Remember when the internet was this cool new thing where you could search for information and download free songs and play games like Snood? Remember when Facebook was just a place to put up pictures and poke your friends and join as many ironic groups as you possibly could? Remember when we lived our lives in person instead of online in this virtual arena where anything goes but every move you make is being watched by everyone?
I miss those days. Now, I feel like the internet is just one more thing I have to do. Particularly as a freelance writer, and a blogger, I feel like if I haven’t posted a picture on Instagram in a couple of days I’m falling behind on my duties.
But even for people who don’t blog or write for a living, I feel like “online presence” has become just another line on a resume. If a job you want has anything to do with communicating with other people (…), they want to make sure that you have an active Facebook page (but don’t have too much fun! They’re watching you…), seventy thousand recommendations on LinkedIn, a billion Twitter followers, and whatever the heck you do with Google+.
Let me tell you a little something about Google+. Screw that. I’m so sick of all these new “social” networks that we’re obligated to be a part of if we want any chance of keeping up with the virtual Joneses and having any type of career in the next decade, because if you don’t have the right circles in Google+ they aren’t going to let you into law school. I’m drawing the line at Google+. I think I even have a profile or whatever they call it (probably something much cooler than ‘profile’, that’s too Facebook-y), but I gave up after I created it. Screw that.
I love blogging. It’s such a great way to write what I want, when I want, and not simply to my journal. It has been so fun becoming a part of the blogging community, and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. But I don’t want to tweet something just so that I can maybe get one more follower. I don’t want to comment on my friend’s blog or a blog I like because I secretly want to steal followers from them with my brilliant comment-writing skills. I just want to freaking write. Is that too much to ask?
I don’t even want to begin to calculate the hours I waste online. I try to tell myself it’s helpful, that I’m reading informative articles or catching up on my friends’ lives or increasing my online reach or helping my career. But most of the time, I’m just putting off all of the real life things that I could be doing to actually enrich my life (or make money, or improve my writing, or keep me healthy, or strengthen relationships, or anything else that’s much better than scanning my news feed). There’s just too much information out there, and it’s bogging me down.
I don’t really have a solution for any of my grumblings, I just wanted to vent. I’m definitely going to try to think of ways to keep my online usage to a minimum, ways to be more productive, to get less distracted, and so on. But for this post, I just wanted to vent.
Now get back to work, ya slacker!