A brief comment on social media: there have been numerous events in the past two weeks upon which I would have commented: e.g. Trump's flubs, Sam Bee and John Oliver crushing it, McCarthy and Jones on SNL. And I made not one social media post for them.
'Why not, Jessi? Is it because you still don't have a smart phone?'
Stay out of my head, witch. ;P But no: it's because I didn't have anything meaningful to say about those events that hadn't already been said. "Black Mirror", Season 3, Episode 1. I don't think that's the future--I think it's already here. Since 2001, I've been telling people to spend as much time developing their 'IRL' relationships. Perhaps this has been a self-serving crusade; I find it very difficult to maintain long-distance relationships, of any kind. I do remember to call my parents once a week, but that's about it. I need to see people, to hear their voices interacting with the local acoustics, to smell their shampoo, perfume, cologne. I need to be able to hug people, hold their hands when grieving, high-five them when celebrating.
As a general rule, I'm not a huge fan of social media. It's probably my paranoia. Other than the subconscious superstition that shadow governments and corporations are tracking every move I make, I just don't see how the consumer benefits of social media outweigh the anti-consumer trends or interests. This is not simply a concern about privacy; I have accepted that this is the 21st-century, and that privacy is dead. But why is it important that all of your friends see the silly pancake you were served? What good does it do to 'Like' a video that already has 28 billion thumbs-up?
'You're one to talk, little Miss "Hey, guys, I couldn't get an agent or publisher to pay attention to me, so I started printing my books on the ditto machine in the library basement, does anyone want to read them, kthxbai?!"!'
Fair point. Or, perhaps, that is the point: not everybody handles fame well, nor should they--our 30,000 year old brains don't have mechanisms to deal with being known, and scrutinized, by millions of people. We need to curate our lives in a more productive manner. We can't get our news from social media 'influencers', we can't decide our politics by the number of thumbs-up or -down on a social media blurb.
And we need to stop over-valuing 'fame'. "Would you rather be rich or famous?" I cannot understand why anyone would pick fame over wealth. To paraphrase Chris Rock: "It's not about 'rich'; it's about 'wealth'." How many billionaires can you name? Ten? Fifty? Do you know who the richest person in the world is? Did you know that from 2010 to 2013 it was Carlos Slim, a business magnate and investor in Mexico? Does Senor Slim care if you know his name?
"The difference between genius and insanity is a billion dollars." --Jessica White, 2000