@thomasalcalay 2.0

My Facebook persona is flawless. He always has a great time, always dines in the best restaurant, always surrounds himself with friends, and always travels to exotic places. He gets likes on his comments, and even has a funny video to show his followers once in a while. He never complains. @thomasalcalay is the best. Why wouldn’t he be? I’m controlling him, he doesn’t get a say in anything. Who would want to follow someone who stays at home watching Netflix all day? Someone who has bad days and gets irritable? No one.

How are we supposed to know how to tackle something that is so big and widespread as this new virtual playing field? There is no guide, no step-by-step instruction. We, as people moving into this new technological era, must mold our social skills to fit this new design. The unspoken rule of what to do and what not to do is so blurred that there almost seems to be no rule at all. People obsess over follower to following ratios, their ‘“likeage” (how much likes a post, picture, or tweet receives), and even the amount of time someone should wait to accept a friend request.

Let’s get real, social media is a hoax. People put up an avatar of who they want to be and live vicariously through their virtual puppets. Then again, if the cyber world was as true as the physical one, who would want to log-on? Let’s take a moment and look at my Facebook profile, which is already by definition indicating that it only paints half a story, for it’s a “person’s face, as seen from one side.” (New Oxford American Dictionary). On all of the pictures I’m tagged in, I look fairly happy and well-kept. Is every picture taken of me always this great? Of course not. Whenever I’m tagged in a photo, I take a peak to see if its a good picture. If I approve, I let it stay; if not, I untag myself- simple as that. Half of the bad pictures of me are wiped from my follower’s screen. As the unwanted memories get chipped away, the ideal version of myself becomes presentable to the world.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t post anything on Facebook- my only status posted last year was when I got into Emory. As Facebook became more and more popular throughout the recent years and family members and friends joined, I felt uncomfortable sharing some of my comments with them. I turned to another outlet, Twitter, for a more intimate, real experience. On Twitter I can choose who follows me and say anything I please. Everyone does the same, so there isn’t much judgment. Frustrated about the line at Starbucks? Complain about it. Wondering how the driver in front of you can drive so slow, yet so recklessly? Tell him off. Finished two bags of chips and a whole season of Breaking Bad in one sitting? Declare your accomplishment. Everyone relates.

On this new multi-media world, we have to worry about the things we portray rather than say. Social media is what you make it- there is no ‘right’ way to go about it. The best way to conquer this virtual world is to be yourself.

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