I’ve been known to “dabble” with social media.
My My Space account quickly led to Facebook, then Twitter, Flickr, Instagram… You get the picture.
My dabbling transgressed into a full blown obsession after a lull in my logging on was boosted by the purchase of my beloved iPhone.
Suddenly, my virtual world was at the touch of my fingertips. In my pocket permanently rather than a long 30 minute wait for the creaking computer to boot up.
I revelled in the fact I could do the social networking rounds in less than five minutes without having to leave the sofa, and if I needed to fill in those few minutes while waiting for the bus, I could turn to my Twitter/ Facebook/ various other apps to bide the time.
As well as being a good time filler, social-networking is a way of enhancing my social life because that is, after all, what it’s supposed to be all about right?
But there are rules; a social networking etiquette if you like.
For example, if I’m waiting for a friend to turn up at the pub I’ll grab my phone and browse the internet, check my emails or see what’s going on in the world of Facebook.
As soon as my friend walks through the door, my phone will disappear. Ok, it’ll remain on the table within reaching distance, you know just in case I get an emergency call, but the point is, I’m not on it.
I can excuse it when someone needs to take a quick call, answer a text, or fire off an email. What I can’t excuse is being ditched by my friends for Twitter.
I’d been looking forward to a night out with two friends I hadn’t seen for a while and I knew it was going to be a wild one because they’re forever flaunting their fun on Twitter.
With that in mind, I kissed Hubby goodbye and told him not to wait up because this was going to be a late one.
After the obligatory niceties were done and dusted and the second cocktail was being served, a phone was whipped out and thrust into my hand.
“Can you take a photo of us,” one of them asked as they simultaneously grabbed their cocktails, pulled a pose and fluttered their lashes at the camera.
The next two hours were spent staring into space while they glared bug-eyed into their phones, typing away, stopping only to laugh at a Tweet that caught their eye. After several attempts at conversation, I had enough and called it a night.
Dejected and stone-cold sober, I cuddled up to Hubby on the sofa and decided to “do the rounds” before heading to bed, and yep, you guessed it, clogging up my Twitter feed was a string of Tweets from said friends. “I love this tune”, “Drinking mojitos”, “Guy at the bar is a loser”. It went on.
To my utter disbelief I realised my two friends – who’d only lifted their heads from their phones to exchange more than a few grunts – were having a full blown conversation on there. “@—- lookin’ gorgeous tonight”, “thx babe. Lookin’ good yourself”, “Gonna go hit the dancefloor with @—”.
How tragic, I thought staring at the picture they posted that I’d taken of them pouting into their cocktails, to let social networking kill your social life.