I guess blogging was one of the first forms of social media, I’ve been doing it since ’97 when it was still called Everything/Nothing. I still don’t know what that means or who thought it up. Over the past… 20+ years, sharing has become as easy as walking out our front door and taking a shit on the stoop.
All these people, friends and strangers, filtering down their life to individual moments, individual acts, only sharing the shit on the stoop that they want to share… the turd that doesn’t stink. The thing is, everyone’s shit stinks. Even if you have a bran muffin every day chased with probiotics.
I think I’m getting off on a tangent, but all this shit sharing seems to be the calling card of Generation Me. Fuck the “millenial” tag, this is the “Look At Me” generation. In the past, sure, you shared photographs of things you’ve seen and done. But here in 2019, you can’t have a plate of french fries without taking 40 photos only to find the right one to share.
I’ve got 1100+ posts on Instagram and if I had to guess, 83% of them are of things I’ve turned into shit on a stoop over the course of a day. I know what I’m talking about, everyone thinks I’m this great cook to the point I’m voluntold to run the grill at parties (and have to Google how the fuck to grill a steak). They don’t see all the plates that looked like crap and never made it to the public consumption phase.
Every day I walk down the street, ride on a train, drive in my car, and see people with their faces buried in their electronic devices I throw up in my mouth a little. #every #fucking #hashtag #you #use #in #the #hope #that #some #acne #ridden #chronic #masturbator #clicks #like is digital constipation to me. 3 hours on the can, and #it #still #wont #drop.
Pair up social media sharing with being lonely, and there you’ve got the real collateral damage of social media. Any time, any place, any day, the lonely can pick up a device, and despite knowing that 83% of what you’re seeing is contrived, be made to feel even more lonely. Just sitting there #knowing #that #everyone #else #is #enjoying #life #without #you #and #didn’t #even #send #an #invite…. it’s infuriating.
A little back story on me – I’ve been mostly alone since I got divorced back in 2013. Glued to social media, sharing, talking, reading, arguing, interacting… but not. In lieu of actually walking outside, clearing the stoop, and living – I’m sitting on my couch with the TV rambling on in the background, with a game paused on my laptop, I’m punching around on my phone seeing what everyone else who isn’t me, #is #doing.
What value has all this brought to my life? I’m sharing all these experiences, and not a single one of my 350 Facebook “friends” or 196 Instagram “followers” has taken a single step outside the frame to realize that I’m completely alone, depressed, anhedonic, and hiding behind a perfectly cooked ribeye. Nearly every single photo, story, or share, done alone. No group of friends behind the camera, just… me.
What value? None. Has any of this brought me joy? Meaning? Truth? Well, maybe some truth, but it’s an ugly truth. The truth is that it hasn’t helped me, if anything it’s prolonged my situation so I can keep providing these corporations with free #metadata in the guise of being social. The truth is, it’s made me consider people who I don’t see or talk to in person, who won’t ask me how I am doing, or even invite me out for a coffee – “friends.”
Oh, I’ll get an invite, to a group activity where I can blend into the background after the usual niceties are completed. It’s made me accept being handed my hat. It’s made me accept changing myself in a way that makes my personality more appropriate for public consumption.
It’s turned me into a shit, on a stoop. The 40th photo. Meta. Look at me. Last week I switched off my Facebook, today Instagram. I also quit drinking and smoking… let the healing begin.