Plain Speaking, Womanly Feminism

Barking at the Moon

free vintage illustration moon cowI don’t guess I will ever be other than amazed at the ignorance of those on social media, particularly (it seems) those of my own generation/age group who appear determined to give us geezers a bad name.

Full disclosure:  It’s possible that my own 30-year career in IT gives me an advantage, because–more than a decade after retirement–I’m curious enough and up-to-speed enough to bother to figure out how this stuff works.  But it’s still sad to see so many of my age wasting their time, with their own hands at their own throats.

Take the concept of a “protected” Twitter account.

Now, I can understand why some who’d like to form their own little underground klatch of–say–a dozen or so privacy fiends would like such a thing.  And that’s perfectly fine.  God love ya!  Go for it!  Shout into the ether and bark at the moon, knowing that only those who were following you before you protected your account can see what you say.*  Talk among yourselves.

Carry on.

Just understand that no one else has a clue what you are ranting about.  Even those on whose Twitter feeds you post your whiny complaints, or even your enthusiastic attaboys.  So–useless to wonder why you’re not getting any responses, or why you’re not picking up new followers.  Useless to land on the Twitter accounts of those you believe you have a grievance against and flap your virtual gums.  If they ain’t following you already, and even if you address them directly, they won’t see what you say.  Ditto with those you’d like to commend.  If they ain’t following you already, and even if you address them directly, they won’t see what you say. 

If you comment on the Twitter feed of a person who’s not following you, that person won’t see a word of it.  And neither will anyone else, beyond the aforementioned small handful of cheerleaders who signed up for your pearls of wisdom aeons ago, before you “protected” your account.

I’ve run into this once or twice myself on my own Twitter feed, where someone commented from a protected account and I couldn’t read it, and I can see such a thing is multiplied exponentially in the entire Twitter universe, where I come across such invisible Tweets on a regular basis, on the threads of those I follow.

So y’all, go ahead, and bark at the moon.  No one cares.

I can’t think of a more antisocial manifestation of “social” media than a person who hides his thoughts, not only behind a pseudonym (as I do myself, although it’s not all that difficult to find me if you’d like to) but who also cuts off access to his thoughts other than to a very few in the echo chamber who signed on years ago, with no prospect of future influence or expansion.

Because, really.  Isn’t influence, and expansion the point of social media, for those of us who think we have something to say?

Otherwise–when everything we say is invisible to the world at large–what is the point?

Why bother?

I suppose I should simply gift all those who exhibit this behavior a virtual Darwin Award** and–much as I find myself wanting to explain the behavior and correct it in the interests of clear communication and sorrow for those who think they’re making a difference but really are not–perhaps I should just move on.

Yeah.  Perhaps that’s best.


*Elon can see what you say, no matter how protected your account is.  So watch out.

**I’m old enough to have been around on Usenet when the Darwin Award concept was introduced in the mid 1980s.

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