I’m an Anti-Socialist

ImageIt’s not that I’m a wealthy capitalist, no. I’m not indifferent to the plight of the working poor, homeless, sheltered, or otherwise left behind. I don’t have a trust fund or hidden wealth in the Caymans. I’m not talking about that kind of socialism. I’m talking about social mediaism. I hate it. What was so wrong with email that we had to invent Facebook?

I have a couple of friends I can only contact through Facebook. I could email them from now until Doomsday and it’ll be like shouting into outer space. The message just doesn’t travel. Send half a message to them via Facebook and I get an instant response. What the… are they doing on Facebook every minute of the day?

Don’t get me wrong. I have the coolest friends in the world. They’re witty and ready at a moment’s notice with a twelve-pack or fresh out of the oven funnel cake the minute anyone mentions pulled pork party. But I’m not sure I want to hang with them on Facebook. For me that feels like going to POTS, and by that I mean Plain Old Telephone Service. You know, the way we used to communicate.

Email was a giant leap in the right direction: shoot off a quick note, get a response in a few hours or at most a day. You’ve got your party booked, reservations made, and casseroles coordinated.

Now we have to Facebook. It’s back to hour-long discussions just like when we had to make a phone call. Because it’s never just about a quick question. Now it’s catching up with your buds, hanging with your peeps, chillin’ with your pals. You make a comment, they make a comment, you comment back. It’s all too tantalizing to let drop. Because, like I said, my pals are quick-witted and we know each other’s soft spots and politics. We can go on for days. And we do.

I have to nip this in the bud, so I’ve become an anti-socialist. I’m not going to hang out at Facebook, even though I know that’s where the party is. Parties include coleslaw and pigs impaled longitudinally and rotating above a flame. If there’s no Frisbee, it’s not a party.

Not only am I boycotting Facebook, I’m not going to comment on great blog posts, even if it’s an opportunity to insert a link to my BVC bookshelf.

And hyperlinks? Sending people off to prove your point? Why? Can’t make the argument on your own? What kind of writer are you, anyway? Those hyperlinks are damned dangerous. They keep you floating in the Interstream for hours. You just can’t help clicking. Next thing you know your boss is looking over your shoulder reading right along with you about death and destruction in Cleveland. Only he’s the boss and can do what he wants. You’re supposed to be working.

I refuse to contribute to the truancy of office workers everywhere. From now on my hyperlinks are going nowhere. I’m going to insert links to the exact same article that’s posted elsewhere. It’ll be a practical joke which no one will appreciate because it will be damned annoying being caught in a loop. You’ll read up to the point of the link, click, and start reading. About half way through the fuzz in your brain will clear and you’ll say to yourself, “Damn, this sounds familiar.” About that time you’ll get to the link. You’ll click and start reading. Pretty soon the fuzz in your brain…

I’ll lose a lot of readers. They’ll move on in the way of that bovine Internet reader we’ve all become. That cow that just chews its cud as its eyes slowly glaze over yet another tragic story unfolding at the news station websites.

It’s going to be lonely without my Facebook and links and blog commenting. That’s okay. I’m an anti-socialist.

Sue Lange

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I’m an Anti-Socialist — 5 Comments

  1. Facebook is an addiction. I’ve had people tell me they are not addicted they only check facebook 3-4 times a day. Judging by the response time on things I post, I’m guessing that’s 3-4 times an hour. Why log off at all. Why have any kind of life elsewhere when Facebook has it all.

    It’s a time sink and I allow myself 30 minutes in the morning and that’s it. Except…

  2. Among this week’s commemorations of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the most interesting ones to me were the profiles of the activists, the organizers of the March and coming up with the concept of the March. Names that I’d grown up with but was just that much too young to have known who they were really, because their era had passed by the time I was old enough to process such information.

    Among the Gen Y commentators on the actual organization of the March, which was a massive undertaking, muchly directed by Bayard Rustin (now there’s a name I used to hear much invoked, but, I shamefully confess I didn’t know WHO he was), and worked on out of NYC, was this:

    “And they didn’t have Facebook or Twitter! How did they do it? They didn’t even have cell phones!”

    So now we twit and fb but marching is irrelevant and without effect, or so an op-ed in The NY Times informed us.

    In other words, we are all anxious to participate in our own exploitation, or so it seems.

    Love, C.

    • Bayard Rustin was an openly gay, black Quaker who has been pretty well effaced from the history of the Civil Rights movement. They didn’t know what to do with him then, and they still don’t. Wikipedia is a good start.

      I love the phrase “anxious to participate in our own exploitation.” So powerful is the Domination System that it programs us to help it.

  3. I’ve managed to catch up with some old friends I’d lost touch with via FB, so I’m not going to slam it.

    But if you find me making instant comments on your FB posts, you’ll know I’m goofing off. Reading FB is what I do when I don’t want to work. The time I spend on it varies greatly from day to day.