The Top Ten Reasons Social Media Is Not Lame but Cool–Or, At Least It Could Be by J. Bjornson

Social media is lame man, you know. Like, if you’ve had a terrible long day and you’re laying on the couch all depressed and you pick up your phone and open Instagram and see all your friends, and all the cool people you follow, who may or may not follow you, and other people you sort of know through friends, and all of them are doing fun stuff like sailing, or surfing, or riding dolphins, but not at Sea World, cause that’s not cool man, or kissing their babies, or having picnics, or hiking in parks, or smoking bowls with the girl you’re into, or still posting pictures of Burning Man, reminding you again of all the enlightenment you missed, or doing something else rad like chilling with their cute puppy or doing yoga or something, and all you did all day was work at the grocery store and hang by yourself and try to work on your painting. And you think to yourself, goddamn my life is terrible.

That’s when social media sucks.

But there’s other times that it’s cool, and that I actually dig it, and this post is about those times.

Below I break it down for you in a simple ten part list.

1.) You can turn yourself into a brand.

That’s pretty cool man.

You can make your life into a commodity for consumption, which I think is great.

If you’re cool, like cool on social media, with all types of likes and followers and what not, then you have an audience. You can monetize this–if you’re smart about it. I know, or at least know of, some pretty cool dudes and chicks, let me tell you, that have an audience. A big audience.

Like, there’s that one surfer chick on Instagram that’s got more people following her then can fit on the beach at Pipe Masters, because she can surf super rad. Nah, it doesn’t hurt that her ass is lovely and every other picture’s of it, but she’s a shredder for sure, which is why I follow her man. Then there’s some other surfer babes that take epic pics and are just phenomenally cute incarnations of the Gidget lifestyle and you want them for little sisters or best friends or girl friends or long term lovers. Some of them make art, others take photos, and they all live in a utopia that we get to participate in through their Instagram feeds. I love utopias. I lived in one once for a while, but they kicked me out cause I smoked too much weed and didn’t do my choirs.

But I need to keep to the list, there’s the tanned dudes with dark hair who don’t do much but wear cool clothes, ride motorcycles, drink beer and surf in Ventura. Or, the dudes with long bleached beards who do the same utopian lifestyle thing with surfboards and bikes and cool clothes down in Laguna, which is pretty much heaven on earth man.

So, anyways, that’s pretty cool.

If you think about it, like really think man, takin the time to rev-up the old noggin, it’s kind of a trip. So like we can now refract ourselves through the virtual world. What? Crazy right. It’s as if the finite lines connecting the various computational-cognitive machines that make like up the internet construct numerous surfacy spaces between them. When we take our self-brand and chuck it out into the virtual-void of time and space, it eventually returns back to us, but not before it’s been refracted many times over through these virtually constructed glass panes. When our brand, or image, or virtual-self stairs back at us from a well designed interface, we feel like we’re sliding down a wave or something, affirmed that this image we’ve constructed is us, and not just some attempt to take up the Kardashian mantle.

Nope, it ain’t no spectacle, it’s a splendid and glorious moment of self-creation, an autonomous actualization fulfilled before our very own eyes.

Well, sure chica sure, you’ve got to consider your true self as disconnected from the self that you boomerang out into the virtual if you want to think this way. But that ain’t hard. Just don’t consider the medium of Facebook or Instagram or Tumbler through which you’re mediated as a part of your own identity is all you got to do. Then it’s cool–groovy.

You see, all you got to do is think like this: the identity I create is separate from my mode of being in the world. It’s like a prosthetic appendage, like Harrison Ford tried to find when he played the Doctor who didn’t murder his wife, while you’re inner being, your true self, is sundered from this and protected in some transcendent realm somewhere out there beyond the big blue. If you think your own becoming is not in fact your being, or that it’s at least only your being in the world, and thus you needn’t fret over it too much, because some other inner-most being that is your true being is floating out beyond the nooosphere, beyond the neurological network that you are and that you are a part of, the one that your historical dance into the present constructed; like what I’m saying is if you think that your true self is disconnected from the network you are as a human and the network that is the internet and every other social medium of communal exchange and individual production that makes you possible, and thus disconnected from who you are in your inner being, since your inner being is somewhere outside of this whole shebang called Being–well, then you can just trot right along and keep your social mediaing all dialed up and the smile across that pretty face of yours.

You know what I’m saying.

I’m pretty certain that covers like three through five of the list.

3-5.) See above.

But you get the point I’m really making is, though, that there’s some ways that it’s cool and all, the internet, for lots and lots of people. This brings us to:

6.) Even other types of people, one’s other than the one’s above, in case you’re not sure if you’re one of them or not, think it’s cool too man.

Like, if you’re the type to think it’s no good collecting the self, because the self is only a fragmented production; that the self only appears as a whole through a twisted contingent trick, a consciousness producing sublime hiccup in the old marching on of evolutionary production, then it doesn’t really matter what type of self you produce either, you might just as well produce one self through one medium as you would another. You may think the self produced through the internet is as precious as the self produced through giving yourself on behalf of your tribe or family or people, because they’re ain’t no such thing as precious man, other than what all those other fucking hiccups has said there was.

Which isn’t to say that all who comport their existence to this sublime hiccup of evolutionary development theory think like this man.

Far from it. They’re not all nihilists or what not. Cause you know, after all, a lot of them have had some beautiful and life affirming and spiritually insightful and goddamn blessed things to say to us other mortals, and some of them are just about my best friends, or even are, even some of the one’s that are still ticking today and all.

I won’t lie to you though man, or woman, or genderless pronoun that the damn English language didn’t produce, cause I’m talking to you too, cause I’m really only about forty percent a man myself, I quantified it one time in the bathtub, but the thing is though that you’ve got to be careful. Some of them only think about as much as a Dawkins or a Harris or a Maher asks them to. They haven’t found good gurus yet, only the surface reflections of scientifically inclined though philosophically inept men, hacks, or entertainers.

And that’s fine and all, but the thing is they’re at times as sensitive as their fundamentalist atheist gurus. Which isn’t, necessarily, to lump them together with their Christian or Muslim fundamentalist brothers and sisters. Cause it’s true that some of them atheists have the martyr syndrome–and yup, sure, they’ve had their martyrs–they haven’t yet, thanks be to the big Enchilada in the Sky, beheaded any journalists, at least not in this country, nor constructed a neurotic fantasy that some Other is waging war on the celebration of the day the Flying Spaghetti got Incarnated. So, you know, we should give them at least that.

But, yeah, the internet, what a trip man, what a trip. Shit, let’s make this point simple:

8.) Atheists and Christians both like the internet; they can find information about Jesus or Evolution on it and other cool stuff.

It’s cool, if you’re inclined to think that in no way is your being your becoming…I think I already went down that old rabbit hole, so it’s just to say that if you don’t want to be so naive and ignorant, you’ve got to think about it some more man–or woman, or universal pronoun.

Or, alternatively, you could just move to a new city.

9.) Moving to a new city makes you like Social Media and the Internet a whole lot.

If you move to a city where you know only a couple of people and most of the time they’re busy. Which is fine and all, because you’re trying to work your ass off to realize your art and your dream, and there’s no surf close by anyways, but you’re lonelier than a fly without a piece of shit sometimes.

While at other times you may think that the world’s spinning towards hell faster than the Koch brothers can buy an election, and everything, the birds and trees and sun outside and all, appear as if covered in a fine layer of soot.

At those times, sometimes, you’ll be thankful for social media.

You’ll look on Facebook and see your niece or your nephew or your good friend’s kids, and their smiles or how beautiful they look in their homecoming gown will bring you more warm-fuzzies than that one Buzzfeed with all those baby mammals being adorable gifs. Or, you’ll see that a good friend is moving into a new house, and even if you dont believe in private property, ideologically speaking that is, cause you realize it exists, you’ll be happy that at least someone decent was able to score a bit of it, or that a sister’s belly is petruding because the incubation of that wee one inside her is almost done. Or, you’ll read an article or an essay one of your brothers shared, and you’ll think how glad you are that they’re your brothers and what a shame it is that you live on a different coast.

You may even read an article that a buddy from college posted, and, after wondering why in the hell he’s still a Republican when the Democrats are more conservative than he was in the 90’s, you’ll think through the argument of the article a bit, write a comment, realize you sound like an asshole, so then re-write the comment, realize you still sound like a jive ass jerk, think of all the time you’ve wasted arguing over this shit on this damn site with no fruit showing forth, slip into twenty minutes of existential anxiety, hang one foot over the edge, then two, become aware that the sentences you write are just really to fucking long, realize you’re no longer on the edge but have fallen on into the abyss of despair, wonder if it will really look back, and like when cause you’ve been in it for awhile, have your lady friend say something, not hear her, realize she’s reminding you to get out of your head, practice breathing in and out for awhile, tell yourself that you’re embodied and safe, and finally end the session by clicking a like button below the picture of the Republican buddy’s kids.

You’ll think to yourself, his politics are just no good man, shit in fact–borderline racist and on the wrong side of the xenophobic line–but he’s a buddy and someday when the seasons right and the birds are chirping over your shoulder, you’ll get him to see the light of reason, and besides, his kids are really cute and he’s not as big of a jerk as you’re uncle in law.

So, there’s that reason for liking social media:

10.) It allows you to stalk your friends when you’re lonely. Then you can feel sentimental and, paradoxically, lonelier, which is cool and good for something I’m sure.

Shit, what time is it? I’m gonna go do something productive and uplifting and relaxing, maybe watch an episode of True Detective or something.

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