Re-Social Media

If I read one more anti-internet screed I’m gonna EXPLODE!

We post to feel connected, it’s the same reason we surf, we want to feel part of a community, the human race, we have an urge to belong, to tell our stories, WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?

I’m not condoning the use of our data, nor the tireless self-promoters trying to get rich. But I am saying all those people promoting disconnection, turning devices off so one can truly experience life, are Luddites trying to haul us all back to an era that wasn’t so perfect to begin with.

Like the fifties. When women didn’t work outside the home, but were also second-class citizens, like African-Americans.

The world has changed, and you’ve got to change with it.

Yes, prior to the invention of the automobile, THE RAILROAD, we lived in small communities and knew more people and our societies were tightly knit. But what if you didn’t like where you grew up, what if you were gay, what if you were different? GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

Speaking of homosexuality, you used to have to move to San Francisco or Provincetown or West Hollywood to feel footloose and fancy free. Now you can just log on and find a plethora of people who feel just like you do, AIN’T THAT GRAND??

Furthermore, niches are not as narrow. Used to be I was the only person I knew who lived for skiing. Now I can log on and find endless information about the sport. To tell you the truth, I still crave more, but it’s so much better than it used to be.

Ergo the ability to connect with people. Sure, I might not want to interact with everybody I went to high school with, but to go on Twitter and send and receive a response from someone in the public eye? And you don’t have to be famous to achieve this, just someone of insight and wit. And social media leavens the landscape, now the only stars are not on stage or on screen. We used to know very little about these two-dimensional characters. Now not only are we exposed to their foibles, we see they are really no different from you or me. A star just ain’t what he or she used to be. And if someone rises above, assuming they don’t shoot someone or wreck the country, it’s because they’re intelligent and have something to say. Sure, the Kardashians come along with this, but they’ve also illustrated you don’t have to have a talent to be famous, unless your talent is creating a story millions are interested in.

Most YouTube stars will not survive. Most social media stars will not cross over. But that does not mean there’s nothing there to pay attention to. These are the innovators, these are the people testing limits, who knew unboxing was a thing, who knew the degree to which women were addicted to makeup.

And what would protest look like without social media? David Hogg might not be a household name. And you might resent Hogg, but you can go online and give your opinion and try to gain traction.

We check Facebook multiple times a day not because we’re looking to get rich so much as we want to feel part of the social fabric. Sure, there are some true loners out there, but the rest of us long to be involved, toss ideas, have a laugh, gossip, no different from an era sans modern communication techniques.

Come on, why do you think all those millions signed up for Facebook to begin with?

And then migrated to Instagram and Snapchat?

It’s not about the platform, it’s about the PEOPLE!

So when someone tells you to tune out…

Look what devices they use. Some of the loudest complainers don’t even have a smartphone, or haven’t upgraded since Windows XP. They resent the future, they don’t want to learn.

And then there are those who lie. Who say they’re disconnecting when they’re not.

Are we overwhelmed?


I can complain all day about the present, never mind the future. The music scene is incomprehensible and facts seem to be irrelevant in politics. Everybody’s deep in his or her niche, but at least there are niches that appeal to them. If you lived through the era of three TV stations you know today is a godsend, hell, it wasn’t that long ago that Bruce Springsteen complained there were 57 channels and nothing on, but no one complains about choices anymore, other than to say THERE ARE TOO MANY OF THEM!

And why is it the younger generation is not complaining?

God, I’d only love to grow up today, instead of being alone in my bedroom I’d be talking to my friends all day long on my device. Loneliness, the scourge of humanity, would be eradicated.

As for checking my phone multiple times a day, supposedly far in excess of a hundred, it’s because I want to be included, up-to-date, know what’s going on. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THAT?

Now I don’t have to go out to be involved. I can stay home and connect endlessly. Which is way better than going to a dark bar with loud music and being ignored. You can find a date online, connect with someone from the past you had a crush on, but all those holier-than-thou people who triumphed back then keep telling us we’re doing it wrong.


Comments are closed