The self isn’t static, and I keep changing.
Today, while brushing my teeth, I thought, ‘In which time period was I the most annoying?’
I didn’t really phrase the question that way. It would sort of make no sense- too open ended. (was I most annoying in the time period known as the European enlightenment? Or perhaps during the cold war era in USA? Uhhh..Well, I was nonexistent during both time periods, ya know?! Unless, the mere fact that I did not yet exist was a clear annoyance on the world. That’s quite an ego-centric thought! Good thing I didn’t have such a thought! ahem. Wow, did I really need to put all of this in parentheses? YES)
I believe that my most annoying time period was 2012-2015. I call this The Keyboard Warrior Years. During this time period, my social media addiction was at an all time high. You just need to scroll through my Facebook data archive to the section ‘account activity.’ It shows a timeline of every time I deactivated my account. Starting around 2012, I started deleting my account on a near monthly basis- I was (unsuccessfully) trying to escape the grip of my addiction. ALAS.
Okay, big deal, I was a Facebook scrollin’ lunatic. Why do I say that I was most annoying during this time period?
I loved to get into political discussions on public internet forums. AKA Facebook. Ya know, the place where your mom reads everything you post, thanks to the scrolling news ticker. Or whatever the hell it’s called. I haven’t used Facebook in 2 years, but I’m assuming the website/app/mind control device still has the side bar that lets you know whenever someone ‘likes’ some nonsensical, unoriginal meme.
I loved to ‘debate’ people over the latest news stories. I knew my FB followers were reading my nonsense, because occasionally some of them would ‘like’ my comments. This fueled my addiction. In order to receive more ‘likes’ for my oh-so-astute political ramblings, I needed to check facebook more often. I needed to ‘debate’ more often. I NEEDED MY VALIDATION.
My tired eyeballs, heavy from hours of staring at a bright screen in my hand (or lap, if I was bein’ totes old school and surfing social media on a laptop) would scan my news feed for any hot news stories. I’d share the story on my FB page with my riveting, surely mind-blowingly erudite opinion, and then wait for someone to debate me. I knew the usual suspects, so I’d await their comments, and we’d begin a lil debate.
Other times, I’d respond to public stories, such as stories posted from actual newspapers. As you know, no one reads news articles online. They just read the headline (which is usually click baity, because newspapers need to make money in the digital age) and then spew their ill-informed opinion on the internet, for all to see.
Was that me? Was I a spewer of ill-informed opinions? Sure! But not always.
It didn’t matter. I could churn out the most informed rambling that Facebook has ever laid bloodshot, tired smart-phone addicted eyes upon, and it just doesnt matter. Fighting with people on the internet is horrible, mind numbing, anxiety inducing, and bringing society down a notch. We need to step away from our screens and remember….that dude that said ‘good morning’ to you at dunkin donuts might be some Trump meme sharing lunatic on Facebook.
So, anyway. 2015 was around the time I quit the keyboard warrior game. Things are better now, in regard to my internet life. I’m not quite sure what to call this time period…
2015-??? When I Quit Social Media (except Youtube and I guess WordPress? Oh and sometimes I get sucked into bostonglobe’s comments sections. Isn’t that social media? UGH! I wonder what Trump is up to on Twitter? Oh, that crazy man!)