I just spent the last hour finding friends on Twitter and updating my home page. The result?
I feel less cool, less befriended, and less successful than ever before.
I don’t know if it’s a sign of middle age or uncanny perspective, but this social media circus is exhausting! It functions to validate my importance while undermining it. I know people find it fun and exhilarating, but let’s be honest. When are enough friends, enough re-tweets, or enough likes ever enough?
It’s never enough. Because everyone else out there is constantly adding more friends, more tweets, and more likes at a more frantic pace than I am. I can’t keep up. Social media is competition on steroids. I think it may be the nemesis of the Millenial culture. Boomers had the marketplace, Busters had their children’s activities. Millenials have media.
So nothing’s changed, really. Culture continues to drag on, each generation reacting to the mistakes of the former generation, yet making similar ones. Pardon the over-generalizations to follow–I’m just making a point (and this is a rant, after all, which means it’s filled with over-generalizations): Boomers ignored their children to achieve financial success; Busters worshipped their children to achieve parental success, but ignored their marriages in the process; Millenials amass relationships because they really don’t trust their families’ commitment. But they’ve got thousands of friends.
We’re a mess. But we all still crave validation and success. I can’t become a writer without all the social media avenues working for me. You can’t run a business, find clients, or maintain your friendships without it, either. We structure our lives around it. Social media is a necessary evil, like TV or chocolate.
Evil? No, of course not. None of these things are evil. They are all very manageable and enjoyable. (That’s why I have to boycott Ghiradelli’s in the mall–because I’m not at all negatively affected by the rich creaminess of milk chocolate truffle. I can take it or leave it. And if I take it, I can stop after one truffle. And my body utilizes the decadent ingredients to make me healthier and more beautiful.) And now that I’ve written about chocolate, I had to go eat some chocolate. I literally just stopped typing and went down to the kitchen and found some chocolate and ate it. And now I can’t get the taste out of my mouth. I will have to go brush my teeth or eat some more.
That was a rant, and I apologize.
But I have to acknowledge–this social media things is genius. I just unloaded on the universe without any ramification, appointment, or financial burden. You may write me back, but even if it’s negative, it’s feedback (which means somebody heard me). I’m a success! I’m important!
Thank you, Mark Zukerberg! Thank you, Jack Dorsey!
For one brief moment, I can pat myself on the back. And then I’ll check my Facebook posts and my Twitter feed and my email. And my Pinterest and my Goodreads and my Instagram. Pretty twitterful. (That’s me coining a new word. Pass it on.)
No, wait. I won’t check anything. I’ll close this computer and go downstairs and talk to my family face-to-face. And probably eat another truffle.
(Oh, be sure to share this with your friends.)