Another of my Facebook friends wrote today that she was going to take a break from Facebook. She said nobody ever reacted to her posts and she was tired of it. There’s no judging, here. Everybody relates to this big, weird, public conversation differently.
And I do know how she feels. A lot of the stuff I post only gets a comment or two, some stuff gets ignored entirely. The number of people who read this blog wouldn’t even be enough to make up a Hillary rally, and I go weeks without seeing any comments on it. With the poetry, I can write something I think is brilliant and insightful and it gets a like or two, but no real response. If I write something that’s four lines long and has the word fuck in it, the comments thread will quickly grow to space elevator length.
Still, my reaction is different than my friend. If people are listening, if people aren’t listening, I’m still going to be putting my words down on paper, my rage on the page. It’s a compulsion. I think back and wonder what I did before social media. I wrote the occasional letter to the editor, but that was a time consuming process which involved stamps, and waiting, and uncertainty, and probably in the end even less of a response. The first time I realized I could read a news article and leave comments right away, that was it for me. Newspapers were dead.
I suspect that’s why social media has become so popular. It fulfilled a need we hadn’t even known we had. The need to weigh in on every topic, to have an opinion on every subject, to stand on a street corner with tattered clothing and a long, gray beard, screaming at the tall buildings around you.
Now we can do that. A decade or so ago, we couldn’t. I, for one, think it’s great.