Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nonplussed


Lately, I'm feeling nonplussed about blogging and social media in general. Feels like, too often, I'm looking at life through a social media lens -- making up blog titles as I go along,  picking a picture and telling a story that is now in the past. As I post pictures, I look at its origin and there is no longer a recognizable connection. Plants grow, seasons change, people come and go. Blogging puts me in a constant state of  looking back. Being in the NOW is all there really is...so why blog? Stock answers from bloggers everywhere are "I want to share my story. I want to contribute to a community. I want to keep a journal of my life. People need to hear my story."

I just don't feel that way. I don't want to share my most intimate personal thoughts and feelings on the internet. Afterall, who are you? Why would I share my secrets with you? I cherish my privacy and wouldn't trade it for a million "followers." Therefore, my blog is very surface and i like it that way.

All this yelling into the ether at each other is borderline schizophrenic --  "I had bacon for breakfast...oink oink!" "I forgot to brush my teeth today -- anyone have a toothbrush I can borrow?" "Look at my outfit, isn't it just like that really expensive one on that pop fashion blog?" "I'm special and must tell others in order to seek validation."

So much useless chatter and narcissism. Honestly, who gives a fuck? If you have to tell people you are awesome, you probably aren't. As an observer, I find it depressing because it's so easy to see the insecurity and desperation for approval oozing out of those 140 characters.

I tell myself this blog is a photo journal for me, but i don't go back and read the posts or look at the pictures. You probably don't either. I really don't know why I keep doing it. If the internet stopped existing today, I wouldn't give a damn. I wouldn't feel like my voice was taken away...I'd feel like the incessant chatter had finally stopped. And if this blog is all about pictures, then what now that the pictures are starting to repeat? Feels like I've done the same post a million times. Garden, beach, sky, festivals, food. Repeat. I feel like this practice will only make me dumber.

I've been reading Marshall McLuhan lately and it's fascinating that he was saying pretty much the same thing in the 1960s. My favorite excerpt from his book, "The Medium is the Massage -- An Inventory of Effects" is this:

The poet, the artist, the sleuth -- whoever sharpens our perception tends to be antisocial; rarely "well-adjusted," he cannot go along with currents and trends. A strange bond often exists among antisocial types in their power to see environments as they really are. This need to interface, to confront environments with a certain antisocial power, is manifest in the famous story, "The Emperor's New Clothes." "Well-adjusted" courtiers, having vested interests, saw the Emperor as beautifully appointed. The "antisocial" brat, unaccustomed to the old environment, clearly saw that the Emperor "ain't got nothin' on." The new environment was clearly visible to him.
I feel like the social media freaks are running around naked and ignorant -- trying to convince the rest of cyberspace how beautiful and uber-intelligient they are. Anyone can use Google -- that's not intelligience, it's simply regurgitating a message that was beamed into your head that you managed to hold onto for a minute before barfing it out on the cyber community. And beauty -- if you can't see it in yourself -- that's a shame. Beauty takes many shapes and rarely sticks to a template.

As a Communication specialist, I'm nonplussed by the whole lot of it. And yes, I'm the antisocial brat that wants to point out the illusion. However, I don't even want to spend my time pointing it out. People see what they want to see and I'm not gonna try to change your mind...just don't try to change mine.

"The major advances in civilization are processes that all but wreck the societies in which they occur."
~ A.N. Whitehead

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