I took a month-long hiatus from Facebook and Twitter recently, and this past weekend I made a drunken decision to hop back onto social media, and catch up with everything weird and wonderful. And after three days, I can firmly say this: I’m not sure it’s for me anymore.
Look, I’ll admit it, I like Twitter because there’s always the slim chance that someone I don’t know will find me funny, and for a brief moment, I will feel validated. Usually when I say something completely asinine (perhaps something about LL Cool J, or snack foods) I get a ‘retweet’ or a ‘favourite’, or holy of holies, a ‘reply’. That sets me flying all day! And holy hellballs, look out if I get a retweet or a comment from a celebrity – I all but lose my tiny mind! What a weird world I live in.
And I like Facebook because it connects me with people, and helps me remember their birthdays and stuff. But it takes away my desire to physically interact with people. “Go to Jeff’s birthday party? But why? I already posted an abbreviated birthday wish to his wall AND sent him an Instagram photo of a balloon with his name on it. I don’t want to go overboard here!”
During my hiatus, I realized just how much time I wasted on social media, and just how out of touch I was after NOT being on it for almost a month. Life happens, days move forward, time goes on, and if you’re not glued to the screen, you miss all these changes in people’s lives. However, in all that eagle-eyed allowable snooping, what we have failed to notice is that while we’re hanging onto every word that our friends (and ‘friends‘) say, we forget to experience our own reality. To quote from the genius that is Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.
I don’t want to miss my life, especially not for pictures of brunch, or updates on some random infant’s bowel movements. I’m missing time out snuzzing with my dog and laughing with my husband because I don’t want to miss that photo of a Georgia gas station that Norman Reedus posts to Twitter. I’m skipping out on drunk baking with friends because I’m just too damn exhausted after scrolling through wedding photos and vacation snaps of someone I haven’t actually spoken to in fourteen years. I’m feeling depressed and ruined because of the endless posts about the viscerally stupid thing some government has done now, how the Religious Right is destroying Human Rights, and the comments from people who think it’s all a-ok. I ‘block’, I ‘hide’, I ‘ignore’, but that doesn’t stop the litany of posts about animal abuse, apathy, environmental destruction, and goddamn Sarah Palin. Why are we subjecting ourselves to this? I don’t want my friends to tell me about Michelle Bachmann or Wal*Mart – I prefer to leave that delivery system to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I’d rather you show me your eggs benedict.
I like being connected with people, but I’m not sure that I have the capacity to not care about stuff. Sometimes I enjoy my ignorance, and sometimes I like knowing about someone’s new tattoo, or a phenomenal cookie recipe that actually works. I also like telling people about how odd my life is sometimes, and how much of a freakshow weirdo I am. There’s a strange brand of comfort in that narcissism, you know?
All that being said, I’ll probably stick around for a while. Maybe I won’t be as interested or as interesting, but I’ll be there… lurking in the background, posting stupid things I find while skimming Reddit, and showing off photos of my beleaguered dog dressed as Spartacus, or Carmen Miranda, or cone-boob Madonna. Because in my mind, that’s what Social Media is all about.
Happy Tuesday, all!