View of Social Media 2020

In a few words: wtf.


Let’s just start by saying Instagram misses me and I miss Instagram. I can’t even bring myself to reply to my meme groups, because I don’t have the energy to sift through related pages these days and report. Plus it was so fun to write silly paragraphs to interesting images. Conclusion, we will return.


Next, really lastly, Facebook. I’ve started mandating 20 minutes a day to Facebook. The goody-two-shoes part of me wishes I wanted to get on Facebook because it’s the only way to stay up to date on my loved ones lives during this crazy moment in time. But deep down, I feel like I’ve failed at Facebook my whole life, and this is my chance to get better. What do I mean, before I used Facebook voyeuristically, like the geek at the wall of a dance. Liking things, or not, never commenting.


But one insight struck me: if what I really want from all the things I want is to connect with people, why not do it on their terms? Consider my writing. I don’t do it for money, not yet anyway. What I truly want is to spark some joy in someone’s life. Like, truly deep down that’s what I want. So, why not seek another avenue to spark joy? And without losing the love of words, either! Write on people’s posts, say something interesting, leave a footprint, a kiss hello, anything. Yes.


Then that insight led to another: the reason I stopped hanging around Facebook so much was because no one was connecting with me. Early on I used to post music videos. They used to be my jam. One a day, I believe. But rarely did I get over three likes. Three, ladies and gentlemen. You know that’s a low number. So, after a year, two years, I stopped. And I even quit Facebook mentally, always skimming those “how to commit social harakiri” articles with more than a little interest.


And then that insight fed into another: my music video posts rarely had any written text! Never a personal message, never a word of what that means.


This reminds me of how I sent a colleague, who was dating a Portuguese man at the time, a Bassa Nova song with the same name as hers, but in Portuguese not English. She never replied to my email. Days went by. I felt overextended, exposed, that feeling you get when you send someone a message and they don’t even bother to open it up because they don’t want to look bad by reading it without a reply, so they just leave it unread. Until! I saw her again at a bar, and I asked, “Did you get the song?” She turned to me, aghast. “Yeah, but what did you mean?”


If someone who shares the exact same name with a beautiful song, in the language of her boyfriend, and whom I messaged directly, doesn’t get why I sent it, then what hope is there for people to respond to my general post on Facebook who spend less than one second on my post because they don’t see high likes while scrolling through the home page.


What makes this post . . . not whiny? Well.


The insights! I should personalize my sharing of art, not just leave it at people’s doorstep like an ad. Once we get people to reply, then we are more motivated to continue wasting time on social media. And it’s perfectly possible to write meaningfully on other’s post. Bonus, that might inspire them to write on mine.


Like how yesterday, seriously, I posted about the new book, and everyone, all the folks that matter to me in life, even some from way back, gave me the most warm feeling of belonging and camaraderie when they showed their support. Amen, yall.


And so, ladies and gentlemen, let the world betide. I post and get hits, or not. I have room to improve and I have love to share. And I will. I will. Bye-bye!

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