when life started getting complicated and you had to start wearing a bra.

Tonight is Fashion Forward here in Saint John.  Many of you know I've been excited about it for works.  One of the major reasons I'm excited (ok besides the word FREE) is that Bestie is coming down for the event.  Lately I feel like I've been to way too many events where I had to go solo.  Even though I'd know people when I got there, there is something disconcerting about having to walk in by yourself no matter how old you get.  So next time you're at an event look around and find someone standing alone to talk to.

Good opening line "I love your.... " For me it's usually shoes.  I do love shoes! 


Katie said...

Really appreciate your honesty in this one Leigh-Ellen :)

Heather said...

LOVE This post Leigh-Ellen, It's like you took the words right out of my head!!

Ryder Wrong said...

I've gotta say, you are one awesome lady for writing this! You are smart, funny, honest and on the money! It was so great to meet you last night. I hope we get to hang out again :)

Ryder Wrong said...

Oh, btw, if the picture and derby alias are throwing you off, it's Pam, Emma's friend.