Perhaps my case is special, I live alone and I take care of ten acres mostly on my own and have a demanding work schedule. I don’t go out very often, because I’m too damn tired when my day is done. I spend too much time on social media when I break for the day or when I take a break during the day, because it’s an easy way to substitute the social interaction I’m missing while expending the absolute minimal amount of energy. I don’t have to commit to anything. I don’t have to shower. I don’t need pants. I’m aggravated because I don’t meet new people and it gets lonely here on the acres, but my tired, pantsless ass sits here night after night toggling between the daily crosswords and the news feed on Facebook.
A friend of mine rides a horse who loves to mess with my tack when we take a break. He unzips my front bag and I finally caught him doing it on video. The first thing I did was get on my smart phone and post it to FB. I had a small party a few years ago, something funny happened, all five of us immediately posted it on FB. I go out for drinks and someone tags the group at the bar. I post a picture of my fucking drink. I am a dumbass with a smart phone. It’s crept into my actual social time. I check FB during the rare times when I’m hanging out with other people. Hi, my name is Alison and I have a problem. I’m not alone either.
Ever like your own picture or status? Ever post what you had for dinner? Are there more than ten selfies in your timeline album less than three months old? Do you read the feed more than once a day? Have you ever posted something cryptic but vague enough someone has to give enough of a shit to ask what happened? Maybe you’re the type to silently keep abreast of goings on without ever posting or commenting and revealing your online presence, a virtual stalker? Or perhaps you are out there promoting yourself, others, a political agenda or sports enthusiasm with the fervor of a hungry jackal? Maybe you even get pissed off when someone doesn’t acknowledge or comment when you feel they should have. Have you lost a friend or lover because of your online behavior or their own? You may have a problem too. It may not be exactly the same problem I have, but it’s manifesting itself in the same online way.
Social media has a useful place in our changing world. Sharing pictures and a laugh with people you may not even still be touch with otherwise, the virtual world provides an amazing opportunity to communicate and stay in touch in these busiest of times in our lives. Information sharing is easier than ever, although I would remind everyone to check sources and check them again. Misinformation drives like a drunk on the information super highway. Social media is not an acceptable substitute for pants and real time interaction. It’s not a substitute for the vet or doctor. It has no place when we are face to face.
I am doing my best to abstain from reading the feed, posting the most, or picking up any of the other chronic social media habits evolving in this new, look at me online world. If I miss your birthday or I don’t comment on something, please don’t take it personally. Life is passing me by in half hour clips and I need to go find out what has changed in my world. I’m not going to swear off all social media. I’m just putting on some pants. Things are changing and I want to be there in the flesh…with pants. Because who would go out without pants?
Twenty something Alison may have, if FB been around then, making it part of my permanent, online record. Educate your kids and check yourselves at the door to the application you favor the most. Don’t let the online black hole replace what’s happening around you. And for pity’s sake, wear some fucking pants.
The Management, Sweet Ass Acres