Easing up a complicated relationship
A fair while ago I gave up on social media, opting out of Linky Ding, Twitter and Fezbuk. Facebook was the hardest to leave but I´m over it now, although I do keep an empty account so that I can see the links friends and acquaintances send me from their own FB accounts. But like smoking, I´ve been over it for two years now.
I opted out of Twitter for a while, closed my account. Here it was due to being sucked into the Trump rubbish bin more than anything else. I also closed my LinkedIn account with more than 500 connections. I had WotsApp not FB to keep in touch and figured our daughter didn´t need me to be privy to all her madness the way my parents never were to mine when I was her age. I discovered Instagram where the people I followed seemed to have more human lives rather than the corporate robotic ones developing in the name of “networking”.
I must confess here that I am in the fortunate state of being able to operate the way I see fit. I would keep in touch with friends by email, but I found that it was nice to know how things were going for them through their online presence and then follow up with emails or a chat. So I went back to Twitter and also to Linky Ding, expecting very little from either, although it was on both that I had met writing friends and like minds, some of whom I later hung out with physically.
Writing friends and like minds is what it was in the pre-web days when we met in Compuserve forums and got to know each other through our stories. That experience also helped me in my job at a time when digitalisation was just beginning at the workplace. It was an exciting time and I believed in what I was doing in my job, helping to save the world, or at least contributing in some way to improving it. But the higher I climbed the corporate ladder the more dirty underwear I got to see. Everything had a price. I think it was around the time of the Arab Spring that I lost the last vestiges of any belief I had in the value of “connecting the world” as a corporate slogan. Writing, I think, saved my sanity and helped me step out of that erroneously so-called “brave new world”.
Over the last years I have been losing dear friends, and hearing about the passing of others I knew. Social media was a way to keep in touch, I thought, but not with 500 plus. I´m now around 70 on each platform, which is manageable. I´m linked to people I know or have had dealings with. On reconnecting, I was blown away by messages I´ve received bearing out what I have at the top of my website:
Touch just one person and it´s all been worthwhile.
But I was sad to see how deceased contacts are caught in a perpetual social network Limbo.
Keeping in touch with those who want to is now of utmost importance. It´s not about empty networking, but more an attempt to hang on to humanness if not humanity in a world that in many areas seems to be governed by greed and bigotry.
It looks like we´re in for another Dark Ages, so to provide some uplift, as that seems to be a need, I place my faith in the young*, and as always, wish you, onwards!
*Here I don’t mean the young power-hungry teflon game-changers, but the brave, heartfelt youth who will catch that bullet between their teeth, spit it out, and create a bright new world.