A trend on the Internet these days, it seems, is people lamenting their connections to the Internet via the Internet. People are finally beginning to feel the metaphorical indigestion caused by their perpetual eating at the all-you-can-eat buffet that is Twitter, Facebook, even maybe Medium. Everybody’s sick of it.
People are attempting to blame a variety of things. “The world is more negative,” they say. “Our political climate has changed,” they say. “I’m older,” they say. While I do think there is merit to all of these things, I don’t feel comfortable assigning the blame to outside influences entirely.
I am one of those who habitually consumes digital content. And I’ve struggled with this for years. I have “quit” Twitter more times than I can count, and “taken a break” far more than that. People who know me can attest to this, and most of them probably find it annoying.
I keep asking myself, “How can we still be functioning humans, maintaining our active lifestyles full of content and entertainment, and still be happy and content and focused?”
The most common answer out there, as far as I have seen, is to simply “turn it off” and let go. This might work for some people who are different from me. But for me, this isn’t all that easy. Because for me, turning off the social drip doesn’t make it easier for me to talk to other humans face-to-face. It makes it more challenging.
When I’m trying to talk to people, it seems totally, completely inevitable that the conversation not turn to some form of current event, and almost always that event is political. Whether I agree or not, I watch people argue against whatever totem they have built in their minds and completely stress themselves out, even if I have nothing to add to the conversation. That, in turn, stresses me out.
I also frequently feel like I have this sort of fear that I am missing out (I refuse to use the appropriate acronym here, by the way). I feel uninformed. And that scares me, for many deep reasons which are probably too political for me to detail here. But I want to be informed because only when being informed can you be a responsible citizen and fit in to society.
So I’ve struggled with this for a long time. I don’t have the answers. My life is in marketing and web development, and so I am as much a cog in the machine as anyone can claim to be — albeit a fairly small cog at this stage of the game. But I digress.
What I see is that this is the sentiment of the forward-thinkers and the early-adopters I know. This is what the people I know who have been on Twitter for years and years have to say. These are the content creators, and the influencers. But, importantly absent, are the normal people. Please forgive me for using the phrase, but I’m referring to the 60% middle of the bell curve, literally the statistically normal consumers of technology.
In this, I find a future. I don’t know what that future will hold, but as is usually the case, these sorts of trends catch on with the masses, and eventually everybody leaves the party when it has been explained in a few hundred Medium posts why the party is ending now.
So what comes next?
I don’t know yet what the next wave of technology will be that captivates a billion+ people. But something is around the corner, and it isn’t going to be a way to show your friends what your meal looked like last week with a #tbt post. Hopefully this time around, it’s a lot healthier.
Important Note: Please forgive me if you feel like you just wasted your time, and don’t feel obligated to ever read what I have to say again. Please also don’t call me out or call me an idiot. I’m getting started with blogging and would like to use the method as a way of better completing my thoughts. I appreciate your consideration before you call me names in the comments or on social media.