Sucking at Social Networking


Facebook, Inc.

Yeah, I’m so not good at this social networking thing.

I have an LinkedIn account, and I’m there because it’s supposed to help you make connections with other people who might help you get a job or know someone who might connect you with someone who might know someone who might need someone who does what you do in their industry.  Or something.  I can’t handle it.  You’re supposed to be able to get recommendations from people there on work you’ve done in the past.  But when I ask people for recommendations they run screaming in the other direction.  It’s supposedly has a great job search and posting feature, but I’ve had zero luck with it.  And while I appreciate having the account, I don’t think I’m doing it right somehow and can’t make it work well for me.  I feel like a redneck hayseed who just found a piece of alien technology and is trying to figure out whether it’s a tonsil cleaner, an anal probe or something else altogether.

I have an account with Twitter, too.  Guess what?  I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with Twitter.  I can follow job accounts and I do, but they’re usually pretty generic.  I haven’t found one yet I could actually apply for.  In the meantime the most use I’m getting out of Twitter is monitoring the activities of people I know who actually have lives and do things they can update about.  Me?  Not so much.  I bust out with the occasional #5secfic update because those are fun, but for the most part?  No one cares what I have to say or what I’m doing.  “I’m sitting around imitating a manatee out of water.”  “I’m watching myself gain weight while scouring the Internet job boards and looking for free pr0n sites.”  “I’m about to go to the bathroom and, based on how I feel right now, it might be a while.”  These are not things people want to read, y’know?  Go figure.

I have a Facebook account too.  Initially, I really thought very little of it.  I joined thinking, hey, why not?  Can it hurt?  I tried to connect with my high school buddies at first, then I realized I don’t have any high school buddies, and for the love of Pete I never did.  I knew them; they knew me.  I was a loner in high school, and don’t even go by the same name.  A lot of these people have no frickin’ idea who I am or why I sent them a friend request, but they accepted anyway.  That’s weird.  But I keep (and will keep) my Facebook page because they have some cool games.  What the heck, right?

Yes, I stink at social networking.  I guess it’s because I’m not sociable.  Never have been.  These sorts of things are not for people who are introverts, melancholy and not sanguine.  I don’t fit; I’m the proverbial square peg being shoved into a round hole.  What about you?  How are you at socializing?  Are you outgoing and friendly and energized by contact?  If so, does social networking seem natural to you?  And if you’re more like me (not a hermit, but maybe more shy, reserved, introverted), do you struggle with the idea as much as I do?

Have a great weekend and God bless, all.

-JDT-

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12 thoughts on “Sucking at Social Networking

  1. Social networking on the internet isn’t really social, is it?
    Social is being out meeting people, interacting with people.

    Well, there’s truth to that. But you can still network electronically. I think being social over the InterNET (short for NETWORK) counts in the literal definition of “social networking”. But you’re right about what’s “social” in the strict sense.

    Communication is more than just words. It’s body language, it’s appearance, it’s body odour (release of pheremones and other such subconsciously released hormones and body functions). Communication through electronic means lacks many (or in most cases) all but one methods of communication. Really, the most communication one can do through electronic media is sound and picture, talking and looking. That’s not true interaction.

    Well, that’s true, I suppose. 🙂

    Sure, two people can first learn of each other through digital communication (like a chat room), but it isn’t until those two people go face-to-face that the happily-ever-after part of the relationship can begin.

    Okay, but “happily ever after” — as you well know — may not come at all, regardless of whether communication is digital or live, in person.

    I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Or maybe I’m completely wrong. But really, what are the odds of that? I ain’t the sort to be wrong.

    No, I know what you’re talking about, but I’m not sure I agree completely. Still, you have strong points. Either way, I stink at it.

  2. Social Networking has always seemed like a misnomer for me. If I am only being sociable in order to network my way to the next big thing then lets call it something more appropriate. How about hunting? Or vying for position. Maybe increasing status and worth through small talk? I know I am being unfair, it is just how it feels to me. In the past, current economic climate excluded, my best leads have come from relationships that were already in place. These are the folks that have enough knowledge of me to really know what I have to offer. They know first hand where I shine and when I shy away. I guess keeping up with social networking sites shows tenacity but most of my interviews this time around are looking for more specific qualities. I sometimes wonder if my feelings show through and that is why it doesn’t work so well for me. More likely it is that my lack of enthusiasm has led to a less zealous effort.

    Jaymie, great points. I think, however, social networking is supposed to be for more than just leveraging your next job. Leveraging contacts is certainly one use, but isn’t it also for just getting in touch with other people of similar interests to connect with them? I thought that was part of it too, but I could be completely off base. I’m not the brightest bulb on the tree in this aspect, so I’m willing to learn. I don’t like the idea of using folks JUST to get ahead, but I’m not opposed to the people I connect with being ABLE, if WILLING, to help me. Still, I’m grateful for just the chance to meet and chat with you, however fleeting that may be, and your poetry has been a blessing, so in this case, mission accomplished for me. I met someone I enjoy, and you’ve given a gift to me. 🙂

    • I think I have been corrupted by the materials I have read about how to use social networking to get a job. I should probably ask D for some better resources!

      She’s “teh awesome” and can help you, for sure. She’s a gem, no doubt.

      Now our kind of social networking I am all about! You add content to my day that brings the value up, I hope I sometimes do the same. I also treasure input from someone I have come to respect. A win win. 🙂

      I feel exactly the same way. Never a regret about meeting the folks I have through my blog, or theirs. 🙂

  3. Knyt

    I consider you a friend so at least you can network. So I say this next thing as a friend. You are such a pain in the neck in that you dont know why things do and dont happen. You have great friends cause i read you blog everyday and people talk to you and you talk to them and the bio data was a great idea. So what else are you expecting…..get on facebook and make friends….say hi to stranger and strike up convos and find out about strangers and there lives…….i am an extrovert and you are an introvert so be more of an extrovert and things will happen…..NOW GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY…..zman sends

    Being an extrovert ain’t gonna happen, but I thank you for pointing out that, through our blogging mutual interest, I’ve made several cyber-friends right here. I guess I don’t suck at ALL social networking; I just never considered blogging to BE social networking. BTW, I’m on Facebook already and don’t get it. 🙂

  4. I ride a social wave, up and down. Right now I feel pretty quiet, so I’m not on Twitter. When I feel more chatty, I’ll go back and tweet everybody’s brains out. I like being connected to people I don’t necessarily want a daily relationship with — to keep tabs on people, even if we don’t talk much. Facebook is good for that. But if I have something important to say, the first place I go is my blog, not Facebook.

    Interesting. I still haven’t figured Facebook out. No matter how I try, all I can do is go there, stare at my homepage, and then sigh and leave. What am I supposed to do there?! Someone EXPLAIN THIS CRAP TO ME!!

    Sorry, lost it there for a minute … heh. I’m all right. Really.

  5. I’m on Twitter now and have no idea what I’m doing. I barely tweet, but I do investigate the links some people post. I don’t see this changing at all, I’m just not that into it and I don’t have anything very interesting to day. I can’t imagine “tweeting” from a cell phone either. Like anyone would care I’m at the grocery store weighing bananas? Gimme a break….

    Twitter can be very addictive. Give it a fair chance and together with LinkedIn, you’ll have something powerful for recruiting going on. 🙂

    As for FB, I do use it, as you know, and it’s nice to have the option of catching up with people through the FB interface. I was active in a writer’s group at one point, and through that group met a few writers who I have “friended” and some who I would love to someday share a cup of coffee with..actually I have met one person who travelled here from England and it was fantastic. Maybe joining a group would help you to stretch those wings a little…I’m not the type of person to take a million quizzes or use a million apps, or add a zillion people as “friends” either, so maybe I’m anti-social too. These days, for the most part, I just use FB to harass my brother and sister. 🙂

    I don’t even know HOW to join groups. And even if I did, I’m not on FB enough to justify it. I friended a couple of strangers and removed them later because they either spammed me or were so different from me I couldn’t get interested in them at all.

    Now LinkedIn? That, I can tell you, is golden for me as a recruiter. I use it daily to search profiles and reach out to people to network.
    As a job hunter, it is not as fruitful, but it still does have value if you know how to use it. We’ll save that for an upcoming conversation. 🙂

    I’d love a conversation about how to use it. And how to make sure my reputation isn’t Mudd because NO ONE will recommend me. The couple of people who have did so early on, but others specifically give me “Oh, I can’t do that.” I know why one of them said so, but it still pisses me off. But … THAT’S for another conversation too. 🙂

    All of the above said, I think you don’t realize that you actually ARE quite sociable and that your blog is extremely interactive and blogging is considered social networking. So you don’t tweet much, you’re not a FB fanatic, you’re not as LinkedIn as you’d like to be…so what? You have a blog that rocks, you make us think, you make us laugh, you have a great following of people who consistently pay you a visit. Call me naive, but that seems to be quite social. 🙂

    You’re right! I love my blogulars, and they’re what make my blog rock. I guess it IS social after all. Thanks, Calliope! 😀

  6. I have taken a few personality tests, and I usually fall just barely into the introvert category. I’m almost exactly half-n-half introvert and extrovert. Is that weird or what?

    Actually, no; I think it’s really nice. A good balance. 🙂

    I have to say, I laughed out loud when I read your hypothetical tweet about probably needing a fair amount of time in the bathroom. Honestly, that’s what Twitter is all about to me. Reading about people’s mundane lives, worded in a comical or thought-provoking manner.

    Yeah, I don’t do thought-provoking too well. 🙂 I don’t think I do comical very well either. I could be in trouble on Twitter, now that I think about it.

  7. Everyone is right–your blog is a social network too. You must be somewhat social or you wouldn’t respond to comments and you wouldn’t visit other blogs.

    You’re all so interesting. I’d feel I was missing out if I didn’t visit your blogs. And not responding? Well, that’s just flat RUDE to me. I don’t get so many comments I can’t say “hello” back, y’know?

    I’ve figured out that twitter works for me to find links. I mean, I follow podcasts and such to get told when there is something new. It works well for that. FB allows me to stay in touch with (or get back in touch with) friends. And to friend people who buy my art. I didn’t really begin to have fun with FB until I started posting silly pictures of action figures. And I can post pics of the kiddo for family to see.

    I don’t have anything interesting to post there. I don’t know anyone there either, and I hear all about the ones I do being active, but man! I just … don’t get it. It seems so clear to everyone else; it’s gotta be me.

    You sound like you’re putting too much pressure on yourself to use these things a “right” way.

    Meh. I’d like to use them the right way because I believe there IS a right way, but as for pressure? Not an iota.

    And I used to be more introverted, but teaching has forced me to work through that. It took practice–and a lot of deep breaths.

    I can’t even imagine. I really can’t. Just give me my social blog and leave me in my cave at the mountaintop in peace. 🙂

  8. I don’t think twitter will be around in a year. It’s just stupid. FB is boring. I have gotten more positive input from my blog friends than I have gotten anywhere else. I know I can come here and always get a little laugh and a lot of optimism. You lift people’s spirits and make them think. You are a minister. And these are your sermons.

    Well, I don’t mean to preach, but if something I say ministers to you, Sara, I’m happy to hear that. And I’m glad to have met you and shared this writer’s journey with you; you’ve brought a little more sunshine into my life everyday. Can I have an “Amen”?

  9. I’m on Twitter and use it mostly to promote my blog especially the giveaways. I do tweet with some friends and I check out other giveaways through the tweets and links but I am not a twitter addict. I get on a couple maybe three times a week at best.

    I use it like a chat room too, mostly. Keeping in touch with friends through brief conversations. I post all my blog posts ahead of time, so I can’t really pimp my blog unless I use something like TweetLater.com.

    I visit (stalk???) my bloggy buddies more than anything else and feel that this is more personal social networking and more my style (I have a style? who knew!) since I am not limited to 140 characters.

    Hehehe … stalker, eh? 🙂 I’m discovering a LOT of people consider blogging social networking. I think I’m coming to believe that too!

    I love to comment on my favorite blogs and look forward to the comments on mine and feel totally bummed out when there is a major lacking of them.

    LOL! That’s a post I have in store for next week! 😀

    I prefer to be a hermit but can be a social butterfly when needed and not be a wall flower unless it is a function totally out of my comfort zone. Give me a BBQ or picnic and I’m good. Formal attire required and I don’t fit in. Especially me and my tattoos.

    Well, I can’t say I do any better at BBQs or picnics. Mostly I hang back, listen and observe. Just my nature I guess. Here on the ‘Net, it’s easier to be out there and meeting folks, because … well, they can’t see me, aren’t really here, and I can hide. A LOT. 🙂

  10. I’m going out of my way to learn how to use social networking at the moment, however I don’t see it doing much good for my novel. I already know the people I’m friending, I don’t know any of the people they know, and I may as well just ask them to tell their friends instead of shamelessly advertising.

    Thanks for dropping by, Uninvoked. (Liked your site, by the way.) I feel sort of the same as you — might as well get my friends to tell their friends and hope it spreads that way, which seems easier and has a better chance of success. I can see your point clearly.

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