A couple days ago, I was watching a debate about the movie Blackfish unfold on my facebook feed. I can’t even remember what it was about, but I remember being mad. No, furious. Like dumb-mad. Incensed. I had a scathing response written in the dialog box, ready to hit send, when I thought: wait, what am I doing? What is wrong with me?
Perhaps I have finally become numb enough to that all-too-familiar, concentrated rage that goes hand-in-hand with being on the internet that self-awareness finally won out. What would my contribution to this debate prove? What am I adding here besides vitriol?
So I decided that 2014 is the year I scale back from social media, unquestionably the source of these strong, mis-invested feelings.
I’ll be the first to admit these grand announcements are insufferable due to the self-righteousness that comes with these statements, and that nobody really gives a shit. I’m not trying to find out if life is better without virtual connection, or if I’m not “living in the moment” enough. Rather, I’m hoping that this scaling back will influence my emotional well-being. I believe that the less you invest in social media (posts, comments, etc), the less you expect, and you can use that emotional investment elsewhere. I’ve heard that there’s a similarity between social media behavior and a gambling addiction—that the risk/reward element of getting ‘likes’ is as emotionally satisfying on winning big at slots. But if I’m not putting money in in the first place, it erases that constant need for fulfillment.
And plus, I hate feeling like I have to have the cleverest thing to say/link to post, etc, which is also an ugly, narcissistic symptom of Facebook reliance that I’ve fallen prey to.
Rather than opting out completely (my regular job—like most media jobs, I suspect—requires me to be on social media to an extent), I’ve come up with this arbitrary system of confinements that I hope will affect my internet behavior positively: no more than two tweets a day and three facebook posts a week (not counting posts to private groups because I don’t consider those vying for mass attention). Instagram is excepted because I don’t spend that much time there. The writer Ken Baumann just wrote a good piece on quieting himself on the internet. I like that. Just think of this as a quieting rather than a silencing.
Additionally, like a goal-oriented person, I’ve decided to track my progress/failures through a social media diary, which you’re about to read. I’m hoping that this will provide a little pop-up video/behind the music insight to how I think. Maybe it’ll be funny. Maybe it’ll be sad. It will also give me a chance to contribute some old-fashioned, longform blogging to the internet, which I think has become too streamlined, “clean” and “simple”. Let’s get some text on this mofo.
(PS I kind of hate myself right now).
January 3, 2014
Tweet: When we tell children to follow their dreams, we’re essentially raising little Freddie Kruegers.
Received no RTs or favs. Perhaps was confusing due to the fact that, despite Freddie’s reign in the kingdom of nightmares, the dreams in the Nightmare on Elm St. movies belong to the victims.
Tweet: Here’s the deal: every time you post an attention-craving selfie, I’m going to photoshop you into unattainable beauty.
Have a couple friends who like to post near-nudes and that makes me sad. But then again, they have tons more followers than me, so. While composing this tweet, kept thinking about the words “media’s unrealistic expectations of beauty.” Tried to reformat that into the ultimate burn. Received no favs or RTs, but I stand by it. Quality tweet. Nay: an honest tweet.
UPDATE: @missysolis fav’d this 6 hours later, but have lost 1 follower in the meantime. Down to 314 followers. My emotions are out of control.
January 4, 2014
Tweet: Missed the opportunity to get a discounted flu shot because I was afraid of autism. Thanks Jenny McCarthy/Obama.
Man, how mad was I at Jenny McCarthy? Have tried not to use the “Thanks Obama” joke because like, um feel that it’s an easy joke for unfunny people. But felt it would be funny to rope the leader of the free world in with a tweet about Jenny McCarthy, as if she had the same influence/power. In retrospect, this tweet feels too topical. Not proud of it. Feeling mild amounts of embarrassment. Received no favs or RTs. PS I don’t actually fear autism.
Tweet: Just cuz I instagram some feces, doesn’t mean I’m eating them. Grow up.
Didn’t want to tweet this during a weekday, with the possibility of seeing my coworkers. Rec’d no RTs, favs. Obvs.
January 5, 2014
Tweet: A ‘we didn’t start the fire’ -like tune to help you remember the order of all your antidepressants.
Think, ideally, this would’ve been better if I used “antipsychotics” instead of “antidepressants,” but feel that it might worry some people. Still, I imagine Billy Joel doing this every morning, an alternative tweet I was thinking about here was “Did Billy Joel and his piano ever fuck?” Meant to be said with the same nonchalant perviness of people that ask if Mulder and Skully ever fucked, or any pop-culture team with sexual tension. Rec’d no RTs, favs. Can’t say I’m surprised, but it still stings.
Tweet: Please womyn: get your hispes checked out.
Tried to analyze this tweet for a solid minute, (after 6 hours since posting it) and my brain just went: ‘let it die.’ Rec’d no RTs or favs.
January 6, 2013
Tweet: if the chargers win the superbowl, imagine what that would do to san diego’s literary scene!
Rec’d 3 favs! Celebrated by treating myself to a Fresh N’ Easy salad with chicken in it.
Tweet: if the chargers lose the superbowl, imagine what that would do to san diego’s suicide scene!
Waited 7 hours to post this follow-up tweet. They say the key to comedy is timing. @brianallencarr replied: iSnt sandiego paradise? Felt almost vague anxiety for not responding, because he’s a great writer and a funny guy to joke around with on the internet. But if you’re reading this: yes Brian, San Diego is paradise and the perfect place to kill yourself.
Today’s moment of restraint came from wanting to post the video for The Lawrence Arms’ new song, but didn’t.
January 7, 2013
Tweet: A superfood is just a carrot without its glasses on.
I can’t believe I spent money seeing Man of Steel in the theaters. Ugh. (Actually, I can’t believe I spend money to see any non-Ernest movies. Ever) But the idea of carrots with glasses on reminds me of this Eels video. Rec’d no RTs or favs, which I feel ambivalent about. I don’t feel that such goofiness should necessarily be rewarded.
Tweet: Everyone killed by friendly fire became friendly ghosts, the friendliest ghosts you know.
Was trying to remember where I actually heard the Casper theme, cuz I didn’t watch it as a kid. Maybe my mom sang it often enough? It’s weird how these things just become absorbed through the peripheral. Rec’d one fav from @missysolis, who is basically keeping my twitter levels up at the moment. She’s also a great writer and should publish a book someday.
January 8, 2014
Tweet: Michael Jordan/Scottie Pippen, both in a china shop.
When I was 8 or so, I was huge into the Barcelona ‘92 dream team and the Bulls. In fact, I credit the later rivalry of Jazz vs. Bulls as the reason why I can’t get into sports: my love of Bulls vs. my allegiance to hometown team broke my brain. Now I become slightly depressed at the height of any sports season, when people are posting about their teams. Feels like I can’t get excited about these very basic joys, and often cover up my anxiety about this with sarcasm and that annoying self-righteousness punk vs. jock mentality that people who don’t like/can’t do sports have. Rec’d no RTs or favs.
Tweet: What if your life-affirming backpacking trip/spirit quest/walkabout only got a couple ‘likes’?
Really hate those articles or posts that are like “live your life!” “travel!” “I hate domesticity!” Feel if people actually believed this, there wouldn’t be any articles or post about it because people would be out there, doing it. Otherwise, it’s like ‘fuck you. Even if you’re travelling, you’re still on facebook and the internet and doing the same fucking thing I am. Just in a different country. Don’t try to make me feel bad about having a job.” Probably saw a post like this to spur this kind of reaction. Surprisingly (but thankfully) rec’d a fav from @andy_keatts, a good SD reporter, and an RT @beritellingsen, a very talented writer. Also got RT’d by a backpacking bot. Good for that bot. Feeling like I could say “lovin’ life!” right now if someone asked how I was doing.
Facebook: Posted a picture of a the MFA vs. NYC book that came to CityBeat on writer Juliet Escoria’s wall. On the previous day, she and another writer Scott McClanahan were making fun of it in a quite-hilarious back and forth on McClanahan’s wall, so it was weird to see it materialized. One of those instances where coincidences made me so rabid to share that I dropped everything to take the photo. Happy with the results, but not proud of the initial bodily reaction that it caused within me.
January 9, 2014
Tweet: ‘DUHH DUH DOI I’M A STUPID IDIOT DUH FART SOUND JK LOL’ – my impression of Coachella
I literally can’t imagine a worse situation to see bands you want to see than Coachella. I tried. And shit can get weird in my head. Fav’d by @CandiceSD, who has good taste in music, so that made me feel good.
Tweet: This year, I’m going to save $$ on Coachella tix by staying home, turning up MGMT, and listening to it from downstairs while I eat poison.
You know, I tried getting into MGMT’s new album. I thought maybe there was just some elitist stonewall that sometimes happens when hip people like a band a little, then it gets insanely popular, and the next thing the band makes is not as good and those hip people, feeling duped into initially liking something sub-intelligent, unleash their wrath, as if music was something owed to them (see also: Black Kids). But no. I gave the new MGMT album a listen and it’s like those dreams you have where your high school NOFX cover band (YESFX) accidentally scores big with a novelty song about diarrhea and everyone is like, well maybe we should just keep going? Maybe we have something here? That is MGMT’s entire career. RT’d by @owlandbear, a big San Diego music blog, which resulted in a lot more RTs and Favs. Ending this week strong.
Today’s moment of restraint came from wanting to post the the link for this band SDCB music editor Jeff Terich showed me: Big Ups. They rip.