WON’T YOU BE MY FRIEND?

There’s no escaping it: social media is here to stay. But is it merely a sophisticated way to track our personal interests so that the data can help shape the highly refined targeting of advertisements in the name of capitalism OR is it a way for individual human beings to reach out and share with Friends (old and new alike) a little bit of who they really are on an ongoing basis? Well… both, I imagine.

The rise of social media has been astoundingly quick. My Space was only a precursor to the juggernaut of Facebook. Young and old alike have found uses for this new obsession. We can post how we feel, share our triumphs and our tragedies, and wish our Friends happy birthday thanks to an on-screen prompt. Social media is being credited with organizing and sustaining the recent Egyptian revolution. It has been used in Wisconsin to get union members and supporters to the state capital to protest new and unfavorable legislation. I saw today that it was used to orchestrate a walkout of students at a Los Angeles area high school. All the local television and radio stations covered the rally on the school grounds protesting likely cuts to education in the upcoming California state budget. That’s power, my Friends.

I have, in addition to this blog, a website bearing name, a Facebook account and a Twitter account. Twitter is micro-social media. 140 characters of self-expression at a pop. How it took hold is beyond me but I have an account and I Tweeted over 300 times last year. I have only 12 followers but over half of them are Los Angeles based media such as Los Angeles Times Magazine, KFI radio, and E! Entertainment Online. No kidding: there is someone at E! whose job is to read my tweets. I can give them information on how close my controversial upcoming documentary is to completion OR I can tell them that I’m waiting for my car’s oil to be changed. That’s power… well, potential power at any rate.

Now understand this: I am two people (at least). I am me, the man my wife calls “dear” and I am Michael James Kacey the filmmaker, actor, blogger, tweeter and self promoter. So who is writing this? Which version of me? Damn good question with no simple answer. A lot of what I write / blog / post is really from me. However, sometimes I have to step into this persona of a creative artist who wishes to control his image as much as possible. To do that I blog / tweet / post mostly positive, self-affirming things. This is a choice. I could choose not to care at all and use my corner of the social media world to rant on about this or that subject. Instead I choose to cultivate a sense of kinship and respect for you, dear Reader / Friend. That way you will likely return to this blog, Friend me on Facebook or Follow my 140 characters of wisdom and wit (and learn when my car is due for service). And if you do that, you grant me power.

Power to share, power to persuade, and perhaps the power to inspire. Unfortunately, you also run the risk of giving me power to bore the snot out of you.

I’m just saying…