I Am Not A Slut, I’m Just Popular

I hope the YouTube video I’ve linked works — I’m in the airport at Narita and I can’t keep connection long enough to check. Scott’s one of the all-time great unsigned musicians and every moment you spend listening to his music is time well spent, I promise.

This is sort of a housekeeping post, in which I beg a rather select group of approximately 1,150 people not to hate my guts.

Once upon a time, by which I mean the year 2010, I accepted every Facebook friend request I got and I kept my Twitter feed public. Then I was part of three separate incidents in which my social media “friends” pulled various details of my employment, my family life, and my most embarrassing photos (which is to say most of them, really) in a couple of attempts to get me fired from my job, affect my personal life, and/or incite people in my general neighborhood to vandalize my cars/house/already-questionable lawn.

I took my Twitter feed private and stopped accepting FB friend requests unless I really knew the person and/or had some reason to believe I could trust them to, as an example, not post pictures of my four-year-old son all over messageboards for reasons I still don’t fully understand.

It frustrates me to no end that I can’t use social media to connect with the people who legitimately enjoy my writing — or even the people who legitimately dislike it and want to share their concerns and/or criticisms. I’ve been told to convert my Facebook page to a “fan page”, which seems repugnant. I cannot imagine that I have any “fans”. By the same token, I’d like to make a comment on a movie on Twitter without being the target of a sack full of shrill invective from somebody who’s still angry about something I may or may not have done with the wife of somebody he doesn’t even really like. You get the idea. What’s the point of being on FB and Twitter if you’re just building the proverbial walled garden?

As a consequence of my fool-me-twice-won’t-get-fooled-again approach to social media, I have well over eleven hundred friend requests on FB and/or Twitter follower requests. I’ve let the lists grow for so long I literally don’t have time to go through and figure out who is who and why.

So… if you want to connect with me on Twitter or FB, for whatever reason, and I haven’t approved your request, it’s not personal. It’s a function of justified paranoia and unavailable time. If you really, really, really want to be my Internet friend and see endless pictures of my son playing with toy Tyrannosaurs, send me an email at jack(at)baruth.net. Tell me who you are. It’s ridiculous that I have to ask this, but the alternative is to invite a thousand strangers into my personal life.

In the meantime, if you don’t really care that much, rest assured I’ll continue to post the greatest hits of my spiral into irrelevance right here on this site. Thanks, as always, for reading. It doesn’t matter if you’re a “fan” or my worst critic. I’m lucky to have you, and I won’t forget that.

5 Replies to “I Am Not A Slut, I’m Just Popular”

  1. Cole Trickle

    Hey Jack,
    I’ve been reading you since I stumbled on to TTAC years ago. You’ve been favorite of mine from article 1, standing out in a crowded field of talented writers. I’ve had trouble keeping up with your comings and goings on various sites and am thrilled you’ve decided to make your own little space to write what you really want and link to all the things you write to pay the bills. Keep it coming.

  2. NeilC

    Just glad to have known you for a long time Jack. The fact that I enjoy your writing is an added bonus.

    Scott’s music reminds me of some of Phil Keaggy’s.

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