Saturday, March 8, 2014

Being a friend without being a friend

                                         

by The Urban Blabbermouth

I have joined social media.  I have set up a Tumblr account, The Urban Blabbermouth, for the past two weeks now.   Join me in social media and go visit my site.

The top three interests in Tumblr seem to be fashion and cosmetics, naked people, and twenty-somethings with teen angst.  I have no interest in fashion other than in dressing myself, and I am certainly not a twenty-    something.  The only angst I have is what to do with myself when I eventually retire.  Thanks to Tumblr, I learned a new word, selfie, where you take cell phone pictures of yourself.  If I want to build a following there in Tumblr, I will have to start posting naked selfies.  Nearest as I can tell, Tumblr is going to be a dud for me from a social perspective.  However, it has been quite a social learning experience.

Its the naked selfies that first caught my interest the most.  I am just amazed that people will stand in front of a mirror and take naked pictures of themselves, then post it in their Tumblr blog.  The nakedness ranges from exposed underwear to nothing on. These folks are trying to send a message and I do not know what it is.  It does not appear to be to be really about porn, so I don't know what they are trying to say.  What I have noticed, and it may be because I am a male, is that most of the naked selfies are young girls exposing their boobs.  The young boys are there but I just seem to stumble across more young girls than young boys.  I do not see older people, male or female, posting naked selfies.  Seems to be a young girl phenomenon.  BTW (By-the-way in text speak), I use the word boobs because that is how the young girls in Tumblr are referring to their parts.

I cannot help but think that in some way the naked young girl selfies are related to the way young girls are portrayed in music videos. The young girls are not there in music videos for their musical talents, the ability to sing, to dance, or to play an instrument.  The young girls are there solely for their sexy bodily gyrations.  They have no value other than sex.  So then, these young girls are posting naked selfies to try to establish their value in society.  Maybe it is more subtle, they are posting naked selfies as a rebellion to the social mores that says that they are only valuable for their boobs or a rebellion to the social mores that say you, as an owner of boobs, cannot expose your boobs as you please.  Jeez, I am spouting lots of psycho-babble today.

Back to social media.  I started Tumblr to see what all the fuss about social media is about.  So far, this aspect is overrated.  I suspect that Tumblr is somewhat self-selecting.  Only certain types of persons end up on Tumblr and when they grow tired of that, they move on.  I have to think on this a bit more. 

What I also find interesting about Tumblr is the anonymity of it all.  On Facebook, those are people you know, your family and friends.  On Tumblr, they are all strangers.  You can post whatever you like and no one will know who you are.  That may account for all the angst and naked pictures.  You can reveal your hidden side to strangers who don't care who you are but do care about what you have posted while, at the same time, hiding that same side from your friends and family.   As evidence to back up this thought, Tumblr lets you send anonymous messages, known as Anons.  Another new word to me.

There is no such thing as too much information (TMI in text speak) in Tumblr.  I have seen very highly personal information that I just cannot bring myself to mention here.  Some really surprising things go on in people's heads and you would never know it from looking at them.  It makes me wonder if I would ever want to read people's minds.

While it is sociable to interact with other people, how sociable can you be if these are strangers and not your friends?  It could well be that they are really your friends as you have revealed the hidden side of yourself that your in-person friends and family have never seen.  What kind of friend relationship can you have with someone who knows too much about you and yet you have never met them, much less know their name?  Maybe there is a very good reason that we cannot read each other's minds.  Wonder if any of these Tumblr friends ever meet each other?