Last week's post, "It's Always Sunny on Facebook," discussed the facade of perfection we see (and create) on social media sites. This week, it's time to figure out an answer to the problem.
When I have rugrats of my own, I can see myself moving out to a ranch in Montana, where they have the type of childhood I did. There'd be no email or posting photos, just games of Cops and Robbers and Capture the Flag. Peaceful.
I've even thought about giving up my iPhone. Like most smartphone users, I probably check it 150 times a day. That's just not healthy -- or sane.
Imagine this: You sell your TV, kill all social media, and write letters by hand. You've created your own little utopia.
But at what point are we just denying inevitable progression? Sooner or later, you're going to have to leave that refuge for food and water, and face the real world.
I just applied for an editorial job -- and, like many other applications, they request links to the following: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as your personal blog. It seems it's no longer possible to be successful without social media.
I'd be happy to escape the insecurity that comes with second by second updates from people supposedly happier and cooler than myself, but I also know I'd starve without an online platform.
Needing another perspective, I decided to hunt for unicorns: those rare creatures who have de-faced Facebook. I found my brother. Close enough. After being off Facebook for two years, his biggest issue was signing in to accounts. Instead of using his Facebook username and password to sign in to Twitter, Netflix and the like, he needed separate accounts. Not the world's most dire problem, but an annoying one, especially when you can't remember which password goes where. On the upside, "You start living your own life versus other peoples'... but it's your identity online."
For me, I'm going to have to remain a regular old horse in the herd. I will, however, try and find a middle ground. I refuse to go through the struggle of using printed out MapQuest directions or (the horror) use an actual paper map. I will be a part of the modern social network, have an active Facebook account, but will resist the urge to check up on the latest activities Boo the dog.
That's going to have to be my utopia: A Boo-less world, where I can use my phone and social media when I need it, not for entertainment purposes.
When I feel a need to start checking the latest Twitter trends, I'll go outside and try to recapture that innocent childhood flag.