I just can’t get over the absolute wierdness of being in a crowd, say at the airport, where a large fraction of people are jabbering into a phone plastered to their ear or they are standing, walking, sitting, or pacing with heads bowed down, pecking and stroking their mobile communication device. It is a kind of enchantment. A portal to other coordinates in the continuum. It allows us to receive or deliver stress all the damned time. Nobody is safe from the possibility of belligerent assholes reaching out for you while waiting at a stoplight or well-meaning associates braindumping all over your eardrum as you search aisle 5 at the supermarket for a can of chickpeas.
Driving yesterday, I took defensive measures as a dipshit in a red Ford Expedition overshot a turn while closing in on me. The distracted driver chose to complete a task on the handheld device before putting the oversized killing machine back between her yellow and white lines. I know this because the driver plastered the phone to her ear as she looked up when I passed by.
It has been 2 months now since I powered down my Facebook account. Facebook is a colossal time suck. It is a kind of gravitational well that can pull wandering bodies into orbit and lock them into some perverse synchrony for purposes unknown. Facebook is a kind of electronic teat that nurses us and keeps us from having to face our dark thoughts in quiet moments. It is also a perfect venue for those who just have to broadcast their thoughts in every waking moment.
As a Facebooker, I was pretty boring. I don’t have photos of grandchildren or garden flowers to post. I’m a serial science nerd and nobody wants to hear about that. Okay, that’s fine. I soon realized that Facebook was only providing delayed and fragmented social awkwardness that I could be having face to face in real time and without having to pay for electricity. So I pulled the plug.