Social media in 2020: A lifeless saltine cracker

I used to be somewhat obsessive-compulsive about social media. I checked my facebook approximately 62 times per day.* I posted at least once a day, sometimes 2-3 times. I would post silly stuff about my day, serious thoughts on current events, all my newest and cutest pictures, etc. I would vigorously debate strangers about theology or politics on comment threads whose obnoxious length were only rivaled by CVS receipts. I made long instastories rambling about my ineffective dry shampoo and other deep matters. Even on Twitter – which I always have and always will despise for it’s lack of depth and proclivity for promoting unbridled hostility – I would sometimes scroll and get incensed about whatever was incensing that day.

I began dating a social media dud** a few years ago. For over 18 months, I soldiered on with my social media OCD. When COVID19 started ramping up in the U.S., both my twitter and facebook became so saturated with zany posts I could feel the stress rise in my body every time I logged in, but I was having a super hard time not logging in since I was also effectively (albiet temporarily) laid off with pay. So I gave my boyfriend the password to my facebook and twitter accounts (yes I had 2) and asked him to be my meanie-pants social media gate keeper. He has performed this role with a disturbing but effective gusto. I have probably logged in — 6-8 times in the last two months. When I do, 95% of the 30-40 notifications I have*** are completely boring and not even related to me (e.g. “Joe-Joe added to his story” or “Your mother commented on your brother’s post”).

I am struck with how I have missed almost nothing, and gained the self respect that comes from restraint. Dignity! LIFE!

What used to be a delightful tiramisu has turned into a lifeless saltine cracker.

Okay maybe I’m being slightly dramatic. But it has been nice and I feel kind of amazed that I found it so rewarding not that long ago. But now, even Instagram, the one social media platform I kept because it tended to be light and fluffy and happy, has started edging into facebook/twitter taking-itself-too-seriously territory. The pictures are mostly okay, actually, but the stories are so full of virtue signaling and pedantic lectures on polarizing topics that I can go through an entire day’s worth of stories and realize the best story was an ad for sulfate free shampoo. (Quick disclaimer: I love deep convos and I’m not afraid of discussing controversial topics with people who actually care about my opinion, but I think social media is the absolutely worst place to express them. )

Should I ax the gram, or keep at least one connection to my interweb friends? What an important decision! I will flee to the woods for thoughtful meditation. But one thing I won’t do is create a post on facebook asking everyone what I should do. Success? !

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Estimated by the Gallonoggin

**This is the only things he’s a dud about, trust me. Yowza!

***What can I say.. #popular

According to Facebook, women are grossy-gross

I used to completely ignore all advertisements, until targeted ads became a thing. Now I’m not seeing an ad because of random chance, but because some marketing algorithm (or nefarious robot??) specifically targeted me ..because of my own browser activities, stated interests, etc.

Being the natural narcissist that I am, the new targeting strategies have made me intrigued in the ads that are selected for me. I thought it would be funsies to try to figure out what sort of niche marketing demographic I’m in – thinking they profiled me as Hip-but-No-Nonsense-Overeducated-but-Whimsical-Millennial —- but also kind of hoping they would profile me as Skilled-Assassin-with-Heart-of-Gold-and-Exquisite-Taste-in-Whiskey. But! Once I began looking into my ads — I mean realllly looking into them — I was crushed. Social media sites don’t think I’m hip or whimsical, or a badarse criminal… social media apparently thinks I’m a desperate old-maid with several, ehh.. womanly problems. ūüė•

For example —

desperatesingle

There is of course the ever present, ever mocking – WE KNOW YOU’RE SINGLE, JUST GET MARRIED TO A BIBLE BARRY ALREADY!!!

Parks And Recreation Donna GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

flabby

Ouchhhhh on Instagram, no less! Where I post all my pictures… somehow a robot has determined I’m high risk for fat rolls. WOW

Bruno Mars Love GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

heavyperiods

You don’t know me, Facebook! Get out of my ovaries!

Mad Comedy Central GIF by Workaholics - Find & Share on GIPHY

limppony

Even my poor lil pony isn’t safe! Geeezzzzzz

Braxton Family Values Love GIF by WE tv - Find & Share on GIPHY

pitsweats

This one I took extremely personally. Sweat is healthy and detoxifying, you jerks!!

Rachael Ray Boob Sweat GIF by First We Feast: Hot Ones - Find & Share on GIPHY

facialhair

To add insult to injury, now Facebook just assumes that I’m growing a full beard

San Jose Sharks Beard GIF by NHL - Find & Share on GIPHY

So even when I’m just trying to check up on my friends, get a few lolz for the day.. I’m told that I 1) need a man pronto 2) need to reign in my flab 3) have disgusting periods; probably due to chronic illness 4) have a lame pony game 5) have socially unacceptable pit stains 6) am turning into wolf-man.

This is just in one log-in!! And people wonder why women are so “obsessed” with our looks.. maybe because everyday we are bombarded by images telling us how disgusting we are.

Oh, but don’t forget women — love yourself and be confident!

Chelsea Peretti Eye Roll GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Find & Share on GIPHY

Yo’ body ain’t nobody’s biz

I’m sorry to be salty about this, but you can’t stop this Na+ influx!

Long ago, before this blog was even a twinkle in my Galloeye, I remember going to a nearby water park and thinking – “why is it okay for a bunch of strangers to be running around in their skivvies just because there’s a bunch of water around?”*

winterbeach
This is the appropriate amount of clothing to wear to the beach. Jk. OR AM I?! (pixabay image)

Thanks to the rise of technology, a new question has puzzled my brainz. “why is it okay for a bunch of distant friends and strangers to see you in your skivvies just because a screen separates you?”

Look, I understand – if you work out a lot, you want people to cheer your progress. Many a time I’ve been gripped with an intense urgency to share my obliques on fleek. Maybe you tell yourself your ab pic isn’t to brag, it’s to inspire people. Sure… but if I were a bettin’ woman,** I’d wager that for every one person you inspire with a pic of your fantastic bod you make 10 other people feel like a shapeless blob of poo.¬†

 

bodybuilder
Are you inspired, or just mildly disturbed? (pixabay image)

Of course, there will always be the Leering Larry’s who will see your picture and not feel insecure, but feel, well eh, good.¬†Too¬†good… Maybe some of these Larry’s have fantastic bods themselves, and you welcome their leering. BUT, I’d wager that some of them are .. spouses, hormonal teenagers, and creepers at least a generation older than you. Ew.

 

Let’s just back this up a little bit, anyway. Why the¬†hayull¬†are we so obsessed with people knowing we have a good bod? Honestly – especially if you ascribe to Christian sexual ethics – 1 person should know and care what your beach body looks like. Your wifie or hubs. Even if you don’t ascribe to such ethics, it’s still a very small number of people who should be directly affected by the shape of your body. No one else should know¬†or care. It ain’t their biz!

Here are some practical ways to transform your mind so you won’t be as tempted to plaster basically nekkid pic of yourself all over the interwebs. A lot of these involve vivid imagining.

1) Imagine one of your real friends who has a less-than-perfect body. Imagine stepping into their room, interrupting their relaxation time, stripping down to your skivvies, and yelling in their face – “HEY! Isn’t my body AWESOME?! AREN’T YOU INSPIRED?!” Does that seem strange to you? Because that’s basically what you’re doing, just with a screen in-between.

2) Imagine stepping into a Leering Larry’s house, and seeing a pic of yourself in your skivvies blown up into poster size and pasted on his/her ceiling. Would you be creeped out? Then don’t give them the opportunity!

homeless-845711_960_720
Just imagine this dude can’t wait until you post another bikini / shirtless pic. (pixabay image)

 

3) Imagine everyone in the world knows what your body looks like, and they all think it’s dynamo. Then.. what? ¬†—- unless you’re trying to be a swimsuit model, it really doesn’t make sense for this to drastically change your life, except to have more people thinking inappopro thoughts about you. What’s your end goal,exactly?

Okay, that’s all folks. This isn’t to slut-shame anyone, btdubs. I just want to raise awareness that the small target audience you actually had in mind when you post your vacay or fitspiration pics or whatever is just a tiny proportion of who all will actually see your bod. Just think it through, ya know? Please and thank you.

Forever yours,
Dr. Galloswag ‚̧

 
 
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*Ftr, I’m still haunted by this question.¬†
** I ain’t, ma, I swur!