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Social Media & The Frog

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I spent most of last week and all of Christmas Weekend off of social media. Today was the first day I was on again. I spent most of my time today just scrolling through the feed… maybe a like/love/sad face here or there and a comment or two… but nothing really reaction or engaging. Not that I don’t love seeing all of your lives and thoughts, because I do. I miss knowing what’s going on with my niece in CA or my SIL in Washington. I miss seeing what my friends are talking about all over the country. I miss the memes and the jokes. But what I’ve realized over the last week, is that I miss PEOPLE the most.

I’d much rather talk with my friends via text… yea, I still don’t like being on the phone LOL, but text me and I’ll text you back until we have nothing left to talk about. I miss seeing my local friends at my womens meeting. I’ll see them on the 9th. I most especially have missed my son coming over once a week or so, and I miss seeing my sister and MIL. I miss talking with them. Hugging them. Smiling and laughing.

What I did instead of watching youtube, because really news is too stressful for me right now, I read some books, I planted some flowers, and I’m about to start a jar of vanilla extract with vanilla beans! I cooked dinners and lunches. I watched movies and old tv shows. I talked with my mom for hours on end. I lived life. Instead of watching others online.

I think social media and these lockdowns have taken away our humanity. Yes, it’s so much easier to “keep in touch” with friends and family on social media… but are we really “keeping in touch” or are we just engaging in collective voyerism? People may know where you stand on politics, fashion, the vaccine, or the latest “what colors do you see” meme, but do they know what is keeping you up late at night? Do they know what has touched your life recently?

I see so much online and really know so little about each of you on my list. I think I know and understand more about celebrities than I do my friends and family, even though social media has turned us all into celebrities. I don’t want to be a celebrity anymore. I want to be me.

More now than ever, I see that our privacy is more important than anything else in the world. Social media has taken that from us as well. And not how you’re thinking. It’s not the constant posting online of our meals and our days that have taken away our privacy. It’s the fact that FB not only knows WHEN you go to the bathroom, but where in the house you are, and what you take into the bathroom with you. Social media has learned everything there is to know about us. And they use that to push products and services at us. They don’t NEED to listen to our conversations because the algorithms understand when we are going to want and what we want before we do. They’ve used all of this information to manipulate us into literally everything we think, say and do.

I know, I know, this sounds increasingly like a conspiracy theorists dystopian nightmare young adult three book saga. It’s not or more to the point, it is… just because it’s a theory doesn’t make it untrue. I go back and forth constantly about whether or not to stay on FB and other social media platforms. I’ve heard both sides of the argument. I agree that you can only change things from within, but that assumes that you can change these things at all. I also agree with the idea that if we mass leave, that will only make them stronger and the echo bubble even worse. But really, it’s too late to burst the bubble. The echo gets more and more insidious and the longer you stay in it, the more likely you are to start agreeing with it. Like the frogs in the boiling pot. This frog is getting out.

So why am I writing this. One, I’m solidifying my ideas on this whole thing of deleting my account on 1/1/21. I don’t want people to think I just poof disappeared. Although I know that only a handful of people will see this and even fewer will read this entire thing. Still… this is a bit of a catharsis I guess. I’ll post it on my blog as well, so there’s that. I’ll be deleting my pages as well.

I guess I also hope to encourage other people to think about doing the same. Social media is more than just an addiction. Social media is a tool of manipulation and the longer you stay on it, the harder it is to fight the manipulations. Get out! It’s like being on heroine… soon, you’ll be shooting up in between your toes to hide the tracks. Get out before it’s too late. 3 more days and I”m deleting mine. Start off the new year clean and free.

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