Social media has stolen all my punch-lines

4 Nov

I was chatting with a friend at work. We hadn’t seen each other for a while. We were complaining about our weight. She’s put on a couple of kilos and I launched into a witty anecdote about how I too have put on a couple of kilos, mainly due to uni work. I was expanding my story into an interesting observation about how I do my best uni work when eating junk food when she said, “I know, I read about that on your Facebook page.”

Social Media is ruining my social life. All my stories are told on Facebook and Twitter. By the time I catch up with friends I have nothing left to say. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been stopped in my tracks – punch line impending – when my punch line is told to me by a friend who has read it on Facebook and Twitter.

I might need to start saving some material for socialising purpose, but how will I keep track of what I have posted? Do I need to start carrying conversation suggestion cards around with me? And in a desperate attempt to increase my Twitter followers (210 is just not acceptable) I am posting every thought and event. It’s exhausting.

Seriously, it’s a real issue. Tonight I have drinks with work colleagues. They are all Facebook friends. What are my chances of experiencing interesting things in time to share them tonight? I don’t have any old stories to polish off. Maybe I’ll talk about the weather – no, I Tweeted about it today (I Tweeted ‘Yay, sunshine. Hang around for the weekend please).

Maybe I can start my conversations with, “Did you see on Facebook how I finished my uni work today?” Or, “Did you see my Tweet about Luke Burt?” Have Facebook and Twitter become conversation starters or conversation enders?

Maybe when someone tells a story you’ve read about on social media, you should politely nod and laugh and pretend you haven’t heard it before. Sort of like when a new joke makes the rounds and they jokingly say, “Stop me if you’ve heard it.” Should you actually stop them?

Also, I tend to stretch the truth for dramatic purposes on Facebook and Twitter, or self-edit when I run out of characters. Will my little social-media-induced lies be revealed when I launch into the full version of the aforementioned event over a couple of cocktails?

I have two lives – my real life (actual face-to-face interaction) and my virtual life (Facebook and Twitter). Can these two lives exist in harmonious parallel or will they keep colliding like this?

And when I share this article on my Facebook and Twitter accounts is it irony? Is it a self-perpetuating myth? Is it a metaphor for the real vs virtual lives I am trying desperately to maintain?

‘Like’, ‘Share’  or ‘Re-Tweet’ if you agree.


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