The Fallacy of Social Media

It’s terrible – not any social medium per se, but what social media have done to humanity.

As a society, as a culture, as friends and family to one another, even, some of us, if not most of us, we have gotten used to declining calls (why?), disabling our voicemails, and allowing only for missives to be sent to us, invitation-style, for us to choose to read (or not) or let get lost in the shuffle of oft-mismanaged inboxes. For whatever reason, we’ve willingly put this proverbial velvet rope between ourselves and meaningful communication.

We have reduced ourselves and others to pinned posts or tweets – to these generally insufficient, seldom-clear statements composed within the confines of an arbitrary new-tech character limit or style. And to what end?

To communicate…to keep up. Or something like it.

For me, this past year, it was enough. It’s so silly to get a text asking whether I can take a call, when we both remember rotary phones and/or the good ol’ days when the phone chord did not stretch all over and up and down the house. I remember the payphone, for cryin’ out loud. Just call. If I like ya, I definitely will answer or return ASAP.

Facebook is a cauldron of animosity because now we know too much about one another, and while we never did always have to agree, now we get to internalize the shit and project the shit and cut it out and the people who are serving it. It’s beyond-incomprehensible to be suspended from Twitter for a rather innocuous jokey-joke, when the impeached orange hemorrhoid of our current so-called POTUS/wannabe dictator gets away with it all, aided in no small measure by…social media.

People don’t call on one another as much anymore. And because the adults aren’t reaching out, neither are the kids. And that’s a major disconnect. Instead, kids are growing up more sheltered than ever, mentally…spiritually. IMHO. This lack of connection, I know, can be frustrating. Madonna says rejection is the greatest aphrodisiac, but, hunty, after five years of whoring out my résumé online, do you think I’m satisfied?

I am not.

Worse yet, when kids feel rudderless, they harm themselves. They torture themselves looking at how happy someone else is, how many Likes they got. They torture themselves and one another. Fuck, I feel a tinge of bad every time I look at Instagram, where abs rule (well…they always kinda have…) and, say, a journalist’s training doesn’t matter much anymore – and I like and use the platform to promote what you are reading right now, a periodical born out of observation.

It’s dangerous to feel like you must feel hella connected because this is 2020, after all, but then, realize that you are not.

And cancel culture? Jeez, that’s for people who’d find something wrong with a shit sandwich. For people who think they know – but they do not. Just ask Johnny Depp.

It’s gotta stop. It won’t, but something’s gotta give, if not change, because this phenomenon is metastasizing and mutating and creating unhealthy environments online and IRL.

Nothing beats the real world. So let’s try to heal our planet and ourselves. They kinda go hand in hand.

1 Comment

  1. I could not agree with you more, though I am not a fan of phone calls.

    Facebook used to be fun, a way of connecting with the friends I had made living in many places in the States and abroad. Then it morphed into a primordial ooze of cutesy tales and pictures of children (I am a mother of two and I try not to talk about my children unless asked), hateful political speech, and self-promotion, which I have never been good at. I am happy to say that I am off of that platform forever, as a wise friend named Martin Haro once said, “Is anyone really friends with 300+ people?”

    I’ve made some fun pen pals on Twitter but it just riles me up for the most part. Instagram? Just no.

    For more than 30 years, I have maintained a tradition of writing letters to a close friend in New Orleans. I recently found a box of these letters, which was so much more fun than looking at old social media posts. I immediately sat down to write a letter to my friend (he lost all of my letters– and more– in Hurricane Katrina) and I realized that my handwriting has deteriorated because I only write my signature for the most part.

    So I am promoting the lost art of sending letters before the current administration privatizes the postal service and hands it over to one of his disgusting followers or family members. Unless you only feel validated if numerous people ‘like’ what you have to say, the people you really care about will remember the literally written words you share more than anything else.

    Like

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