Nina In New York: +1 Is Now + Me

A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

Ahem. I am on Google +. Are you on Google +? I mean, you probably are by now if you want to be, but I was probably on there before you were. I don’t mean anything by that. I’m just saying.

It was very important to me that I be among the first to be invited to join. Actually, I was in the dark about this until a friend angrily and persistently demanded I use my connections to get him invited, and his request spawned a number of others. Thank goodness for them. Without their desperate nagging, I would never have known that this should be something I wanted—nay, required—too! To squander an in to get a thing, any thing, that other people want is a terrible shame and a disgrace. I had to get it, even though I didn’t totally know what “it” was.

And then we did! We were in! We got it! We had it! I was elated for a brief moment before my interest plummeted to a level somewhere above “What’s for snack?” and below “What’s for dinner?”

It is pretty cool. No one ever said those Googlers weren’t smartypants. Though to be perfectly honest, now that I got it, I don’t get it. Well, I guess I think I get it, but now it’s too late to admit that I don’t, because everyone is into it and I’d be exposed as the poseur I am who still doesn’t actually understand much about Twitter. For instance, why? And also, what?

I suppose I’ll get it eventually, but the fact is that the more social media outlets that crop up, the less I want to hear from people. I can see value in all of them for various purposes—commercial promotion, self-promotion, amateur espionage, high school reunion committee planning, reason not to attend future high school reunions—but it’s getting awfully loud around here. And I’ve noticed that the more opportunity people have to share their thoughts and quotidian activities with their friends, coworkers, friends of friends and acquaintances, the more they do it. I mean really, really share. My Facebook news feed is home to frequents posts about pregnancy-related bloating, personal injury photos, conversations regarding diaper failures and poops in the potty, and small press releases to announce drunkenness, hangovers, or future plans thereof. Of course, these are consistently peppered with assorted insightful and important gems like “ugh” and “bored” and “tired” and “off to bed!” Go to bed. It’s fine. I don’t need to know. Enjoy.

It makes sense. Everyone is on everywhere, and no one wants to go from platform to platform simply repeating themselves. What would be the point of that? So while I currently “+1” Google+ (oh yeah, that’s a thing now—it means “like,” similar but far superior to the English verb, “to like”), I fear for what I might find out about my social network friends that a new forum will inevitably invite them to spill. It may be time to set some ground rules. For instance, just off the top of my head:

  1. Don’t write anything you would normally whisper in a public place
  2. No obstetric, gynecological, or scatological updates of any sort
  3. In fact, it’s probably best to avoid most medical news altogether
  4. We all know you ♥ your sweetie/girl/boy/man/woman/lady/honey/pookie/husband/wife. Unless he or she does something of note, simple proclamations of love should be done directly and in person.

Perhaps I’m just getting grouchy now. Some might offer that if I’m so irritated by the chatter online, perhaps I should not visit these sites. But that’s just ridiculous. Then how would I know when Carol Ann has her baby or keep up with Ferdinand’s weight loss? And how could I possibly tell everyone in witty detail about my heinous morning subway ride or the amazing peach I just ate? Geez. Let’s be reasonable here.

Better that everyone else just cans it in the specific way I prefer.

What would you add to the list? Sound off in our comments section below.


Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

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  • Morgan

    I too feel as though FB is getting a little too personal for my liking. One could argue that FB can harshly remind you of where you are in your life. Case in point your references to dirty diapers and “best formula” makes me wonder if I’m behind the curve. Am I not where I’m supposed to be in life b/c my news feed is spitting up baby milk instead of Friday night out pix? On the other hand, perhaps its a reminder of exactly where I want to be.
    Regardless, dinner with Molly on a Friday night sounds more appealing than figuring out yet another social platform :-)

  • Molly

    Who needs to hear all the trivia that floats through people’s minds? I’d rather catch up with friends over dinner or at least a substantial phone conversation. I guess I’m hopelessly outdated.


    ALL social media has gone bonkers with idiotic and unnecessary news, personal info and useless stuff which is a total waste of time and a complete distraction. If everyone on FB and all these other social medias were to socialize in person with at least one person on a one on one basis we wouldn’t have so many millions and millions of people feeling so desperate for friendship and love. Facebook and all other electronic mediums for socializing is for real looser only in my opinion.

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