What's come clear to me is that since leaving college, we've all (at least anybody between 18 and 30) been placed in a competition without our consent to see who's life plays out better than the rest. It's become a race to see which one of us gets married first or gets to drive first or gets to go abroad first. Facebook (on my news-feed at least) has unleashed everybody's narcissistic alter ego and suddenly, the selfies come flying out of their iPhones with meaningless backgrounds representing where they have been. The monotony of every day life reeks out of Facebook and it puts me right off. Sometimes it feels like an attack on my own pursuit of happiness. Somebody updates their status with a really happy quote like, 'I'm so happy right now!' or something like that and that makes me sad. In my head, the subtext reads: 'ha-ha, sucks to be you. You're not happy yet!' I know that's rubbish, but still, it bugs me.
I mean, did you really need to tell us what you had for dinner, and send us a picture? It may sound like I'm on a downer here, but I don't think I'll ever understand the need to do these sorts of things. I'm somebody who embraces privacy and I don't feel the need to take a goddamn picture wherever I go. I genuinely believe so many of us update our statuses sometimes just to brag to our followers that this is where they are or this is who they have. I know that it shouldn't bother me and they're not hurting anyone, it's just that I hate the narcissism that's infected so many of us I swear we weren't always so self-absorbed.
Social media is a wonderful way to promote your art and to connect, but sadly, some of us use it as a personal gallery none of us needed to see. On my news-feed especially, there's a few friends who post so much mundane posts about family life and whatnot that it puts me off even thinking about one. I don't want to end up wondering how many people care about my freaking kids. Solitude is golden in my world. I know I should connect more with people, but I find it so hard but I keep trying anyway. Also, I should explain that I'm probably a hypocrite for saying any of this. Maybe my tweets come across as self-absorbing and narcissistic and if they do, then I'm sorry.
It's just so depressing though that after college, it seems that the people I knew during college and school are now silently competing. We've all saddled horses in the same race with all our bets placed on ourselves. In the end, it's up to you to see if you finish first or not. When I see people I haven't spoken to in years, the conversation turns to a contest to see who's doing what and in our heads we're judging all of the time. I prefer the memories of those people as I knew them years ago to how they are now. Some advice I've taken up recently is to do what makes you happy and forget about impressing others and live for yourself. Maybe that falls under narcissistic behaviour, but it's what I believe. Forget about your followers on Facebook, forget about how many likes you get a day and focus on your life without creating it into a TV show for the world to see. Unless that's what you want to do then... good luck with that.
Anyway, I just wanted to say something because it's been bugging me for a while. I'm always tempted to delete my Facebook since it's cobwebbed and forgotten, but then again I wonder what I'd achieve if I did. Mind you, I never use it properly and my news-feed is so miserable I don't know what I'm achieving by keeping it! Catch-22. Twitter, on the other hand is a much better atmosphere. Mainly because I follow some close friends and people I enjoy following in the writing world. I use it mostly as a platform for engaging in writing talk and connecting with fellow writers. As I said above, it's something I'm trying to improve on. For me, Twitter is much more focused and it's fun to use and I enjoy reading everybody's tweets and news about their books.
Twitter is lovely.
Songs of the Week:
- 'A Slow Parade' by A.A Bondy
- 'The Mercy Wheel' by A.A Bondy
- 'Isabel' by Frank Turner
- 'St. Christopher is Coming Home' by Frank Turner
- 'All the Things She Said' by Simple Minds
- 'Fire Doesn't Burn Itself' by Sam Flax
- 'Ready, Steady, Go' by Paul Oakenfold
- 'Like the Angel' by Rise Against
- 'Dressed to Fuck' by The Killing Tree
- 'Them's Fighting Words' by The Killing Tree