A Voice in the Wilderness

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.



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