I have a friend, V., who loathes chocolate. She cannot bear the taste of it, and if offered a piece of something chocolatey, she will demur and, if pressed, explain.
For some reason, most people refuse to accept that she doesn’t like chocolate. They believe that she is somehow wrong about her own tastes. They urge her to try their favorite upscale chocolate, or their mother’s brownie recipe, or their childhood favorite candy bar.

I never understood that.

Related: what is the deal with all you some of you Twitter and FaceBook people, and your insistent winking enticements to join in?

If, in the future, I have a practical use for either format, I’ll start using it. At the moment? I do not like them, Sam I Am.

(sidenote: man, am I the only one who thought Sam I Am was a terrible jerk? His creepy persistence always wigged me out when I was a kid, and all the more so because the narrative vindicated his dreadful, relentless dunning. I much preferred the pale green pants with nobody inside them.)

Do I mock and tease you for your obscure-to-me enjoyment of these formats? I do not. I could, for example, have titled this entry “TwitFace,” but I resisted. I shrug and think “That’s nice.” It’s nice that rugby players enjoy playing rugby, too, and even nicer that they don’t email me and tell me to get geared up and onto the field.

You know, if it were only one person winking emoticoning and coaxing and teasing, it might actually be kind of adorable, even the eighteenth time. But it isn’t only one person, and that means that every few days, I get an email from someone urging me to ignore my own preferences for their convenience. Often, it’s from someone who cannot be bothered to contact me except to tell me how great it would be to stay in touch through FaceBook or Twitter, so… yeah. Not persuasive.

And now as a gesture of understanding, I offer you two awesome things on Twitter:
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Twitter feed (mentioned previously).
The Bitwrathploob’s Twitter feed.

9 thoughts on “tastes

  1. Hmmm. I use Twitter and Facebook….but…I have no objection to changing anyone’s mind now than I’ve aged to 62 (-:

  2. Will.i.am is the creepiest by far, Erik.
    I applaud you for standing firm on this issue. I only think slightly less of you for it as well.
    This reminds me of my inexplicable and unimaginable dislike of meatloaf. Inevitably, someone says, “Well, you’ve never tried MY meatloaf.” I smile and say, “Yes, and I never will.”

  3. As someone who loves meatloaf (but only my Mom’s meatloaf, and only once every five years or so), I can easily imagine having a hearty aversion to meatloaf. It’s pulped meat, smushed up with pantry goods. It’s a loaf of meat. That ain’t right.
    I’m not “standing firm” or “being strong,” just shrugging and rolling my eyes and puzzling over the desire to indoctrinate the unwilling. (Not any of y’all, which is nice, because then I don’t have to be all “TWEET THIS, SUCKAS” and “IN YOUR FACEBOOK!”)

  4. There is an E____ _ ________ from _______, M_ on Facebook whose status is “Engaged”. A & I discovered this on the day she set up my FB account for me. She was shocked and horrified, as you had sworn you would NEVER be on FB. I guess it’s not you. And now FB is my new hobby. But twitter, now, that’s a different story.

  5. No, that’s probably me. I spent five minutes some time ago setting up a FaceBook profile, so I could check out the site and see if I enjoyed it or found it useful. I don’t recall marking a relationship status, but I must’ve.
    It’s not like I made a declaration that “I’LL NEVER EVER NIVER NUVER NEVER NAVER NEVER EVER USE THESE FORMATS!” I checked ’em out. They’re not for me, certainly not at the moment. I’m not sure how many more shrugs I can cram into one blog entry, but [shrug].

  6. Yeah, don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Sorry if I ever mentioned Twitter in that context, which I surely did since its main virtue is to amplify the sense of being close/included in the lives of users. When it debuted I thought it sounded extremely dumb (so of course I was all, sign me up!) and it took me a long time to see its, um, utility. Which is almost nil unless you are seated at a computer most of the time or use it on a mobile. It does seem to be starting to make the leap into the mainstream these days, where The Book of the Face most clearly is.
    TBOTF is icky (as you doubtless know). My use of it consists mainly of piping my Twitter crap into it so the people who use TBOTF but not Twitter can see what dumb stuff I’m doing. Opt out all you want, and like Erik I say Be strong, sister! But Real-Time Social Network Creep is making a lot of people less apt to keep in touch via blogs and email and other such quaint old-timey buggywhip technologies, so at some point you may find yourself wondering where everybody is.
    The answer will be, Whatever is about to utterly supplant Twitter and TBOTF and make them seem old-timey and quaint. I hope it involves robots.

  7. Dude, robots are so early-20th-century-fictional. It’s all about personal-message-transmitting hoverbots. Mine is awesome.
    Your remark highlights a fascinating difference in how people approach formats. Blogging isn’t something I do to keep in touch — it’s for my own entertainment, and I’m frankly amazed whenever anyone reads the stuff.
    And, as I keep saying, this was never a declaration of my absolute resistance to the formats, but just an eyeroll at the extreme persistence of a few friends (and few more “friends”).
    Listen, when my friends urged me to join Friendster, I tried it. When the herd moved to MySpace, I overcame my reluctance, but soon they moved on from there. It’s no use following early adopters from one format to another, because they’re like the invaders in Jack Finney’s “The Body Snatchers”: they flit from one planet to another, leaving only despoiled husks behind them.
    In the process, I discovered:
    A) social networking sites are fundamentally unsatisfying (for me! not for y’all!), and a poor way for me (for me! not for y’all!) to maintain friendships;
    B) they take a buttload of time away from my actual life.
    If I found that Twitter actually did “amplify [my] sense of being close/included in the lives of users,” I would use it all the livelong day. It doesn’t do that for me.
    I get that, for some people, social networking sites are satisfying. For me, it’s currently a big timesuck. I need fewer online commitments, not more.
    If I get struck down with the flu or something, I’ll spruce up my FaceBook profile. (I imagine Twitter is an absolute godsend when you’ve got the flu.) Otherwise, I’ll be out windsurfing.
    Okay, I’ll actually be sitting right here writing, but it’ll be my own academic writing, which goes over 140 characters, anyhow.

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