“No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go.”
– John Lennon
It turns out I’m not a misanthrope after all, that I really like people. They’re just more abstract than I expect them to be – disorienting and playful, like dolphins. In real life. On social media, they get squeezed through filters so tiny that they enter your thoughts through your pores, until you wind up feeling like a bit player in your own life story.
There’s nothing wrong with being anti-social, no matter what society tells you. Society, like the people who make it up, is imperfect at best, and prone to inexplicable malevolence with no warning. The media that follows us everywhere – documenting our experiences and feelings – connects us with strangers who are friends, and vice-versa. The filters on both incoming and outgoing communications require constant recalibration. An oversensitive filter breeds boredom and an under-sensitive one turns a lifetime of personality development to dust.
The obvious solution to the problem of social media is anti-social media. It’s quieter and plainer and more direct. No pictures, no video, no pop-up ads. It’s the whisper that drowns out the roar. Nothing is ever trending on anti-social media. Memes don’t reach out to the anti-social, and the aversion is mutual. There is nothing to retweet, like, follow, or share. It was all shared a long time ago.
Some things are better left unsaid. In fact, most things are. Social media’s easy access and anonymity expose thoughts and actions that privacy was invented to hide. Even the most self-sufficient person gets lonely sometimes, and the most sociable person needs a break from the feast of ideas and images, if only to digest them.
Addictive personalities find it easier to do without something than to use it responsibly.