“I have a presence on SM, therefore I am.”
This should be the existential quote of the times. If I don’t have followers, do I exist?
Leaving fb has been difficult. I miss being able to reach out to all my friends and share what I’m up to or ask for a little support. It’s lonely not knowing what my wide array of friends around the world are up to in their lives, or what causes they care about and are involved in.
I’m human and I need to feel a sense of belonging, so I do have Twitter. I’ve never used it much, so I have maybe 1 – 3 people reading my Tweets, if that many. I’m not going to jump through hoops to build a following. That feels inauthentic and inorganic, and that is so not my style. It’s lonely, though, and I feel invisible in this day of ubiquitous online presence.
My cravings to log in, just this once and check in, are so strong, they bolster my resolve that it’s not a healthy behavior, so I resist. And I pace. And I do spiritual practices. And I do art. And I serve my clients. And I watch horrified as my country slides into blatant fascism. And I take classes. And I garden. And I connect with individuals in different ways. And still, I feel isolated, and I miss the ease of connection on fb fiercely. I am not meant to only take care of my own needs. It doesn’t feel right.
There are things I don’t miss, to be sure. I don’t miss providing grist for the mill of the data miners and brokers. I don’t miss being subject to the angst stoking manipulation and psy op programming that fb is merciless at. Don’t get me wrong, Twitter is programming as well. I call it my “15 minutes of hate” when I go check it. Of course I follow people who agree with me, and laugh in superiority at the stupidity of those who have fallen under a different spell.
But that’s just it. We’re all under a spell of one kind or another. I’ve been taught variations on that theme from a wide variety of sources, from Landmark Education to Hinduism. Our minds create our reality. Humans live inside of stories to make sense of their experiences in the world. It’s called socialization, and it starts the moment we are born. The ultimate reality of everything being connected to everything else is ever present, but it is only obvious when we dismantle the constructs we have internalized as beliefs. So why the need to be seen in the illusion? Isn’t that missing the forest for the trees?
And there’s the catch. There wouldn’t be a forest without the trees. We can’t ignore the trees, or there would be no forest. What is the solution, then? I really wish I knew. If you have any thoughts, please drop me an email. I’d dearly love to hear from you. Contact info to the right.