Web 2.0 and Midwestern Values

Many, many authors have written on the polite southern lady / steel toed business woman dichotomy. I live it; The Closer has made it into an entire TV series.

I'm running head to head against another one of those small town values / reality dichotomies with Web 2.0.

Specifically, this linking back business.

I have three blogs (two are intensely personal, one can be read by less than a handful of people). I have a Linked-In profile. I have two family genealogy profiles. I have been invited to, but not joined at least five other social media sites.

Each of these profiles in turn links to other folks, of varying levels of "I know this person" or "I like this person" or "I think this person has a cool blog" or (*work-related shudder*) "I endorse this person."

And this gets to my Midwestern (I don't think this is a Southern thing; since I hail from Oklahoma I can be Southern, Western, or Midwestern depending on the issue (no one wants Oklahoma). This feels more like a Mom's-from-small-town-Kansas thing) sensibilities.

Emotionally, an invitation to connect feels like an invitation to dinner.

With dinner the choices are: accept and delay with excuse, preferably long, and detailed. Since there's obviously no conflicting event for a link, Midwest Girl must accept. And anything accepted MUST be reciprocated.

I'm dealing with this by ignoring the issue. People link to me, people join me, people follow me, and I pretend I don't know.

But the whole time I feel RUDE, RUDE, RUDE.

See over there on the left? I've got two "followers" of this blog. I don't know who they are. I'm glad they are there. I hope this post doesn't scare them off. One of their profiles says they work for Google. Does that mean it's rude to continue on the "there's no t-e-a-m in google" theme? (Midwestern Girl: like serving pot roast during Lent to those nice Catholic boys down the road).

Email etiquette was bad enough, Web 2.0 feels like I'm eating with the Duchess of Windsor and using not just the wrong fork, but spooning peas on to my butter knife. (Where is my grandmother with the silver spoon to the knuckles?)


noah said...

I know exactly what you mean, and I know if my mother caught me ignoring it I would be dead. I'm also from Oklahoma, and I think where you are from really makes the difference. I'm from Tulsa, and have always felt midwestern, but I know some of the smaller towns seem a lot more southern.

Yet Another Girl said...

I grew up in Tulsa, with frequent excursions to small town Kansas.

I feel Southern most the time, but there's a lot of stuff that I just know is KANSAS.

Like the lingering feeling that crocs/flipflops aren't supposed to be worn in PUBLIC. (What would the neighbors think if they saw you at Kroger buying melons in flipflops?!?!)