Sex, Drugs, and Social Media
Intense use of social media is like sex and drug abuse. All the same desires, obsessions, insecurities, and withdrawals are involved.
For a few weeks, I was away from my computer. Away is relative term. I still checked my email hourly. I tweeted at least twice a day. I checked Facebook once a day. Watched porn. Nevertheless, I consider this being away from my computer.
In life outside of social media, my computer is a tool. It’s a convenient way to keep in touch with people, organize my life, access information, entertain myself, et cetera…
My computer is a person I smile at and make eye contact with on the subway. We don’t know each other, but I imagine it makes both of us feel a little better in the morning when we share this little, easy, noncommittal moment of intimacy.
My computer is the joint I smoke, the few beers I drink over conversation with friends. A nice way to pass the evening. Nobody’s worried about a hang over in the office the next day.
I’m back working in social media. Here my computer is my beginning, it’s my center, and it’s my ultimate end. Everything I do in social media pushes outward into cyberspace only to fall back upon itself. And falling, it creates the new foundation for which I push outward again.
I once a had friend that had a love affair, that lasted too long, that one day went sour, and later fell apart. Sex was timid and awkward at first, lifted to wild heights, then violent extremes, finally ended in neuroticism, brief impotence, and weekly therapy.
Frightening: when young, naïve lovers are at their most ambitious, seemingly the only option is to become even more ambitious. One adventure leads to the next, and the next, and eventually it’s too much. But neither will admit it (maybe one doesn’t notice?). They keep going. Soon there’s resentment. There’s exhaustion. Finally, like the junkie’s desperate last binge, there’s an overdose and collapse.
I see many parallels in the big, bad new world of social media. For a while, I worked in social media everyday. After waking, there was an hour I spent away from my computer. Then I sat down, immersed. At lunch, I frequently kept up on my phone. Outside, other people were strange. I didn’t understand what their facial expressions were supposed to suggest. A tree was laughable. Sunlight disturbing.
You spend a weekend alone with your lover. You lock yourselves in a hotel. Afterwards, how strange is the first person you see? How alien is their smile, their touch?
A computer, especially when used for social media, offers a new type of arousal. It’s not sexual arousal. Alternatively, social media has a categorical relationship with sex and drugs. All three are self-aggrandizing experiences that can devour the individual. The social media expert’s computer, the drug addict’s substance, the lover’s partner, all serve the same function. They entice the individual, flirt with him, capture him, and eventually alienate him from an exterior social world.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
More by Kyle Kouri:
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 2 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook
- 10 Shaq Confident He Will Eventually Make Funny Quip on TNT