We’re all guilty of it. Those with full time jobs, those with hours to fill. The mindless trolling through Facebook and Twitter feeds idly to the point that we’re no longer conscious of it…you see it at the airport, the dinner table, the doctor’s office…worst of all, behind the wheel. Now before you accuse me of being a Grampa Simpson-Get-Off-My-Lawn-Cranky-Pants (which I’d cop to on most days), I am just as guilty of it. But now I’m trying to reign it in…or at least die in the attempt.
Most of the time, or more realistically, all of the time, we privileged first world dwellers, take to Facebook and Twitter with reckless abandon when the line at Starbucks gets too long or Game of Thrones comes back on the air. You know the type. We are THE type. With the advent of the selfie (the very term conjures up something far more lurid), we’ve turned into a generation so narcissistic we are in clear and present danger of making the baby boomers look like the Amish. What social media has given us is a real time glimpse into The Slow News Day that is our collective everyday lives. We’ve co-opted and democratized the 24 hour news cycle to the point where most folks can’t tell the difference between a shaky Vine video of some aging reunited obscure band at Coachella and some very real news unfolding in the Ukraine. This is progress? I feel like Lewis Black with one to two of his patented forehead veins about to burst.
The only thing less appetizing than your own plate (after you’ve started eating) is someone else’s…punctuated by “nom-nom-nom.” Its kind-of funny when Homer Simpson does it with a fifty foot hoagie and a case of Duff but its gross when the unwashed masses take to tweeting and Instagramming every cake, pie, and burger like we’re the first generation to discover such delacacies. What we’re really trying to do is convince everyone else hanging out online is our lives are more interesting than yours because we’re eating a deep fried twinkie at the state fair. My kid is cuter than yours! My dog can do more tricks! My vinyl collection is more obtuse than yours! We are in a constant state of comeuppance because social media (by and large) magnifies the dullness of the everyday. We have to invent news when there is none, much like our corporate brethren at Fox and CNN. Reality TV in micro-bites.
Then the are the serial posters. You know who they are. The ones who can’t let an hour pass without expressing an opinion on SOMETHING or posting a politically charged video that’s been shared umpteen times already. And these are people supposedly with jobs and lives. The ones who can’t sleep and then post about their insomnia…waiting for their blessed little red “like” of validation. Unfriend them? Nah…too harsh. Unfollow their feed…that’s the passive-agressive-new-world-order-thing-to-do. Social media has all but removed the veils of decorum and I’m not so sure I like what I see.
Sure I could go full Luddite and leave it all, but what then would I have to rant about?