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No Facebook or Twitter Account? What Are You Hiding?

My brother-in-law has committed social suicide and he doesn’t even care. I always make fun of him for not having Facebook, Twitter, or even a LinkedIn account. He’s a professional who often relies on relationships to gain new clients and yet he refuses to incorporate social media into his work and life. We all know people like this. They’re “too busy,” “would rather read a book” or fear technology. And according to this article, they might also be mass murderers.

Lone gunmen like James Holmes and Anders Breivik both shied away from an online presence, possibly a clue to their social isolation. But I really don’t think my brother-in-law is capable of murder. So what does social suicide say about him and others?

More than anything, it sends a red flag. There are two main scenarios in which people Google you: dating or career. If I was going on a date with someone and couldn’t find ANY info on them besides a creepy Mylife link, it would freak me out a little. What are you hiding?! Oh nothing you, say? Not sure I believe you.

And if you’re looking to advance your career, how can you be that successful if you’re an online ghost? Of course I know that doesn’t have to be true, but today almost everyone uses the internet to either promote themselves or at least identify themselves. So much of our time is spent online it’s almost abnormal to not interact there socially.

Even if you don’t like to share your own information or post duck-face photos of yourself, at least you can keep up with what’s going on in your friends’ and colleagues’ lives. Aren’t you at all curious who’s taking pictures of their feet on the beach?!





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  2. Abndrew says:

    How did this article even get on the nerdist?


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  4. Tim says:

    I use twitter and that’s it. I have no interest or need to share everything about my personal life with anyone that happens to want to look at it.

    This post really demonstrates the difference in attitude about privacy between older and younger generations. Too many younger people today fail to consider the future implications of sharing so much of themselves online.

  5. Christopher M. says:


    Even though I have enough email addys to run a spam campaign (I segregate them between financial, spam, gaming, “relations” and other things), I’m on LinkedIn, and on Xbox Live and other lifestyle websites, in the author’s opinion I’m “hiding” something because I don’t uncontrollably share on the TwitFace?

    Sorry. I’ve made a conscious decision based on my career, my personality, and my concerns over data security/Big Brother-ism to not be on Twitter/Facebook.

    Does that limit being in touch with people? No, if they “deign” to use email, SMS texting (as the kids call it), or game with me; or, horror of horrors…use the cell phone as a PHONE.

    Does it keep stalkers, trolls, creepers, shotgun marketers and others off my back? Not as much as I’d like, because having any presence on teh netz at all means someone’s going to be trying to tell you how you should live (see article above), what to buy, what a luser you are because you aren’t as l33t as them, and so on.

    Since I work in the Finance industry, I have to deal with the fallout of people not knowing how NOT to share, and all the burdens of specific regulations that implies. Maybe the author should be more concerned about getting the last few people who DON’T even have the gear to get ON THE INTERNET, on to the Internet, before demanding more sharing from the ones who’ve been here since before it started.

    I am a grown-*ss man, who works full time, and likes to do things like sleep, game, eat, whore about and so forth…I only have so much time in the day to do the things I need to do, and not enough to do the things I’d prefer to be doing just to add 2 more massive time sinks to my life. The teacup can only hold so much water from the fire hose, and you can claim you’re an awesome multitasker…that is until I need you to focus on one thing to get it done.

    Half the time, I can’t get people around me to focus on what I need them to, because of Pinterest, Facebook, and other things…and right now, I’m responding to this “article” on the ‘net, instead of working. Shame on me…and maybe you see the point I’m getting at?

    I think marketers and companies are HIDING something from me, by requiring me to be on Facebook to enter contests or “Like” them. And celebrities are hiding their shows, etc. from me by requiring me to be on Twitter to know what they’re doing.

    I think the integrity and utility of data, brands, interaction, and products is undermined by the exclusionary channels of social media, and the potential for abuse, neglect, and simply bad data and feedback on them.

    No doubt social media does wonders; we’ve seen that. The phone and TV, radio and movies did wonders too, but they’ve also caused their fair share of problems in the world as well. Social media isn’t any different in that respect.

    You don’t believe anything I tell you about me, unless you can Google it…I’m sorry, ask your 657 “friends” on Facebook, or read my tweets? Then maybe you need to not leave your tech cave and interact with people socially. If you can’t read body language, facial expressions, listen to tone/inflection, understand intent, ask probing questions, and observe your surroundings…then you need more in your life than another “social” platform.

    I really could care less about your feet at the beach, your duck face, or how crunk you got last night, because until I can either hear your voice, or see your face in person, you’re pretty much just an luminiferous homunculus construct to me, only filled with the delightful and 100% accurate stuffing of the Internet…which we know is NEVER wrong, in any way.

    We now return you to talking about me on the Internet when I’m not in the room and can’t even notice it…enjoy!

  6. Luanne says:

    Re: this article:

    What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  7. chris says:


  8. Ben Z says:

    @Angie I’ve read worse, but it’s definitely a bad one.

    I’m so bored of Facebook. I have an account, but I have it turned to private. I rarely update it and mostly use it to occasionally message people. It’s like that car commercial where the woman (hmmm… trend?) is talking about her parents are anti-social, but they’re off mountain biking with their friends while she just sits at the computer watching Facebook.
    Seriously, if you think someone is weird for NOT having a public social media device, you’re wrong. If you’re not going to date someone, because they keep those things private, I think that is very shallow.
    I don’t fear technology, I embrace it. I’ve embraced it pretty much since I was born. I just find social media boring. It’s more entertaining to hang out with people in real life (OH NOES! SCARY!).

  9. Angie says:

    This is pretty much the worst article I have ever read in my entire life.

  10. Katie says:

    meh. I had both Facebook and Twitter and got rid of them. In my opinion they’re both incredibly boring ways to be social. I also found them to be annoying and wasted too much time on crap I ended up not really caring a whole lot about (hence the boringness). Honestly, getting rid of them was pretty damn freeing. I can definitely understand the benefits of using them for business reasons though (unnecessary for my career), but for personal life? nah. I prefer the old timey way of meeting and keeping up with people.

  11. Bobby G says:

    “What am I hiding? You know what, you’ll never know, you know why? Because it”s none of your Fucking Business!

  12. Steve says:

    I have a facebook and twitter. It’s still a crap article and you stated why it is in your post, Mel. Yes, the Internet is an amazing voice of communication and blah blah blah but the amount of transparency in personal information that it displays is something that some people aren’t comfortable with and those people are well justified in that line of thinking. It’s sensationalist crap.

  13. Ashley says:

    While I do have a Facebook and Twitter account, I know several people who don’t… And their reasons are pretty valid. I am a teacher and several of my coworkers do not use social networking for fear of students and parents finding them and harrassing them online. Other friends of mine avoid social networking because they are unsuccessful at this point in their lives (no good job, no family, etc) and, as one friend put it “[they] don’t want to be reminded that they fail at life on a daily basis.”

  14. GuanoLad says:

    I’m on Twitter, and I also have a blog, if you can call it that as it barely qualifies, so I’m not who you’re railing against, but I do think Facebook is an unholy cluttered clusterfuck of a creation and there will be millions who will never partake of it for that reason.

  15. logic says:

    so what are you going to do when people start to pay to have their social network pages created and updated without ever having to bother with it themselves? is that really representative of that person? and if not, how will you know what or who to trust? will employers or dates trust a profile that is maintained by someone else? because if everyone needs one then it is only a matter of time before people pay to have them made for them.

  16. stanley says:

    yeah that sounds pretty stupid, anjeanette. I mean this comes long after news of social media being used as hunting grounds for predators, stalkers, bullies, addicts, etc. Let alone the articles pointing out facebooks’ user decline in north america. If you let digtial media be the only way you socialize then you don’t really know anything about the people you’re socializing with. how much did facebook pay you for this?

  17. Mel says:

    Umm… this article isn’t crap… maybe you don’t have social network accounts because you’re negative and like to rip down people’s work but aren’t brave enough to put yourself out there for people to call your work crap??? Just a thought.
    I have mixed feelings about the social networking… some days I wish I’d never heard of the internet ’cause I’m mad I wasted time on things I shouldn’t be spending time on (never regret time spent on though 🙂 ) but on the flip side… I’m a comic and artist… I’ve gotten almost all my painting commissions by posting my work on facebook and showing it off… my audience at my shows are largely there because they found out online on a social network site… so I feel forced to use social network sites.
    Don’t know if I find people that don’t use them creepy but some days I’d rather get back to the easel than have to sit around for an extra hour or two making sure my audience that refuses to use social media sites get my smoke signals and snail mail… but that’s business… and if I want their business… I have to keep the smoke signal fire burning while I’m hitting post on facebook.

  18. Sly says:

    I have both Facebook and twitter, with plenty of people on both, but clicked that option where you hide everyones posts and pics, and now my Facebook just shows my likes posts (news). Yay for irony!.
    Btw, Christine is right, logical fallacies are not cool.

  19. Christine says:

    Correlation does not equal causation? Or has that cliche already been thrown out too many times to count?

    I dropped all social networking, save for email and live interactions. I think it’s one thing to avoid any social contact, and quite another to eschew technology in favor of some semblance of privacy. And except for this, I really don’t feel the need to contribute to the conversation anymore. Enough people have enough say and usually cover it all in myriads of ways.

    I’m going out to dinner and a movie, and if it keeps me from getting a job, so be it. I’ll start my own business in a niche market and then use social media to buy information on customers who will die for whatever crap I’ll push on them because Google and Facebook say they’ll buy it.

  20. Steve says:

    This is crap, and that article is crap.

  21. Matt says:

    I was never on myspace, I didn’t get a facebook account, and I don’t need twitter. I don’t consider my self anti-social media, but I have no need for it. My career is not one that would benefit from online networking and having people know personal information about me could be a safety issue for me and my family. I guess it’s more of an issue for people who use social media, than for those of us who don’t.