Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Talking to One's Self in a Crowded Room

It's easy to "slam" social media. In fact, it is so easy, I do it all the time. It has horrible effects on the world; more horrible than good, I think. But, on a personal level, social media can be fulfilling, in that it is a cool way to curate one's experiences -- not so much for the intended audience of others, but for one's self. (If one seeks fulfillment, in "likes" one is a pathetic creature, indeed.)

On the day I decided to take Facebook off of my phone (because I was tired of both distraction and negativity), I started using Instagram more. It feels less immersive, somehow. I linked Instagram to Facebook, so I could post without being sucked into the Facebook vortex. And it worked well. I am only ever on Instagram for minutes at a time.

Of course, the nature of my posting changed and became more visual. (After all: it's Instagram, right?) But what I found is that my Instagram posts are really a kind of gallery. I have started to take a little more pride in the photos I take; I even throw a filter on them from time to time, fancy fop that I am. On the flip side, since a photo is required in order to post on Instagram, sometimes I click a shot of something totally banal. If I hear something, for instance, on the radio, and want to make a point about it, I'll shoot a picture of my car radio. Somehow, it still works...

The visuals become a kind of tab for finding my "categories" of thought and I find myself, more often than with other media, going back to take a look through. I feel a certain amount of pride in my artistic attempts to marry images to words. Each post is a little story; a narrative memory with an accessible kind of depth that it feels harder to approach on other platforms and in other configurations.

Of course, this is all nothing but a "Where's Waldo" attempt to find myself in the overcrowded drawing of a bustling, noisy, group-think world -- to take private ownership of a public forum; to put a fence up around "the ranch" (one you can easily see through but one you are not encouraged to climb).

Sure, I want to share my ideas, or I would not write this blog or post things on social media. That doesn't mean, however, that I need to dilute myself, forever, into the Chorus of Too Many Voices. Or, rather, it doesn't mean that I can't sit back and thumb-flip through my memories of the last months, alone, thinking, feeling and exploring the Tardis-like expanses of my own mind; a world that expands as infinitely, for all of us, within, as does the universe outside.

Maybe, in the end, it's all just a high-tech version of talking to one's self in a crowded room. I can live with that.

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