Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stay classy, kids

I've noticed a trend with the kids ever since Myspace and then Twitter and Facebook came along: less filtering, more blurting. They think every thought they have is worthy of sharing, and as you can imagine, it drives me batty.

I have a regular saying in my classroom: "Just because you have a thought, does not mean it has to come out of your mouth." I say it so often they'll say it with me and nod, agreeing, promising to stay quiet, and then five seconds later they're sharing at top volume whatever thought popped into their addled brains regardless of the instructions I'm in the middle of giving.

The kids don't feel like stuff is private anymore. Everybody's innermost thoughts are just out there where we can all see them, and every thought they have is worth sharing.

Okay I know what you're thinking. "You're one to talk, Sharey McSharington," but the stuff I overshare is awesome. You should hear some of the crap these kids say and then repeat thirty thousand times if it gets a single laugh. It's terrible. The same damn jokes over and over, jokes that weren't funny the first time.

Most of the time when they're funny it's not on purpose.

Anyway, that's not why I started this post.

With all this social media out there and free sharing and lack of privacy, people seem to have lost their sense of etiquette.

Just because it says someone is your "friend" on Facebook does not make them your actual friend. Because you follow someone on Twitter does not make them someone you pal around with. If that were true, I'd be in a hot tub right now with Kris Holden-Reid, getting it on.

In case you haven't been following my TV star crush progression, Kris Holden-Reid is the new Jensen Ackles. But I digress once again.

My point is this: These people have business hours and business email addresses. Facebook is for personal time. Twitter is for spewing out random thoughts to anyone who will listen. It is not for you to use in pestering people.

You wouldn't go up to an agent you've never met before at a party, tag him on the shoulder and say "Read my script" would you? Okay, if you would, punch yourself because you're an asshole.

Querying through Facebook is considered by most agents and managers to be a really tasteless act. They also don't seem to enjoy you sending loglines via Twitter. There may be exceptions, but not many. And while we're at it, I discovered through personal experience that they get overly upset when you email them your query letter on a Sunday.

So here's a public service message to anyone who doesn't have boundaries - make some. If your logline is good someone will request it through the proper channels. Have some class. Just because you see this person online does not make them your friend.


  1. I hate pitching and think it's dumb. Build a relationship, THEN find out what they like. I can't even imagine pitching pitching via Facebook.

    On the other hand...Carson did pick my pitch as one of the top 100 during TwitPitch (and, no, I don't know what that signifies, nor do I know what to do about it). So, as you can imagine, I am paying more attention to tweets.

    In conclusion: many kids're jerks who couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel. They are tonedeaf emotionally and otherwise.

  2. Emailng on a Sunday is bad? That's just a ... stupid attitude. There's no such thing as business hours in the digital world. If you don't want email on Sunday, don't read it until Monday. EMAILS ARE NOT PHONE CALLS. I email people at two in the morning because that's when I'm up. It's not like I expect an immediate response. Sheesh.

    That said, I think the biggest problem is that people don't look past their own nose when it comes to social media. If you want to Tweet someone a proposal -- best to get to "know" them first. Establish some rapport. Find out what their boundaries are. If they seem open, great. If not -- go their preferred route. As you say, being available on social media is not an invitation to deluge people with your crap.

  3. Anonymous3:27 PM

    Agreed. Interesting about not emailing on Sunday. Will take that into consideration, though seems extreme. I think of email as beyond the boundaries of business hours. I've always felt that it was up to the recipient to monitor it on their end, meaning they get to choose when they open their emails. If they don't want to work on Sunday, well, open the emails on Monday then.

  4. I think the Sunday thing doesn't apply to everyone, but some people with smart phones cannot resist checking their email at all times. It's not the fault of the email sender, but nonetheless, any reason to pass....


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