the other day, I was doing that bi-hourly thing where I go back deep into my memories absentmindedly and remember something that either me angry/embarrassed/etc.
on this particular day I was remembering a conversation I had on facebook with someone I once knew named neal. I met neal through DSA back when I was an active member of that org. Neal is a nice enough guy, but he has the unfortunate character flaw that most dudes in socialist orgs do: being pedantic to a fault, eager to argue debate – I suffer from this too, so no hate!
anyways, my posting style on any number of social media sites has always pretty much been to simply blurt out whatever is on my mind into the ether – that day I was high, thinking about how being on facebook reminded me of being in a crowded room constantly, vying for attention reified into internet points. I posted something to the effect of "I want to be come a hermit." Neal commented and basically said – hermits aren't on Facebook. Small, but it irritated the shit out of me – looking back it was because first, his witty remark resulted in me basically getting ratioed, which is embarrassing, but also because it revealed what I felt like was a profound (eye roll) expression of how I felt at the time was really something to be ridiculed. I was hurt, and to be honest, I've disliked Neal since. Nothing personal, just don't poke the autistic bear.
anyways, I thought of that moment for some reason while watching this contrapoints video on cringe. I decided to dive a little deeper, and I realized what has been driving me away from social media so often – I have a preternatural fear of being extra in public. More specifically, for some reason I am obsessed with trying to be authentic on the internet, as if somehow it is possible to unchain myself from the notification/engagement rabbit wheel, unlike the plebs who post for people to like things, I'll do it for the art, or something like that... I'm not sure why I feel this way. Why do I have so much contempt for people who put on airs? This is a trend that follows me – from politics (watching activists join or start NGOs) to the workplace (watching coworkers exploit others for self-promotion) to social media. I feel like a more contemptible holden caufield – constantly obsessed with finding the "phonies" around me, inevitably finding them, and then using their existence to justify my own cynicism.
I'm not sure what I get out of writing about this... feels a bit pointless. But whatever I guess. I hope to spend less time obsessing and judging and more time just rocking out. Or maybe I won't, that's fine too.