Saturday, February 16, 2013

Push that button if you wish

It's TOTALLY your choice if you wish to "unfollow" and "block" your Twitter Followers

Different Spin, Metro -- THE STAR
15th Feb, 2013

Previously, I compiled a list of my Top 7 peeves when tweeting – from BEING A SERIAL YELLLERRRRRR!!!!! (there are lower caps too you know), to being an annoying re-Tweeter. Some folks need to learn how to differentiate the RT and Reply button.  What really irks me is when a complete stranger demands a birthday wish from me or requests for me to follow them.

But as I concluded in that article, these are just some of my own personal peeves that don’t sit too well with me. To each and their own, some say? If you don’t like it, ‘Block’ or ‘Unfollow’, right? Easy, no?
Well, for some strange reason, there are those who thrive on loath and hate.

I am currently obsessed with another social media platform, Instagram – an  online photo-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and apply digital filters to it and to share these pictures on a variety of other social networking services like Facebook and Twitter. I follow an array of people on Instagram including friends and relatives, interesting yoga and fashion personalities, as well as both local and international celebrities.

Recently, I just added Rihanna and Kim Kardashian on my list. Since I had time on my hands while getting my hair treatment done the other day, I decided to go through some of the comments on their posts and boy, was I was taken aback! I thought I got it bad. Oh boy! These ladies? They get it far worst.

In a typical world of fanatics or fans – there are lovers and haters. The ‘lovers’ will defend their favourite icon or celebrity against the ‘haters’ who post terrible comments - some incredibly mean, rude and unproductive. Now, I can see why some celebrities have decided to close down their respective social networking platforms.

Grammy award winner, Adele, reportedly quit twitter after receiving nasty death threats about her newborn son from trolls on twitterverse. Miley Cyrus uploaded a YouTube video explaining her reasons for leaving twitter and Shia LaBeouf dropped tweeting after getting bullied by the public. Even some of our local stars, sports personalities and political leaders get their fair share of criticism. Some have changed their tweet handles or gone under a pseudo name to ‘start a new’.

So this is what I don’t quite comprehend. If you don’t like what’s being shared/written/posted on the person’s social media page, why not just press the ‘Unfollow’/”Unlike” button?

Some of the comments left on Kim Kardashian’s posts were as cruel as wishing her unborn child dead! Just because she posted a picture of herself celebrating New Year’s Eve with her baby-daddy, rapper Kanye West. I found that the same mean messages, post after post, were from the same ‘haters’.  Just a friendly reminder folks:  Nobody is forcing you to follow anyone on their social media. Maybe instead of complaining about them or sending unproductive feedback, just UNFOLLOW.

And let’s say someone does decide to ‘Unfollow’ or ‘Block’ you. Please don’t get mad.  I remember reading a tweet the other day,

“Who Unfollowed me? I have one less follower. WTF? *%#@”.

I messaged that person to see if she was joking. She wasn’t. She was clearly very mad that she had one less person on her statistic. It is common to hear someone boast about how many followers he or she has. According to writer Kay Miranda, this suggests a high number of impersonal relationships: “people who will follow you not because they know you very well, but because they are hoping for “following reciprocation.””

And according to Lev Grossman of Times magazine,  there are too many people who mistake the following of another person’s life, as having an actual relationship with the person. Yes, social media connects people – you may know bits and pieces of his or her interests and daily life, but that doesn’t mean you really KNOW her. 

I received this tweet from a stranger who used to converse with me over twitter. She seemed like a sweet intelligent person, and her feedback were always quite enlightening. So I was a bit surprised when she tweeted her anger towards me for not recognizing her when I was at the mall recently. She sent me a barrage of tweets saying I was a ‘diva’ and ‘stuckup’ – “Buat tak kenal jer”.
How am I supposed to know how you look like in person straightaway after a few exchanged tweets? My husband told me to block her, which I did.


And I agree with  Kay Miranda’s observation. As with any social platform, users can fall prey to predators. With the opportunity of remaining anonymous, you may not realize exactly who is following your rants over instagram, FB and twitter. It could be a crazed ex-boyfriend, a stalker or disgustingly, a sex offender. The use of social media has increased the level of accepted social voyeurism, where users are comfortable sharing everything over social media - from their sex lives to their bowel movements.

As much as we say, “but this is our personal space!” – we must face the realm that in addition to social predators, there are career and financial interests watching your every move. So if you post the “wrong” image or words online, you may be passed up for a career advancement or considered unfit for hire, just because you are judged by what you write or post.

So yes. Social media has its disadvantages, especially to those who allow their platforms to be viewed by anyone. I’m not going to deactivate my accounts anytime soon, but I do know I have an “UNFOLLOW” and “BLOCK” button option and a responsibility when I post, RT and reply.
Gong Xi Fatt Chai folks!

Daphne is currently on a #yogaeverydamnday mission. See if she accomplishes her #yogachallenge2013 via her instagram account: daphneiking.
Daphne also tweets : daphCLPT 


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