Its no news that I use social media a lot. RME! Some people think too much but I am the only one who knows how much. But if I tell you, I will have to kill you, so….let’s just stick with ‘I use social media a lot’. There! I said it.
So, I thought of doing this post to try and catalogue all the social media apps I use. I even use some for work but to hear some people talk, you would never believe. Anyway, as I was saying, these are my tools for life, entertainment, espionage, fashion, music, pretty much everything and er, of course, work.
I first learnt to use the computer many moons ago by myself and the stubborn streak in me made me keep at it while my pride did not allow me ask for help. Its why I am very knowledgeable in some things and a total illiterate in others. I was then given the opportunity to learn some things at my workplace for a certificate at some point, but mostly statistics.
I also remember Ahmed, my Egyptian Professor of Surgery friend showing me how to use GraphPad when we were both in Edmonton also but my first foray into social use of the internet was borne out of necessity when my partner at the time was overseas and before the advent of GSM. I was a common sight at the ICT center at my workplace staring intently at the screen to read any missive he sent or composing some response or the other about something that couldn’t wait. Or sometimes, it was a child’s birthday and I had a deep need for him to participate in real time so uploading the photos was a do or die affair for me. Thus, I learnt to spend several hours hunched over my laptop doing one thing or the other and it became a habit.
Several years later, I am still fond of getting stuff done online but I have several devices such that I may not have my laptop but will still do as many things as any laptop can get done at any point in time.
Google has been my oldest and dearest. Search engine, spellchecker and factchecker rolled in one. I can do most anything when I have Google access. I should not tell too much what I can do with it before I scare y’all.
Yahoomail came next. For emails, communicating with others and also saving important documents. I discovered that with it, I could save and retrieve my documents from any device around the world so its not unusual to have me email myself a document if I think its important. My storage file online.
Then there was Yahoo Messenger! Wow! That was a crazy ride. I did not use it too much or too often but I do remember significant conversations on there at a time, but that’s all in the past now. Craziness was on there at a time so I bailed.
I discovered Facebook while in Edmonton and fell hard. It seemed so, so….so, je ne sais quoi! It was just perfect for my exhibitionist self. While catering to my overactive imagination and celebrating my alternate reality. I loved it and I used it copiously. It grew and grew and then became hydra headed. Mayhaps cos I wanted so much to share my experience of it , I wrote and shared not knowing the potential of evil that some could put it to. I eventually had to acknowledge that not every person who has a brain uses it and not every adult understood the literal meaning of adulthood.
For some, the use of such tools is to monitor, to limit, to stifle and to abuse. I admitted defeat and packed up and headed to Twitter. I didn’t end my love affair with Facebook though for it ran deep and hard. It had given me some people I could never exchange for those I left behind. It was worth its weight in….relationships, as much as I want, when I want and how I want. That is what Facebook does for me….before the worms in the woodwork made limited use my portion, pox on them!
Twitter! Ah, Twitter! My alternate galaxy. It is such a perfect location for me. The right mix of interaction and anonymity. I can follow, unfollow, mute and block as I wish. Yes, vermin usually slip through from time to time but they expect to be exterminated so you do the needful and they vamoose.
Of course, we all also pretend like we don’t know that the International Messengers are everywhere looking for what will turn their crank but I have mentioned several times how the only other job that would match the high of being a Vet would be some form of Intelligence/ Secret Service Corps. The misinformation can sometimes be so real, even I don’t know what’s real anymore!
Then there’s WhatsApp. At the exchange of phone numbers, you give up the right to be able to say whether you want to know what they have to say or not. And there are groups! I belong to quite a few, My Class of 88 FGCJos that used to be such a haven but .......The quintessential fool holds court displaying his ignorance and arrogance at will but nor be me go call am to order. The other groups include that of women, my cousins and quite a few other professional groups also. I am averse to opening WhatsApp videos as Nigerians (especially) have zero chill and I don't like gore in any form. So, I mostly just unlook WhatsApp videos. Life is too short to spend your day shivering because your pal sent you mangled body parts for entertainment. Nah!
I also use Instagram or IG as its more popularly called. The older daughter and I find great stuff to laugh about here and I am so proud of her using this social media tool. It’s the only one she uses regularly aside of WhatApp which cracks me up cos she would send me messages from her room across from mine and I get a kick out of asking her to bring me water on it. *evul laff*
We both agree to steer clear of SnapChat. She actually tried it and opted out but I have never felt the need to.
Some of the professional tools I use that also fall under the social media heading include.....
LinkedIn-I under-utilize this for the simple reason that I do not wish to offend a lot of people. You know, people who have no business being on your profile but who want to be anyway. So, yeah I under-utilize it but I use it all the same.
Researchgate is great! I love it for finding people who are doing stuff specifically. Mostly research. I love it! I get frustrated sometimes when it sends notifications to people cos I looked them up so it aint a great stalking tool.
Then there’s Pinterest. Such an awesome resource for a faux fashionista like myself. I have found so many ideas on there, I love what is available on there.
There are a few other apps that make my social media experience even more interesting but I am developing sharing fatigue already.
I have tried to explain to those who ask why I use social media the reason I do it, I like to control the narrative of my life, I don’t like to just follow and adapt when people have determined who I am, constantly modifying how I am presented. I am proactive like that, I would rather tell it than retell it.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Mine may not always seem right or sane but they are mine and they do get modified when I come in contact with superior information or wisdom.