A long time ago in high school some kids tried to get me to sit with them at lunch. Now, if these were kids with a reputation for actually caring about the fact I ate by myself, this story wouldn’t be told, but instead these were the type of trolls that knew by doing so, their friends can then pick you apart while they play good cop, until you walk away in shame. That is exactly what happened. I ate the rest of my lunches in the AV room while I surfed the internet on my laptop until my senior year when I actually had friends to sit with.
So when it comes to social networking, I tried to take a little more of an initiative when it came to friending people. Most of the time it went well, but many cases I added people who I tangentially knew, or went to school with, and it was the equivalent of them politely telling you that you aren’t USDA choice on their social grill. In other cases, I would comment on someone’s post or tweet, and they’d send back a nasty reply like you insulted their mother. The worst one was a former co-worker from Panera who I got along with really well before, decided that I wasn’t worth his time and trash-talked me out after disagreeing with some viewpoint about something. I get it dude, you graduated to the senior table in the lunch room, and need to keep up appearances. Regrettable, but this is a uniquely human trait.
So my social media policy is:
Facebook: My page is friends-only, there are no public posts. You must make a friend request to me first. If you’re someone I know or have met, you will likely be accepted within the hour. If you’re a friend-of-a-friend, I’ll still probably accept you, but I might ask for character references. If you’re a complete rando, no admittance. Nothing personnel, kid.
I also have a closed-group for discussing politics and more sensitive social issues that is by my invite only. The rules are no racism/sexism/bigotry/etc, no bandwagoning for divisive ideologies/groups (MAGA, ANTIFA, Proud Boys, etc.) and no personal attacks on other members. You don’t have to sip brandy and engage in SOPHISTICATED INTELLECTUAL DISCUSSION, you can be yourself and speak yourself, but it’s also not 8chan /pol/ and other disgusting parts of the darkweb. Inquire to me directly if you’re interested.
Twitter: I’m a little more lenient on Twitter than Facebook since it’s a public feed, but I only tend to follow real people. I don’t follow bots, politicians, pundits (with a couple exceptions), celebrities (except some Trek alumni) and influencers/clout clods. I will creep on your timeline and if I see just a sea of retweets with no original content, I won’t block your follow, but I will probably not follow you back.
Snapchat: I have one, but I hardly ever use it since I usually just post pictures to Facebook. But like Facebook, I’ll only accept solicited invites.
I do not have Instagram, Soundcloud, WhatsApp, or ten other popular social networking apps. I am on zero dating websites. So don’t bother looking there.
For gaming applications, such as Steam, Blizzard, Bethesda, Epic, Playstation Network, and streaming services like Twitch and Mixer, I am pretty lenient on who goes on my social lists there, since I used to play Overwatch with a lot of random Discord people. Check the So You Like to Play Castlevania page for more information on my video game escapades and how you can go about joining my crazy cartoon.
I know this is an atypical thing for someone to do, but it’s something I feel that only an internet-boomer would do online to protect himself (even a little) from the ravages of the online big-data ecosystem and the many people who never graduated high school bullying and get their kicks online. But it’s really just a nervous tick of mine in not being able or willing to make unsolicited relationships work with people on-the-fly. I’m perfectly fine with people when they approach me, I just don’t approach others very easily. I won’t get into the weeds though as to why.