Up until recently, I felt like Facebook/Google+/Twitter/etc. had made life better. I told myself that I could live ANYWHERE in the world and still be so close to everyone.
Oh how misguided that view is. I posit that the truth is really quite the .. op..posite. The more I lean on Facebook to keep me close to my “friends”, the further they seem from me. When I meet somebody new who seems like they’d be a good friend, exchanging facebook information just means we probably won’t ever see eachother again.
But, we will get to know eachother digitally. Now we have efficient online communication. We can share all of the great, funny moments in our lives. It is wonderful, isn’t it?
But it’s not. When we didn’t have these sharing devices, we actually had to get together and SHOW EACHOTHER our photos. When we didn’t have Twitter and we thought of something witty, we’d just say it. When we want to watch the Cowboys play against that new friend’s dirty rotten Redskins, we’d arrange to watch the game with them. And likewise, when we had a shitty day, we’d share it with the people we really care about, and they’d be happy to share it too, because your problems make them feel like theirs aren’t nearly as bad.
So, in true Conan O’Brien fashion, I endeavor to contrast 2013, with “The year two-thousaaaaaand”.
Reading a good book and want to share your feelings with friends. 2013: Facebook status update “zOMG the red wedding was mind blowing. Crying.” 42 likes, 6 comments, flame war over spoilers. 2000: Call best friend, make them promise they will start tonight and read through three books just to get to the red wedding. Head to happy hour with co-workers who like the book because the sadness of being alone at home with this knowledge is just too much. Learn that Trevor from QA also has red eared slider turtles and exchange tips for cleaning the tank.
Testing out new recipe for tortellini. 2013: Tweet picture of tortellinis, leave out 6 batches of “bad ones” and just show the single plate of awesomeness. 2 favorites, 3 replies along the lines of “YUMM!”, 1 retweet. 2000: Make tortellini for self, wretch. Make more, wretch. Make first edible batch, give to wife. Watch her wretch. Laugh with wife and have food fight. Make baby. Make good tortellini. Invite friends over for dinner, make them laugh telling them food fight story. 9 months later they name their baby after you.
Overspend when money is tight then get hit with car repair bill. 2013: Facebook status update “Who doesn’t love Ramen?” 73 likes, 49 coments. 2000: Call best friend and confide in them. Go to liquor store and buy 18 pack of Coors Light, run into neighbor who hates you because your cat craps in his yard. See that neighbor is buying box wine. Bond over cheap alcohol. Invite neighbor over, brings his niece, niece and your visiting 31 year old son fall in love, get married, and name their baby after you.
See, it is clear. Social networking is robbing us of babies and killing our turtles.