We knew this day was coming.
You keep telling me how much you enhance my life. You remind me of all the pithy bits of wisdom that I’ve posted or liked and tell me that you are a daily friend to me… after all, we spend so much time together… all those quick little moments… isn’t that what friends do?
And while we’re on the subject of friends, I can see with a couple clicks how many “friends” I have! You say I have 935. Obviously, it’s more than most people my age and that makes me feel good, but it’s less than other people…which is okay, because I’m not an attention whore. You’re there for me no matter how many friends I have.
I don’t need more friends… as long as I have you.
And then, there’s the feedback from others—almost in real time! I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it! I can make people think, laugh, and ponder their successes and failures with a few keystrokes and a satisfying click!
It feels so good to “help” people!
And when something funny comes across my timeline, I can laugh with the person who posted it while never leaving my chair. Or home. Or office.
Most importantly, when I’m feeling down or burned out, I can go hide somewhere and surf the world of others’ happiness or sadness. Either way, I can draw from their happiness or be grateful that my life doesn’t suck as much as theirs. You showed me how to do that. I should be grateful.
Every moment of my day is filled with work and family and commuting and… you. You fill in all my gaps. And when a gap occurs and I can’t see you, I feel like I missed something. I’m’ not sure what, but I’m guessing it was important to know…because when I DO pick you up, you let me know that I MISSED SOME STUFF WHILE I WAS AWAY. How thoughtful. You tell my mind that without you, my days would be boring; my relationships would be disjointed and weak; I would miss…everything.
I used to be a writer. I used to be a voracious reader. I used to…
Yes, I still have a life and a job and I’m in grad school and I still do home construction projects and stuff. But what about the moments I missed because my head was down, looking at you. Whose first steps did I miss? Whose smile in my direction did I not see? What clue to helping someone get through a personal problem did I not hear because I was listening to you instead? What words of love from my wife and kids did I miss because my brain was focused on your “love”?
You see, Social Media, it’s come to my attention that… we aren’t friends.
In fact, I don’t have 935 friends. Honestly, I probably have about ten friends.
Real ones. The kind that visit you in the hospital if you’re sick or help cut up a fallen tree after a hurricane.
You’re not real.
They’re real. Everyone else is an acquaintance.
I think about the conversations I’ve had with others through you. You tell me I’m connecting and yet, I never really get close to them. I may have intimate knowledge of what they think, but can anyone really connect to another person without breathing the same air?
I don’t want to experience the world from my chair. I want to see it, hear it, smell it, taste it… I want to touch it. Your facsimile of what life is…well, it’s a lie.
You take me away from what’s real and give me virtual, telling me I should be satisfied with that.
You fill the times when I could rest my eyes and brain for a moment with more information that, while interesting, funny, or valuable, isn’t what I need in the moment.
I’ve already deleted you from my phone.
Until I can have some perspective on how to spend my moments of free time, I don’t want you around me—influencing my wants or needs…creating longings where none existed.
We’re not friends.
Get used to it.