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!”


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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33 thoughts on “Social Isolation

  1. I totally get where you’re coming from. Some people’s status updates are infuriating… I have a lot of thoughts on this subject but in a nutshell, I stick with Facebook because it’s an efficient way to share baby pictures and also because I really have no other choice. Facebook is just a part of our lives and without you’re living off the grid. 🙂
    Melissa recently posted..“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!”My Profile

  2. I’m an old school LiveJournal fan. I find it much more intimate. You can have real conversations, and you get tons of filters and privacy. I’ve made some real life friends through LJ, because it lets you get to know people so much better (and you can decide who gets to know you better, and how much.)

    DreamWidth is another good site, a lot like LJ. You should check them out!

  3. I am putting my phone and laptop down for a moment so that I can stand on my chair and applaud this!! If you have personality defects, then honey, I am right there with you in the personality defect corner. Facebook is the train wreck we just can’t look away from. I mostly use it now to promote my blog, but I’d be totally lying if I said I wasn’t reading all those bloody annoying status updates. I’ve often wondered when the collective fascination will die down for Facebook. Maybe we’re closer than we thought. I can’t give it up either though. 😉
    Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom recently posted..Gollum StyleMy Profile

  4. I get where you are coming from. But there are people on Facebook who I wouldn’t normally get to talk to and Facebook gives me an opportunity to see my cousin’s beautiful children from the other side of the country. And keep up with former co-workers. And see what my mom is doing and talking about in her own social circle. I am very select about who I friend though.

    Now twitter on the other hand is where I let the inner me hang out instead of worrying about what people will think if I verbalize what I am really thinking.
    My Half Assed Life recently posted..Vibrators and Debit CardsMy Profile

  5. Ha! I feel meeeh about facebook. Especially now that my relatives are on it, and I get calls from my mom saying “Oh did you see that *cousin* went to see *random movie*?” Like, seriously? How is that news? We’re all up in each other’s business way too much.
    Mayor Gia recently posted..My Year in ReviewMy Profile

  6. Every once in a while I do a Facebook housecleaning and delete people who I don’t really know that well and that I suspect of being friend whores — you know, the types who like to “collect” friends.

    But if there are friends or relatives whose statuses or crazy articles or oversharing I can’t stand yet can’t bring myself to unfriend, then I hide their statuses. I love my brother and “liked” his DJ page, but good lord, I don’t want my feed spammed by this or that Soundcloud. I don’t even know what that is. lol
    Bee recently posted..A Fish TaleMy Profile

  7. I think everyone has a love/hate relationship with Facebook. We all want to complain about it, but we just can’t quit it. I finally decided to just make my peace and go with it. Even when my aunt’s friend’s cousin’s sister who I haven’t seen since my bat mitzvah seventeen year ago wants to be friends.
    Samantha Brinn Merel recently posted..Pictures of New YearsMy Profile

    • How about the ones that you don’t even know, but when you look they went to your high school and graduated close to you? Yeah…..

  8. I absolutely loved reading this! I laughed out loud and actually nodded my head. You see, all this time, I’ve been convinced that I am the last remaining human being who does not ‘do” Facebook. I have my blog on it, but that’s it. I have four friends listed, seriously, because everytime i get a message that begins, “do you know this person…” I simply delete without reading. My life seems more peaceful not having to open myself up to a world I don’t ‘get.’ It seems so voyeristic at it’s core, although everyone I know marvels over the ‘social-sharing’ part. I finally reconciled myself to the fact that I am, at my core, that lone girl at the proverbial cafeteria table. Happily chomping away, my nose in a book -never an IPad– and knowing I’m just not part of the ‘cool crowd’. Call me a purist. But I still long to see other people’s eyes and laugh lines when I really “share.”

    • Cheers to you! Share with me your ways, Zen master. Help me.Maybe you could my sponsor for Facebook rehab or something.

  9. Facebook is da debil and we’re all dancing with him. I guess I’m beyond caring at this point, LOL!

    I did block my one xenophobic weird-ass cousin. Because he was posting political vomit every day, not just during the US election. And the crap he posted made me want to throw things at my computer, which seemed like a bad idea. So I blocked his statuses. WHEW! Much better now…
    IASoupMama recently posted..Happy New Year from Soup’s 500th Post — Inspired by InsomniaMy Profile

  10. I’ve found Facebook much more tolerable since I started blogging. I don’t mind having casual acquaintances and extended family all together in one place. I’m an introvert and would lose touch with many people completely if not for the Evil Book. I prefer communicating in writing and find it interesting that so many people refer to that as not a “real” connection.

    I just did a Facebook friend decluttering, so I’m feeling ok with Facebook right now. Ask me again in six months and I might have a different answer.
    Azara recently posted..She works hard for the moneyMy Profile

  11. I fell out of love with Facebook a long time ago. I just can’t stand how mean people are on it. Although, I do admit to getting a kick out of the drama of some people. People I barely even know, and I know every twisty dramatic turn their life takes 🙂

    • Do people really have that much drama in their real lives? Sometimes I am convinced that half the crap on there is made up. I mean, it just has to be, right?

  12. AGH, we left Facebook for some of the very reasons you mention here and ironically I am thinking of rejoining for some of the very reasons you mention here. All negative, like I miss my friends. Friends that can not seem to look me in the eyes, or have coffee with me, or pick up the phone. Are they really friends if we are only friends on Facebook, ugh rolling my eyes. Facebook, such a double sword, one that seems to be impaling me every. single. day.
    Lisa @ SLP recently posted..In the living momentsMy Profile

  13. I was actually thinking about this just today. Social media is killing socializing. It’s killing our ability to communicate. And you’re absolutely right: It’s making us hate people we otherwise liked. And that’s in addition to the fact that subtle misunderstandings can occur – in cyberspace – that affect our real-life relationships. I considered this whole issue personally because I feel like I’m completely out of practice with social interaction in general. I used to work, and teach at night. I gave presentations, ran meetings, and now? Now, I worry about having to participate in small talk with my next door neighbor. I don’t know if it’s good or not. I went from outgoing to socially awkward, and I don’t know which way to turn now. Good post.
    Stephanie recently posted..Two and Three (and You and Me)My Profile

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