I have been wishing, lately, that there was a way to social-network without other people–or, perhaps more accurately, without drowning in their pet peeves, predilections, passions, and punch lines. Online, they have become inescapable. No man is an island on Facebook. That’s the point, right? You never have to be alone again. Blogging begins to seem like a solitary activity.
What began for me as a sort of professional ADD–got to check this site, read that listserv–has metastasized into something more pervasive. Have I checked my Twitter feed this morning? My Facebook page? My LinkedIn profile? How much time will I have to spend explaining that creatively cryptic status update to the well-meaning friend whose grasp of irony or sarcasm is even less sure in a virtual context than it was back when we were in school together way back when?
It has me tired out. It makes me feel that instead of really connecting with other people, I just spend more time now explaining what I mean (in every sense). As if it mattered, when I could be finishing that article, working on that book proposal, getting that piece of fiction off the ground, or just looking out the window.
And yet–could I unplug? Do I have the willpower? What would I miss? I know I’m not alone.