#43 – Social Media, or Long Live Mr. Awesome

Mr. Awesome is dead.  Long live Mr. Awesome!

I used Mr. Awesome as a sometime nickname for awhile on here and elsewhere.  It was not because I think I’m awesome.  It was more of a goof on myself and I was using ‘awesome’ ironically (tho I’m pretty awesome and it’s ok to admit that.  Really not really).

Mr. Awesome had a good run, and served me well.  But I’m trying something new, here, online, on the internet.  Because, social media.

Social media tho, am I right?

To me, social media, and by extension the internet, is both possibly humanity’s greatest achievement and the worst thing that has ever happened to us, and that is saying something.

I love the internet.  I love learning new things.  I love staying in touch with people I would otherwise not be in touch with.  I love seeing what they are doing, how their children are doing, what their interests are etc., infinity.

I love that any question I have (and I have a lot of them, if you’ve been following along) can be answered with a few quick keyboard clicks.  I almost think that I am learning more, especially about things that interest me, then I ever did in school.  And while that may not be a 100% true statement, it feels like it.  It’s all there!

The internet is also the devil.  I mean, it can be a really awful place.  It’s full of trolls and shamers of all varieties, naked people (listen, I’m not a prude and I like naked people as much as the next person, but the internet has everything right there, clicks away.  Anything you could think of exists on the internet.  And I’m not sure that in and of itself is a bad thing, unless it’s harmful to the person being naked.  I mean, the nakedness on the internet is not your father’s Playboy.  Maybe if you multiply it by ∞.   And I don’t think the internet needs to be regulated, especially by any government.  I do think that kids need regulation, and that parents and adults should be doing the regulating.  But regulating kids and people who should not be exposed to some content is an uphill battle.  It’s swimming upstream.  It’s spitting into the wind.  It’s trying to carry water in your hand.  I think the best you can do is teach your kids what’s right and talk to them about stuff and check them as much as possible.  They’re going to see stuff, but hopefully you’ve prepared them enough not to go look for it too much, and when they do see stuff they at least know what’s going on.  I guess).  It’s full of shitty comments, shitty people, hurtful stories and fake stories.  It’s not good.  Have you ever heard of the Dark or Deep Web?  If you have not, don’t go looking for it. And if you do, don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

I think it’s easy to hide behind words.  As I’ve said before words have meaning, but if you say and believe in the words you are saying or typing you should be accountable to the words.

I’m not the worst on the internet by far.  I haven’t been the best either.  I don’t think I’ve done too much damage.  But I could do better

Because of the internet and social media this world is more connected then ever.  And I think that is a good thing.  Social media, at it’s best, is a way for us to see people as human, as individuals, not just as abstract types of people or theoretical countries or ethnicities.  We can know or be known to every and anyone.

Because of social media we can be known to every and anyone.

And the trolls and scammers and shamers use it against us.  And we do it to each other.

We also can learn a lot of things and it’s all at the tip of our fingers.

But we’re lazy.  I’m lazy.  I crave knowledge and in depth stories.  I want more story and more content.  These news feed stories tho, they are like a paragraph or two long.  That’s nothing.  But I know it happens to me.  I lose patience if the story is too long.  I mean, are you even still reading this?  It’s almost 800 words long.  I’m not sure, but that has to be longer than the average story you see in your news feed.  Have you lost interest yet?  And how many times have I, and have you seen a story, news or otherwise, in whatever social media feed you use, and read the headline and forwarded, shared or commented without even reading the story?  Or knowing what the website was?  Or even knowing the context of the story?

Or forwarded, shared, commented, especially commented to someone else you know nothing about in a shitty manner, and they responded, and you responded, and on and on?

Many times.  My hand is raised.  I’m guilty.

Maybe you’ve never done that.  I have.

I was thinking about my online presence last week.  I was having a back and forth with someone, someone I care about.  It had been going on for a few months, our disagreeing with a lot of the world and things on the internet.

It’s mostly me putting things out there and expressing myself negatively about things I do not like or do not agree with.  And this person disagreed.

It became counterproductive and I know it affected both of us, and our relationship.  And we stopped being ‘friends’ on any social media.  I blocked her.

And then shortly after I took my social media down for a few days.  Because I needed to think about it.  I needed to think about how I was portraying myself, and how and why I was using social media at all.  What did I want to get out of it?  Why was I so angry all of the time?

I couldn’t stay away for very long, tho.  I know people who do not subscribe to social media at all or hardly at all.  They find the internet a happier place and it works for them.

But I don’t think I can do that.  I like the engagement.  I like knowing things, and people.  I knew my absence would not last long.

A work friend told me once that all of the things I responded to on the internet, all of the things that upset me and how I reacted to them, she told me that no one was paying attention to them.  And if they were I was just pissing them off.

I asked her why she didn’t just ‘unfriend’ me then.  She said it was because I still posted pictures of my daughter on occasion, and that was reason enough for her to stay ‘friends’.  But that she would just scroll, scroll, scroll past all of the negativity.

And so when I shut it down for a week or so I though about those two people.  I know I’ve alienated others as well.   I realized that the people I engage with on the internet and social media are people I know.  And that the way I was portraying myself online was not a way I wanted people I know to see me.

I’ve realized recently that I want to expand my online presence, if for no other reason then to finally find some use for my Communications Degree from Marquette University, earned long ago, never to be heard from again.  But I want it to be heard, I want to be heard and I want to hear everyone else.  I write here, on this site.  I started a new page on Facebook, just a little something on writing and art and reading and other stuff, which you can check out here if you are so inclined:

https://www.facebook.com/aaronjcomo/

I have some more ideas for an increased presence, which I may or may not do, but if I do you’ll be the first to know.  It rhymes with shmo-toob.  I don’t know if I’m brave enough for that, but I love U-Tube and so much of it’s content, and think it would be cool to try.

But I don’t want to yell anymore.  I don’t want to be negative.  I think it’s easy and lazy to be negative, especially online.

I don’t know that the things I’ve said or the stances I’ve taken online are things I would not say out loud or to someone’s face.  I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

But I don’t think most of the trolls and shamers and shitty commenters think about that.  It’s easy to hurt someone from a far, and to say things you wouldn’t otherwise say to someone in person.

So, something different then.  Something more productive.  Something more positive.

That’s not to make a promise.  I cannot promise to never be so pissed off by the world to not indicate it.  I cannot promise not to ever troll someone else’s shitty comment, or to call out bullshit (as I see it) or to be angry.  I’m angry at the state of things, and the direction I think we’re headed and to not portray that anger in an unproductive manner.

But the world’s always shitty.  And it’s always great.  It’s like the internet.  We have to take the good and the bad.

So I want to learn about everything and about everyone.  And not just people I know, but you too, potential unknown person reading this.  You may not think I do but I do.  The more we know about each other, the less need for the fighting and the arguing and the shitty comments.

We’ll never agree on everything and that’s fine.  Constructive arguing and debate is a good thing.  If we all agreed on everything life would probably be less exciting.

The things I feel and believe and think I know are very strong.  But I can’t presume to think I’m smart enough to know all, or some, or any answers.

And if that’s the case then it’s probably appropriate to listen to other people and what they are telling you, whether they know they are telling you or not.

No one likes to admit they are wrong, or need to make a change, even if it’s only a small one.  I’m included in that.

I listened, at least in this case.  It’s not a big deal, but I want to do better.  So I thought about it and here we are.

I don’t know if I will be or not.  Better.  But one thing I always do, and can promise to do, is try.

Social media and our online presence is here to stay, whether we try to avoid it or not.  We might as well make the most of it.

So my self-imposed exile was quick and is over.  And everyone is friends again.  I’m glad for both, because it made me sad.

Mr. Awesome was awesome.

But it’s a new day and a small reset is in progress.

So most people call me Aaron.  Or Como.  Or other names.

Lately people have been calling A.A. Ron a little bit.  It started as a joke between my sisters, my cousin and myself and because of the below video.  I like it though, and don’t mind if you call me that.

Or don’t call me anything.  But if you like this or any other of the 42 previous posts click like or share or sign up to get posts delivered to right to your email!

Whatever you do, let’s try and be nicer to each other online and for real.  I’ll start with myself, ok?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “#43 – Social Media, or Long Live Mr. Awesome”

  1. Ok A A Ron. (video was funny by the way and good point). I liked Mr. Awesome but I also understand about the change for you. Probably a generational thing but I’m an obsessive reader (the Virgo tendencies in me are a strong influence too I’m sure) so I ALWAYS read the whole blog. Usually they are worth it, tho. Sometimes I even finish books that I’m not really enjoying but I’m trying to change that. My belief is that it’s always good to call “b.s.” when needed or if one believes it can influence thinking, but it is also true that the manner in which the “b.s.” is addressed will definitely impact on effectiveness of the message.

  2. I read to the end because for me, that is a type of listening. Thanks for sharing your thoughts; nicely put. Glad you listened to friends cause it’s good to have you back. I agree…we just have to all keep trying..and listening..and no reaching out.

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