#3. Listing Hobbies as Vocations
I've written about this before, but I have almost never called myself a writer -- like it's my job. I do make money writing. I am getting increasingly legit, as one does over time in any field, but until I can feed my kids and pay my bills and pay down my student loans doing nothing but writing outside of an established organization, I don't feel comfortable going around saying "I'm a writer." I write, but I'm not yet "a writer." That's why my Twitter bio lists things I do, but not what I am.
Many people, however, don't have that problem. Their bios define them as painter, writer, dancer! It's great to say "I love to dance!" or "aspiring dancer" or "dreaming of going to Broadway to dance," but I kind of find "dancer" to be a lie if you just really enjoy the occasional tap class. I know some people disagree, but at least I'm not being hypocritical about it. There's more lying in social media bios than in Felix Clay's bedroom when he's explaining the growths on his genitalia.
#2. "I Haven't Been on Here in Forever!"
Social media comes with games. It comes with ways to meet new people. But most of all it comes with shame. A deep, abiding shame that even those born directly into the Internet age feel. Many people would rather admit to downloading borderline illegal porn than spending time on Facebook. Maybe it's because there seems to be a correlation between the number of social media postings and depression. Is this a proven scientific theory? I'm not sure. I'm basing it on my focus group of one:
But it certainly seems true, and that's why so many people post this lie: "I haven't been on here in forever!!!!"
It's OK, babies. It's happened to the best of us. No need to pretend.
PSYCHIC UPDATE: To those of you who commented about how all social media is bullshit and that's why you don't do it, you are very cool.
#1. "I'm Quitting This Site!"
There's a lot of things that suck about the Internet, but the overriding problem with the Net is that it has people on it. So really it's no different from the world or life or your office: Some people are terrible, and the more of them there are in one place, the greater your chances of meeting them! That's why, after trolling or oversensitive political correctness or being misunderstood or any one of the things that can make social media annoying happens, people will say, "THAT'S IT! I'M QUITTING."
Hello, old friend. You're good at everything!
This is one of those lies that only turns out to be a lie in hindsight. We know you're mad. You might even be right to be mad. But you'll be back. They always come back. We have hashtags and apps. Go blow off some steam. Live your life in the real world. But you can't avoid 1 a.m. and boredom forever. Social media will see you real soon. Bwahahahahaha!
GLADSTONE'S NOTES FROM THE INTERNET APOCALYPSE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!
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Also, you can get all your Internet Apocalypse news here as we count down to release.