My Social Media Train Wreck

| December 19, 2013

Today I would like to talk about what is happening as I attempt to create a social media presence.  It ain’t pretty.

Up until now, I was perfectly content to allow facebook to be the sole platform for sucking time away from my family, the laundry, and my overall contribution to society.  Unfortunately, after my friend sent me an article about Google+, informing me that my blog would benefit from a page (with the implicit message that my blog and recently finished manuscript are otherwise doomed to anonymity), I realized that I truly had no social media presence with the exception of some below-mentioned accidental and blank pages.

I kicked off the process with Linkedin, which had nothing to do with either the article or my friend’s advice.

At least five years ago, someone with whom I almost never interacted in real life invited me to join Linkedin.  Naturally, I accepted his invitation and opened an account.  Ever since, I have received random email invitations from people I do know, as well as people I met once ten years ago through a business transaction—to connect with them on Linkedin.  Unfortunately, I do not recall the password to the account I opened.  I have not known it since (and this is a rough estimate) the week I signed up for the account.  My relationship with ridiculously-complicated and ever-changing passwords at this point?  I am up to four with the F-word in them.

I decided last year that I wanted to delete this Linkedin account, but I could not figure out how.  Nor do I have access to the email address I used to create the account, to be able to recover the password, to be able to delete the account.  So that was a fail.  Last month I opened a new Linkedin account, and now I am reluctantly linking to people I know.  It’s the best.

Since Linkedin was going so well, I was ready to move on to Google+.  You should know that I already had a Google+ page.  In November 2011, I ended up with one by accident.  I clicked something, was endowed with an account, and the next thing you know, I was getting disturbing periodic reports on my internet presence.  Last year, I decided that I no longer wanted these reports, and so I attempted—rather unsuccessfully—to delete the Google+ account.  This is quite relevant to my current endeavor because today, after spending two days building a profile on that same goddamned page, I managed to accidentally—but rather successfully—delete it.

Now, you’re probably wondering how a person could succeed in deleting an entire profile on a website that does not hesitate to warn you that you are making the biggest mistake of your life: the bright red warnings, the various boxes I had to check to make it through this process of finality—how could I possibly make such a mistake?  Well, I’ll tell you; but first, we’ll need to talk about the Google+ page I created for this blog.

After spending all this time creating a personal profile, I realized that the whole point of the helpful article my friend sent while clearly misguided in thinking I was going to be able to manage this situation on my own, was for businesses—including blogs and the like—to create a profile.  So…I opened an account for “In Germany A Broad”.  Unfortunately, I typed precisely that: “In Germany A Broad”, without a comma.  Not “In Germany, A Broad”, which is the actual name of my blog.

I would like to note here that the whole effing internet just plain stopped working while I was in the middle of all of this.  As in, resetting the router didn’t help, switching browsers didn’t help, cursing at it didn’t help.  Using my phone to email my husband to whine about it didn’t help either, not even when it turned into less whining, more cursing.  I climbed into the bathtub in total frustration and attempted to accomplish some of these deletions and updates over the 3G network from my phone.  The size of the screen was not conducive to accomplishing such tasks, so I played Bejeweled and stewed in my first world problem instead.  (Paul, if you are reading this, I also did laundry.)

After calming down in the tub, I powered down my computer.  When it came back up, the internet magically worked.  I also heard it laugh at me.  I really hate computers.

With the internet* working, I created a new page called “In Germany, A Broad” because otherwise, the absence of a comma would give me insomnia.  I initially tried accomplishing this by backspacing through the creation of comma-less “In Germany A Broad”.  After successfully creating the new, comma-ed “In Germany, A Broad”, I looked up comma-less “In Germany A Broad”.  The little bastard still existed.  Following online directions for deleting a Google+ page, I deleted In Germany A Broad.

Oh, wait, no I didn’t.

Despite all efforts to pay attention—and I swear to God, I was sober and looking at the computer and Flash wasn’t barking and Sequoia wasn’t even home to distract me—I deleted my personal page.  I realized this when I attempted to follow “In Germany, A Broad” as Kari Martindale, but that wasn’t happening because there was no Kari Martindale.  You know what there was, though?  Fucking comma-less “In Germany A Broad”.  You could follow THAT if you wanted to.

So, first things first, I successfully deleted comma-less “In Germany A Broad”.  Then, I re-created Kari Martindale and selected all two of my previous people to reconnect with.  I really can’t stand connecting with people on any of these social media sites.  First of all, I hesitate to click on names because I don’t like the idea of making another person stare at their screen with the disdain that an invitation stirs up in me.  Secondly, I am greatly annoyed by matrix-generated suggestions.  There are two general categories of people whom, according to these sites, I might know.  In category A, you have the man I’ve been sleeping with for 12 years and the woman who gave birth to me—people I never would have thought of, had it not been for the kind folks at Linkedin.  In category B, you have some guy cc:ed on an email some jackass hit “reply-all” to in 2009.  As for category A, I clicked on my mother’s name.  A few hours later, she emailed me to apologize and tell me that she couldn’t sign into her account to accept my invitation.  I think we know whom to blame for my technological shortcomings.

While being walked through all the steps to creating profiles, I was asked if I want to “follow interesting people and pages”.  If I wanted to follow interesting people and pages, I would get on the subway behind somebody interesting-looking and read over their shoulder.  But apparently I do need to stay on top of this situation, as if I don’t have enough to worry about, because currently showing up on my Google+ feed are a bunch of posts from “What’s Hot – Only For Teens”.  Also, some guy’s instructions for how to make it snow on a picture you upload.  Do I sound like I know how to upload a picture, let alone make it snow?  And if I want it to snow on a picture, I am definitely willing to throw my fucking computer out my second-story window the second I see some snow.

One concept I definitely do not have down in Google+ is the concept of “muting”.  The second I had a feed, a stranger popped up with heartfelt quotes that in no way fit my personality.  I clicked on a tab that offered me the opportunity to mute the girl.  That sounded swell.  But when I clicked to do so, I was warned that I would never be notified if she posted about me.  Posted about me?  What would this girl in the Philippines have to say about me?  It was too late: paranoia had effectively set in.  I am not muting her; in fact, I will be keeping an eye on her.  I just got over the threat of comma insomnia and now I have to sleep with one eye open—thanks, Google+, you’ve been a peach to work with.

On both Google+ and Linkedin, I’m quite certain that the button I hit most was “Cancel”.  On Linkedin, the following are things I am not adding to skills: learning new things, technical anything, and social media.

Next up: Twitter.  I am most dreading this one because I am physically incapable of typing words without spaces between them, which will make #writinghashtagsfuckingimpossible.


*Dear Microsoft,


Yours truly,

Kari Martindale

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Category: Author Blog, In Germany A Broad blog, SGH blog, Shits & Giggles

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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Sites That Link to this Post

  1. My, How Times Have Changed | Some Guy's Hat | February 1, 2014
  2. My Social Media Train Wreck | In Germany, A Broad | December 19, 2013