I think it’s safe to say that close friends and family would refer to me as “Social Media-Savvy.” It’s a fair cop. I’m no Will Sasso (I can’t handle another outlet), but I have tended to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in pretty heavy rotation for a decent amount of time.
But in light of recent events, and I think what is a long-term aggregate of online malaise and general social media addiction, I’ve decided that I’ve had it.
I’ve been getting headaches and stomach aches, and I really think it’s because I’m starting to think in 140 characters. Nauseating. The other day, I remembered that I used to read. Like, analog books. Writing has remained important in my life, but I’ve been doing way more status updates than long form, and it’s taking a toll.
So this past weekend, I decided to step away. I deleted the FB and Twitter apps from my phone, got an actual book from a friend, and read the damn thing.
C has been doing a play in a slightly southern locale, so I’ve been hanging out down there on weekends. And because I seem to be battling an acute case of feeling irrationally disconnected, I think I’ve been overloading on the social media. Even for me.
The straw that finally broke ye olde camel’s back was when I started scrolling through my FB feed and was met with the horrific, graphic image of the man in the wheelchair. If you haven’t seen images from the Boston bombings, it’s up to you, of course, to view them. I know plenty of folks who have chosen to be informed without the images, and I respect that. Me, I’m a visual person, so I tend to seek out images.
But after seeing the lot of them, I just felt very, very sick.
So when I saw that someone on FB had decided to post that very disturbing image as a status update, it really bothered me. We all have the freedom to choose, but when you post something in a FB feed, you’re essentially deciding for countless others what they may or may not see. And for me, that image is already seared into my brain. Some folks think our tendency to shy away from the reality of violence is part of the problem. I don’t think that’s necessarily untrue. But the Facebook wall is the lazy man’s news source. As C says, it’s the equivalent of going into the town square and shouting randomly into a megaphone. Lately, it’s felt more like taking a giant poop and just walking away. Later, you swing by to see who’s stepped in it.
This blog posts automatically to Facebook and Twitter. Which I’ll keep, since the idea is for people to read it. But I’m going to see if I can just put it out there and then let it go. I haven’t set any time limits, or anything, but so far, it’s feeling pretty okay to live without the wall.
Facebook has provided me with hours and hours of information and entertainment. And I think that’s the problem.