Social media and me: an app made in heaven?
It feels like we’re kind of stranded on ice floes, yelling at each other
For years, I thought an app was a little thing you had before a meal. Like in a restaurant, on a little dinner plate, not that they’re small-plate-priced. My new favourite by the way is balsamic-baked sprouts. They’re awesome, but they do raise many questions, like: do the little sprouts grow in Belgium? Do you always have to capitalize Brussels? What do you call an older sprout?
I was apparently wrong about the app thing: bear with me, this gets a little technical. Apps are, um, things that do things for you. They are generally located on your phone. They are gizmos, kind of. See? Highly technical. On my phone, the thing I said I would never have and now never let out of my sight, there are two apps; Facebook and Twitter. They are, I’ve learned, part of the weird wired world (that’s what www stands for, I just betcha) of social media.
My daughter set me up on Twitter months ago, and recently, all on my very own, I set up Facebook. OMG: Twitter is one thing, but Facebook is an entirely different world. Who knew I had so many friends? Well, “friends.” Friends from Uruguay. Friends whose names I can’t spell. People who, get this, folks — I don’t know! Maybe I should. Maybe we should all be friends, a theme I’ll return to in a minute.
Here’s the deal though. There are people I do know who are on Facebook (a lot it seems to me, but then that’s just me. I mean pictures of their breakfast bagel? Get a life) and not on Tweeter, Twitter, whatever. And then there are friends just on Twitter. Or LinkedIn. Or email for Pete’s sake. It’s like, I don’t know, that they’re on different planets. I mean, isn’t life complicated enough? Aren’t there enough tectonic plates in the world?
I can see what this is going to do to us down the line a few years: just picture this.
It’s 2037. I’m standing in a Timmy’s lineup, using my walker (Gimme a break, I’m like 90-plus at this point. I’ll use a walker if I want to). I’m trying to listen to two women talk. They are, not to put too fine a point on it, Women of a Certain Age.
WOCA No. 1: “Remember Billy-Bob, our son?”
WOCA No. 2: “Oh yes, Margaret I do. A lovely young man when I last saw him, you know, in the flesh so to speak, 30 years ago. I follow him on Twitter though.”
WOCA No. 1: “Yup, he was always a Twitterer for sure, our BB. Tweet, tweet, tweet, that’s all he ever wanted to do. Remember he married Mary-Sue? You probably saw all the pictures of the wedding. Nobody was actually at the wedding, of course: it was all done, well, virtually. I’m sad to say they’re not together. It turns out ...” At this point, WOCA No. 1 would lean close to WOCA No. 2 and sort of whisper. I’d hate that; screws up your eavesdropping. “Well, she’s a secret Facebooker. Totally. She even named their dog Zuckerberg. Imagine!”
WOCA No. 2: “Well, I can see the stressors on the young couple, the poor dears. My goodness. It was kind of a mixed marriage, wasn’t it?”
At this point, Margaret and WOCA No. 2 (I think I’ll call her Hermione, just because, you know, I can) would be called to the counter by the Timmy’s Associate, get their Boston creams and double doubles (Do you always have to capitalize Boston? Writers worry about that stuff. Do they actually get made in Massachusetts? Are two doubledoubles actually one quadruple? Life is chock full of important questions). They’d head off to commiserate, sadly, leaving me entirely out of their conversation, making me next in line, trying to remember what I actually came to Timmy’s for (Remember, I’d be like old at that point). We’d feel bad for Bobby-Lee and Mary-June or whoever, but you can see their dilemma, right?
We have enough to divide us, don’t we? Races, countries, social inequalities. Education. There are those walls for Pete’s sake. Can’t we all agree on one social platform, maybe on one human platform? (We have it already by the way; it’s called Earth.) Can’t we all just, like we used to say, just get along? It feels like we’re kind of stranded on ice floes, yelling at each other, isolated on the remains of glaciers calved off by that global warming thing.
I have a suggestion; let’s all have dinner together, maybe invite some of those Uruguayans. Actually talk together, live, real-time, in the flesh like. Get to know each other. Maybe try some of those Brussels sprouts.
"Can’t we all agree on one social platform, maybe on one human platform?
Dr. Dave asks: Can we not get together and talk in real time?