Welcome 2017, and already you’re starting to look like a mirror image of 2016. This makes me sad.
I have reached about the end of my ability to deal with 2016, and if 2017 is just going to be 2016 part two, Imma hafta redefine my coping strategies.
The first thing I am planning on doing is making my Internet usage about what interests me and what I enjoy instead of about social media. I really preferred my Internet usage before the advent of Facebook. Facebook has not been beneficial. Blogging is dead, and the social media that has replaced it is vacuous and angry. I just don’t have enough life left to be involved in that. I have “broken up” with Facebook in the past, but it’s really hard it to end that relationship. It has definitely replaced almost all forms of social communication. If it isn’t Facebook, it’s snapchat, or instagram, or whatever the new thing is.
I feel like a decade of my attention has been swallowed by social media. It didn’t enhance my creativity. It didn’t improve my relationships. Hell, it did not even leave me a blog full of naval staring and the occasional decent piece of creative nonfiction. I started participating in Facebook in 2007, and I looked back at my initial posts; they were generally just little funny one-liners. At some point it became about sharing funny things that other people had shared with me. And then politics happened.
Politics is probably when it all went to hell. It was a fucking train wreck, and I could not look away.
Well, I don’t wanna play anymore.
As I said, it’s hard to break up with Facebook. At this particular point in time, I’m limiting myself to looking at it for about half hour every couple of days, mostly to see if there’s any news with friends and family, or if there is any events that I want to attend that have been announced on Facebook and no place else. Over time, I hope to develop a strategy for my news feed that works for me, instead of sucking away huge portions of my life and energy and interests. That is what Facebook is designed to do, after all. Oh, they don’t see it that way. It’s supposed to keep you in touch with your family and friends, and if they push a few products into the experience, what’s the harm? Whatever its wonderful intentions in its early stages, it’s now just another marketing tool. Like all marketing tools, it is supposed to manipulate you, and I just don’t want to be manipulated anymore. I’m done being used. I’m done with being used by giant corporations that want to sell me crap, and I’m done with political organizations that want to sell me outrage.
So, when I think about what interests me about the Internet, I find myself dragged back all the way to the activities I pursued in my earlier usage. I like blogging. And yeah, blogging is dead, nobody’s gonna hear this, blahdy blahdy blah blah blah, but that is okay. A decided advantage of this is that when I express my political opinions, nobody’s going to argue with me. I enjoy political discourse, but at this point in time, there’s no discourse, there is only a conversational equivalent of the battle of Verdun.