Sunday, August 31, 2014
Why Twitter and Facebook and all the rest of social media are evil.
I'm not reporting anything new here.
When you really boil it down we never graduate high school. Those mentalities and social mores and cliques and everything else we learn in high school stay with us for the rest of our lives.
There are the cool kids, the jocks, the geeks, the partiers, the book lovers and any other label we can apply-- and if nothing else social media just proves that for the vast majority of us nothing's changed.
TWITTER and FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM and TUMBLR and every other social media app that people use to, well, socialize, are destroying the very fabric of our lives and adding stress we may not even be aware of.
In the old days, you had friends. Remember those? People you would see and hang out with, have dinner with, go to the movies with-- they were people, flesh and blood and if you were lucky you had one really good friend, and if you were really lucky you had two maybe three.
People have thousands of "friends". And if you don't-- you feel like some kind of outcast. You spend hours hanging with these friends made of pixels and you look at countless pictures of how skinny they are, how much fun they're having, what food they just ate or you're remarking how funny they are.
And just like in high school you post things in the hopes of getting it "liked"-- or Re-Tweeted, or anything else that just shouts NOTICE ME!
When it doesn't happen you feel a sense of sadness.
We blur the lines between people who are friends and people who are "friends".
You call a friend and hope they answer. You make plans with them and follow through. On their birthdays you either call or send a real card. If they call you at 2 in the morning with a flat tire you go and help. Real friend.
Real friends don't just shoot you an email once in a while, or worse, invite you to things via a Facebook posting. "So sorry you missed it!"
The internet is a ridiculous thing. We didn't know we couldn't live without it twenty years ago-- and now it can get people to dump ice water over their heads in an effort to raise money and awareness to ALS.
I myself post to Tumblr and Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIN so am I a hypocrite? Maybe a little bit. I don't spend much time on any of those sites, instead I use a handly little program called IFFT that links all of my accounts (including this one) to my phone so when I post something to Instagram it posts everywhere causing countless people who follow me on more than one service to end our friendship.
But honestly what I don't do is spend any time on any of those sites looking at the amazing lives my friends have, instead I do what I can to make my own life pretty good.
And it is.
So rather than dumping ice water on yourself for a good cause-- do something even better for yourself. Call a friend. Make some plans to have dinner, have a conversation, get out there and do something. The internet will be here when you get back.