March 24, 2010

ode to social media

Ode to Social Media

I ignore random friend requests
Because I'm worried about the rise of the Facebook cruiser
Especially since "I aspire to star in an adult film"
Became the unspoken mantra of every Myspace user

So now you @reply to a retweet via a hat tip to that one semi-stranger
Because you read a little bit about her life each day
And even though you two will never snail mail
Nothing separates you now but the fail whale
That one breathless moment when your monitor is stale, frail, and ailing
From the hale and hearty clickity clack
Of hackers and slackers and web traffic trackers
Who wonder each day who reads, who heeds, who needs RSS feeds?
Speed-keyed with the control-alt-delete of a complete tweet
Replete with a neat little hashtag

And I'm left wondering, "When is it okay to poke somebody?"
Maybe after you spend the time to tend and mend and bend
Until you can no longer amend that email you've penned
(Well, actually it was a Facebook message)
And then you wait for them to confirm that you're friends
So you pretend
You fake it till you make it
Then you take it until you break it, till you shake that Fail Whale wide-awake
For goodness sake
It's complicated
And I'm looking for...whatever I can get
In a world where open relationships
Are next to siblings and Republicans and Mormons and Zen
She's looking for friendship, and he's interested in men

And they say, "Congratulations, you're now the mayor of the bathroom stalls,"
Where instead of phone numbers, they write
Twitter handles on the walls
And unlocking the over-sharing badge can lead to staring and tearing your hair out
As you fill the air with every spare pair of quotation marks
Paired down to favorites, TV shows and movies
And excerpts from other people's wisdom

If Facebook were your high school crush
Your love would be a trending topic
You'd have 23 friends in common
And she'd probably suggest you become a fan of her pet cause
And you'll do it
Just so she'll keep inviting
So she'll keep asking, so she'll keep posting, so she'll keep tagging
So she'll be your social media girlfriend
Until your social network is so full of connections
It explodes into a million tiny thumbs up
You like this

And your retweets are like cocktail napkins
Envelope flaps, gum wrappers, and weather post-it notes
Smudged with crumbs of information
That you squirrel away for later in your pocket
But your pocket is a hole to your soul with a scroll bar
Blasted across cyber space one tiny bit, byte, bit at a time
Spend 160 characters on a text message
Save 20 more on a tweet
You have to stay on your toes to untag those drunk photos
Then you refresh, refresh, refresh you outlook on life
And you'll never be as sad as a Sunday night

Because it's always followed by #musicmonday
And #charitytuesday and #wisdomwednesday
But who follows Friday?
Well, the weekend, of course
It's our open-source force for good
In this social media platform networking portal
To the world's wildest web

-Anneke Jong, 3/23/10

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