Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unintended Consequences of Social Media

A bit of an odd thing happened on twitter last night. It’s a great reminder about those unintended consequences of social media.

A group of us Boston kinksters started a band of tweeters called the BKP. We use that group to notify people in the area, or those planning a trip to the area, of public tweetups. We usually hold them in public venues, mostly because it’s sort of like a munch for kinky tweeps. We’re friends, so we often get together privately as well. And of course, because we love a good time, we often induct people into the BKP at those private parties. But generally, the BKP was founded to promote and advertise tweetups.

Last night, there was some unintended consequences with one of the BKP’ers planning a tweetup for poutine. It morphed into a private party, and people who didn’t realize it, started inviting themselves. It also left my DM box full of messages from people asking for details about the tweetup because they wanted to attend.

I want to apologize to those people who asked me for details. I didn't know anything about it and although I started the group on Fetlife, I'm not the hall monitor. BKP'ers can set up tweetups or parties as they like. If they're public events, I'd hope they'd post them for the world to see. If not, I'd also like to think that they'd be kept a little more on the QT.

Parties around here are usually private events, with guest lists set by the hosts. Mostly due to them being in their homes and space requirements. Those of us having parties don't want unknown people just showing up, and chancing things turning into a frat-party. And one of the unwritten rules (which maybe SHOULD be written, but I've no idea where to do it) is that you don't talk openly about which party you're attending. Taken out of the kink world, how would you feel if your friends were holding a party and you weren't invited? Within the kink world, it's no different. That's because we're people. With feelings. And nobody likes to be left out of the fun.

Myself? I was extremely hurt that some people that I consider very good friends, including one that I consider a BEST friend, started tweeting about an event that was ostensibly a BKP event, but to which I wasn't invited. It hurts to think that I'm disposable in their lives.

I'll get over it. We're friends after all. And friends move on and move forward and learn their lessons and take their lumps.

But it would have been a whole lot easier to go on believing that it was just a group of people getting together for something, than it would be to think that I was kicked out of the BKP simply because I don't tweet on weekends.

Think before you talk. Social Media has a larger audience than you'd ever think. And even if people aren't talking, they're certainly listening.

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