Social Isolation

A terrible thing is happening.

I’m falling out of love with Facebook.

I think this must be how a heroin addict feels.  You hate heroin, but you love it.  You never want to see it again, but you can’t live without it.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I couldn’t live without social media, or, more specifically, Facebook.  And yet, it holds me.

It holds me.

I’ve been thinking a lot about social media in general lately, and it’s really sort of a sad testament to our culture that our main form of communication occurs without ever having to actually see or talk to anyone.  Even family.  I’m just as guilty.  In all seriousness, probably 90% of my contact with friends and family that I stay in touch with is via social media.  So, here’s the question: is that a bad thing?

Maybe it is.

I wonder if we are becoming a people who has zero social interaction skills.  How ironic that Facebook (and Twitter, and whatever) is called “social” media.  Maybe it should be called anti-social media.  We can allegedly fulfill our familial and friendship obligations without ever leaving our reclining chairs (which is, incidentally, where I am sitting right now.)  We don’t ever have to send a thank you note, write a letter, or, God forbid, talk to someone.

What’s worse, when you actually do talk to someone, I think the lack of social interaction is showing.  No one looks anyone in the eye anymore.  Usually that’s because they are busy checking Facebook on their smart phones.  Texting also fits into this category–again, you don’t actually have to talk to anyone.  I guess if it wasn’t for politicians and Baptist ministers, talking would go out of fashion altogether.

Even though I just made a lot of compelling points about why social media is going to be the downfall of modern society (I didn’t really make any compelling points, but who cares), the real reason I am falling out of love with Facebook is because it is making me hate people again.

I hated people before, you know.  Long ago.  I was a bitter, hateful youth.  Then I sort of mellowed out.  Well, a little, anyway.  I can usually ignore people who really annoy me.  But with Facebook, I can’t ignore them.  It’s like I’m drawn to the annoying-ness, then I get some sort of pleasure complaining about it.  How sick is that?! No–how sad is that?

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So now I’m starting to hate people again, and I’m afraid I’m not alone.  So you see, this is yet another way our social media is isolating us from each other.  Not only is it making me indifferent, it’s making me want to actively hurt people in the face.

I mean, seriously.  Don’t you get that?  Don’t you read some of the statuses and just want to die? Or kill someone?  You know what I mean–the ones that go on about how wonderful their lives are.  “I woke up in my satin sheets this morning in my mansion and went for a walk around our private island, and some sand got in my nose, and when I sneezed, dimes flew out! How wonderful! Then the kids went and built houses for poor people and then we went and all bought complete new wardrobes for the week! We are so blessed!”

Yeah.

Or it’s the opposite–you know, the ones who are always on the verge of death.  But still, they are blessed.

And then there are the ones who feel compelled to share every single detail of their personal lives.  Take my word for this, folks–no one cares about the color of your BM.  Really. And some of the stuff you are sharing shouldn’t be shared.  In the old days, if you wanted to find out about people’s dirty laundry,  you had to rely on gossiping, or Jerry Springer.  Now, just turn on the computer.

I’m starting to think maybe I’m the problem.  Maybe someone with my personality defects shouldn’t be exposed to others.  Maybe it’s better if I just sit in the house and avoid social interaction of any kind.

Except Facebook, of course.

I can’t give that up.


 

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