i’ve been mostly off twitter for almost a week now, (though i was only totally disconnected for the first three days). it wasn’t planned, just a combination of travel, busyness, and then wanting to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers, but getting a little distance also forced me to get some perspective on what being as connected as i normally am is like. there is a song by Regina Spektor called “Machine” that i think is a pretty perfect description.
the lyrics feel especially relevant this week, what with all the tweets about possible nuclear war and the shared anxiety that doused me like a wave when i first dipped my toes back in my twitter feed after three days away. “living in your pre-war apartment, soon to be your post-war apartment.”
it really is a little bit like the borg collective, or like being part of a hive mind; even if you think you’re voicing a unique or dissenting opinion, you’re almost always reacting in some way to whatever topic was chosen for you by the powers that be. which isn’t really unique to social media; it’s basically a feature of being part of human society. like that cerulean scene in The Devil Wears Prada dismantling the “you think this has nothing to do with you” notion. it’s just that it happens at a much more accelerated pace on twitter.
this isn’t really meant to be a “social media is bad and ruinous to humanity” post; i mean, full disclosure, as soon as i finish writing this i’ll probably spend the evening catching up on the twitter discourse that i missed the last few days. it’s just an observation that Regina Spektor’s song is basically the best description of human/internet interactions and “the future, it’s here, it’s bright, it’s now.”
but, maybe i will try to un-hook from the machine more often.