I think I’ve hit that point. I think I’m officially done with social media. In-particular, I’m done with Zuckerberg. I’m done with all the over-sharing, the self-congratulations, the social commentary, the Russian memes, the American memes, and the inarticulate points on politics and religion(both right and left). In general, I’m just tired of all the disconnected voices yelling at everyone and no one at the same time.
I know I’m not saying anything that’s new or original here. I know a lot of you figured this shit out a long time ago, or were even smart enough to stay out from the get-go. At first I looked at it as some cool tool to be involved in the lives of friends and family far away. I figured out pretty quickly that no matter how you frame it, social media relationships aren’t really relationships.
So then I justified hanging around to build relationships with artists and record labels that I admired and respected. Folks I wanted to help and promote thru this site you’re on right now. And this really has worked out quite well for the last 5 years or so. I’ve built relationships with a lot of really great folks, both creating music and the folks releasing the music on their labels. Yes, thanks to Zuckerberg I’ve had a fairly easy avenue to connect to and contact creative folks and talk to them about their work. I continue to do this and will continue to do this until I shutter the doors of this fine writing establishment.
But something has really come into crystal clear focus for me in the last couple weeks. I feel drained every time I jump on FB. I’m tired of the self-congratulatory posts and the “I don’t feel good” posts, and the “here’s how you can improve yourself to be more like me” posts. Oh, and the “asking for prayers” posts and just the pointless middle of the night posts that I would wake up to in my feed(seriously, don’t you people sleep?) I empathize with you for not feeling good. I don’t feel good either sometimes, but sharing it with the FB fam isn’t going to make me feel any better. Maybe I’m just getting crankier in my old(er) age. Maybe I’m not as empathetic as I used to be. I’ve always just tried to fix a problem in my life if it was there. Talking about it online isn’t going to fix it. Sure, maybe throwing it out there makes it real for certain people which then makes them accountable in their own heads to do something about it. But when I see the same complaints over and over again from the same folks, my guess is that it’s just to hear themselves or get a reaction from their fantasy friends in the digital ether.
I stopped discussing or sharing anything remotely political or hot button a long time ago. But I think the 2016 election was where I knew that political discourse was impossible online anymore. I mean, it was impossible anytime online. You can’t be articulate and understand what the other person is saying or why they feel the way they feel in a comment thread. You need to be face to face, that way you truly own what you’re saying. Name calling and insults are a hell of a lot harder to sling when you sitting right next to the person. Besides, couch potato political scientists are the worst kind.
Here’s the thing, though: I don’t blame the Zuckerberg kid for any of this. He created a tool, and offered it up for the world to use. As per normal human behavior, we lapped it up and made it a problem. We don’t know when to say enough is enough. We overuse and power consume all that sits before us. We use the product “for free”, but as you should know by now kiddos nothing is free. For your free service where you can post recipes, links to FOX news and CNN stories, and your gig at the local watering hole, all they want in return is your SOUL! Well, your personal information at least.
We now know cigarettes cause cancer, drinking and driving can put you in jail, meth will rot you from the inside out, and the McDonalds drive-thru will eventually cause your heart to seize up. Well, we now know that your information is being sold by FB to the highest bidder. This is common knowledge. If you stay on that platform, well that’s on you. And if you’re complaining about FB in a FB post, well maybe someday I hope you can see the irony in that.
For me, I still have a profile on FB. I need one in order to maintain a page on there for this site. For now it will remain that way, but only until I see that the Complex Distractions page on FB isn’t necessary anymore. I’m done posting on there otherwise. The time I would sit and flip through other people’s lives I can use to flip through my own life. Reading more books, listening to more records, working on my own music, and just talking with my family. I wasn’t on there a whole lot anyways, but I’ve read 250 pages in my current read in just two days. I feel like I’m feeding my soul, man.
I don’t think less of anyone for hanging out at little Marky Zuckerberg’s place. To each his own, my people. I’m just needing to pull back and concentrate on living. Real living. Read more books, play more guitar, reach out to more artists and get to know their music. Write more from the heart. Watch more lousy horror movies with my son and have more caffeinated drinks with my daughter. Go out with my wife more often. Leave the phone at home and not care about what everyone else is doing.
Just get out there and live, cause this won’t last forever.
Editor’s Note: I will still post to Instagram and Twitter, because I like posting pictures of beer and vinyl. And I guess maybe I’m a hypocrite.