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  • cogswellmatt77

A Series of Notifications, Signifying Nothing

Meet Derek.

The activists who flood this city’s streets with their clipboards and signs are terrible. But worse than them are the online slacktivists who turn their socially-encouraged dissatisfaction into a profound moment of ‘sharing.’ An article or meme will be shared. This shit is vomited all over what is sadly referred to as social media. This is our society, and this is why I hate it. No good ever comes from recycling any of that shit. This united country will never live up to its name, and no amount of shares or comments or emoticons will ever change anything. This is our legacy. One nation, under Facebook, with free speech and futility for all. What good has it done? What have the petitions or protests or candlelight vigils done? Anytime you get a mass of people together who are angry and helpless and angry because they’re helpless, it’s likely that some damage will occur, like the idiots who destroy their own city to make a point. That insanity will pop up on The News Feed. What an appropriate name! People salivating for the next morsel. One bottomless pit of gluttony, masturbating over our own need to say, I care!

Derek was the first character I created for what became known as One Angry Gay Man (available on my YouTube). This character's rant is essentially my own, and I have felt this way about Facebook, in particular, since Trump began infiltrating our timelines in 2015. I do not like the man, but I also see no point in wasting internet space to trash him. I also do not feel that anything you post on Facebook really makes a difference. In the realm of world politics, the posts either are validated by like-minded readers or torn apart because the opinion is different from theirs. I don't understand this logic, even if I agree with the principles of the message. What does it do beyond creating another limited conversation?

This seems to make me a minority among my current crop of Facebook friends. To be fair, I only have 95 at the moment because I create new profiles all the time. I hate the site, but I'm addicted to the site. I need the site, but I feel its impact is grossly insignificant for what it could have been. There was a time, years ago, when Facebook was about sharing life events and moments of joy. Yes, those still exist, but they exist on the same page within the shared content written by someone other than the profile's "owner." I wrote years ago that I yearn for a time that will never be revived. I maintained a stretch where I stopped following people who posted excessively in this fashion. I wound up seeing just the same few people in my feed. Just a couple days ago I decided to refollow everyone on my list. It has been an exercise in restraint. I want to feel connected, but I also want to deaden the noise.

I created a Facebook group. There was no need for it, but I created it. I'm hoping that if I feel the need to promote, I can just do so on that page. The promotion doesn't work anyway. A few stills from the film version of OAGM is on my Instagram page, which has four followers. My 49 saved tweets brought in seven followers. I have an NPX landing page with one recommendation. I even have a no contacts LinkedIn page, just for the humor of it. Sadly, I abandoned my "getting there" YouTube profile, and since I've started anew, I've gained no subscribers and have had 38 views over two months. Yet, I check each of these sites daily, sometimes twice or three times (or more) to see if there is any change. Collectively, though, they are just a series of notifications, signifying nothing. It is not what works, and I loathe that I still try.

I wish I were more like Derek and just said Fuck it all. Stop trying so damn hard to build an audience and just live my life outside of these digital walls.

If I've offended you, I've outgrown you.


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