I suspect when it comes to losing touch sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes not. Facebook for example seems to be a very powerful tool for reconnecting and staying in touch with folks and not just old school friends but often extended family members. I have used social media to reconnect with long lost friends and relatives and I would probably not remember even my own birthday without a Facebook notification.
For me this reconnecting with especially cousins I have lost touch with has at times been very interesting. I soon realized based on some of their posts that a few of them are bat-shit crazy. In part this seems very possibly related to the fact that they never got the hell out of rural Indiana. Though I rarely post anything to Facebook it has been for the most part fun to reconnect with relatives even the ones who I deeply suspect are Trump supporters. What is the old saying? “Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.” I am not saying any of my relatives are enemies but a few of them are I am sure not on any gay wedding guest lists.
Actually not wanting to offend any of my more conservative friends and relatives does act as good censoring barrier as to what little I do post on Facebook. For example I thought better of posting one of the better signs from the recent Women’s March here in Denver. It was a photo of a sign that read: “I am more pissed off than a Russian hooker”. That is a sentiment I am totally in agreement with but one that would not have gone over too well with my southern Indiana cousins I suspect.
The Internet, Facebook and Instagram all seem to be conspiring to keep us from losing touch whether we want that to be the case or not. Think for a minute about what Facebook knows about you simply based on their lists of “suggested” friends or ‘tagging” someone you may know and suggesting you should really become friends with all their friends ASAP. Remember when it might have taken years of getting to know someone before calling him or her a friend and now that status in your life is simply a click of your index finger away.
A recent example of various unsolicited entities being aware of my business in a rather eerie way was my online search for a new garbage disposal. I had searched through Google for a particular brand of disposal and in a matter of hours an ad for this same item had appeared in my Facebook feed.
It probably does not come as a surprise to many of you that when cleaning house or doing dishes I will go to You Tube for a music video by the Grateful Dead or the current incarnation Dead and Company. This has resulted in my Facebook feed again being clogged with many ads for the latest Dead merchandise and trust me it is endless. And just because of clicking or liking one article about one band I really don’t need to know what every jam band on the face of the earth is up to.
Though I think there are many reasons we should be concerned about the deep state, i.e. FBI, NSA and CIA being the ones we know most about, it really is corporate America that is in our business a thousand ways to hell every single minute of every hour of the day. It would be nice to research garbage disposals or listen on line to the umpteenth version of Dark Star without it resulting in an obnoxious marketing barrage.
So this rant on how everyone on earth is really always in touch these days, and I haven’t even gotten to our cell phones, could go on much longer but let me close with a concern I have. Are we really just lowering the bar as to what constitutes staying in touch in a meaningful manner and debasing many of our relationships with just the latest emoji?