social media blues

Apple CEO Tim Cook won’t allow his nephew on social media for good reason. When Facebook was first invented it was supposed to connect people to each other. It might have been an innocent enough idea but in fact the darker side of social media has been winning it seems with online harassment, general feelings of inadequacy and people losing themselves in a cyberworld instead of living in the real one. We are more connected and yet more estranged than ever and even in my own family invitation to events are made on Facebook in lieu of phone calls. I am not on Facebook so someone eventually texts or calls me.

Technology has been wonderful but it has come at a price and as jobs are lost to automation and social media networks proliferate we begin to see patterns emerging.

I sit in a subway car and most people are immersed in their cell phones which have now become our lifelines. Many of us are on social media networks exchanging details of our lives that would perhaps best be not shared with everyone we know; a great deal of it admittedly mundane. Once they are posted there is no effortless way to take them back and they are there almost for posterity unless one takes the painful effort of deleting them one by one.

Today I leave the house without my cell phone and get a pang of discomfort because not only does it connect me with my private life but it has also become my work phone. I haven’t had a land line for years and don’t plan on ever going back. It would only be worse if I were dependent on social media.

I don’t expect the genie will ever be put back into the bottle but I would like to think we might back away from the precipice even just a little.


Comments

  1. I remember a time when showing everyone your vacation photos was a faux pas generating angst and awkwardness as people did not want to tell you how boring it was for them. Now, if you do not publish your vacation photos for the world’s consumption, people feel left out, and will let you know.

    I abhor social media, and simply do not use it. I have tried Facebook on two occasions, and never cared for it. I don’t want to know everyone’s passing thoughts or what they had for breakfast. Or have people upset with me because I did not give them the rush of “liking” something they posted. I enjoyed Twitter when I could follow people who just posted links to news articles they found interesting, but it’s become a repository for insults beneath the dignity of the officeholders hurling them. I don’t surveil myself or act as my own paparazzi. I am not a celebrity and do not want to be one. I don’t worry about putting my best foot forward in virtual brochures for everyone else to think my life is far more splendid than it is. I just live my life and absorb its experiences.

    I wasn’t always so curmudgeonly about it. But it’s no longer merely eccentric to abstain from social media. When people discover I’m not on FB, the looks I get are disapproving. Some even get angry. So, I’m getting more vocal about it.

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    Replies
    1. we agree here Caryn and I don't have a social media presence either. I find that it is either posting pap or exposing too much of what one is doing or going. This is where that inadequacy factor comes in where some people feel their lives are less interesting compared to some else's largely fabricated one online. I am happier not being there.

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