This will seem like a very insignificant problem. In fact, I know it’s insignificant to many people – but I am not many people. Just many me’s not to be confused with mini-me’s because there’s pretty much nothing mini about me (this sounds like dr. suess – yes, I am amazing).
I understand with the advent of technology – social media feeds our desire for connection. We can now know where people are all the time. We can talk to them all the time. Every day. No matter the distance. It’s lovely. Except when its like 3 am and someone in another time zone is sending you a ridiculous amount of messages and you forgot to mute your iPad.
However, I know myself fairly well at this point. I mean, as well as anyone can know one’s self. And, I accept the fact that I can get really focused and mildly obsessive about one thing for an extended period of time. The unfortunate part spending a lot of my life observing is that…it’s hard to unsee or just not see.
So, with social media – its easy to find information. It’s easy to see photos. It’s easy to spend hours studying people. And, I would probably enjoy it minus the social ramifications (to be honest, I was obsessed with diaries as a child so social media feels the same to me). Therefore, I spend a lot of time setting up parameters for my social media use, because, hey, looking at photos from 2004 just isn’t something you should do after you reach a certain level of adulthood. You know whats a great hobby? Family trees. Dead people don’t care if you know all the mundane details of their lives.
To be honest, I had to unfollow my husband for the first three years of our relationship. I wouldn’t even look at his photos. I could barely look at his page without feeling like I had committed a crime. Something about social media and relationships make me feel panic that should only really be associated with like…crashing your car. I know I sound dramatic but I swear to god – stuff like this makes me shake uncontrollably. Also, I’m pretty sure there is some little man yelling in my head the entire time. It’s definitely not lovely.
Messenger now shows me who is online every time I open it up. And, it caters it to who you talk to. And now, it lists names. As if I opened up messenger searching for someone new to talk to. I’m sure people do that. I am not these people. I get hot flashes over getting an unexpected message and if I read it I have to respond immediately because if I don’t respond they will see that I see their message and didn’t respond and that is just rude. And then their feelings will be hurt and I can’t possibly handle that.
Believe me. I know how this shit sounds. Crazy. As. Fuck.
Anywho, turning to instagram – I don’t want to see who was active today in my messages and I don’t want to know if they saw my message. Guys, I just want to send memes and forget. I DON’T WANT TO REMEMBER.
And, yet. Here we are – trying to manage a level of over-connection that ultimately leads to disconnection. Or panic attacks.
Like, can I get an anxiety friendly version of social media? Can my messenger app just explode puppies and kittens and only show me when someone sends me a message? No, I don’t need to see their faces. Just their names. What is the lightning bolt? Why does that happen? I like the nickname thing though – that can stay. Can it just remove messages older than a week? Do I really need to know that someone posted something new and how many of the new things? Can Instagram just let me send memes with no trace of evidence? Can someone filter out all the dumb stuff too? Can Instagram just tell me someone liked a photo and not who? Can there be a message that just tells people “hey, its better to just send her an email?” Or a notification when you are about to have an awkward conversation? “Quick, grab a glass of wine INCOMING.”
Clearly, I really like parameters.
You might be saying, “well, lindsay – you could quit social media.” First of all, yes, I could. But, I won’t. I like photos. I like looking at photos and art. I like approximately 20 people and I’m far enough away that I want to see their faces on my tiny screen. So, no. Also, keep your bad suggestions to yourself, Karen (no specific Karen – ambiguous Karen).
Am I a textbook verification of the study showing that interaction on social media improves mental state and merely scrolling through social media makes us sad? Yes, I am. And, that is fine, however I’m trying spend less time rocking back and forth like a troll on speed and more time…doing…other…things???
(I included photos I took while people watching in Italy – it seemed relevant to the subject.)