On the whole, I’d rather be in Philadelphia.
-Epitaph on the headstone of W.C. Fields
This writing is a whimsical indulgence for me. I have much work ahead, most of it school, the rest a typical weekly retinue of postings/responses to my personal Social Media campaign. But in this moment, it is the very early part of the day’s beginning, I have a full belly, and the medications I took before eating are working their magic, making me feel (almost) human (for the sake of clarity, I should note that these drugs are far from recreational, and only just therapeutic; unless one finds it desirable to feel as though they are experiencing a 3 second time-delay of everything happening around them, they are to be avoided unless prescribed – I suffer from psychosis, bi-polar syndrome, and must choose between being bug-nuts or zombified – typically, it is the latter). I therefore give flight to my creative muse, and ponder the above question – why do we love Social Media?
I pose here a bit of non-sequitur, and beg the reader’s indulgence by saying my point will be made clear momentarily. In the town where I live, there is a pizzeria that is acclaimed by many as the best pie to be had for parsecs. I myself am no judge, as I do not care for pizza, or, for that matter, most Italian style foods (one might be prompted to ask how I could not like all of that pasta, tomato sauce, meat, and cheese, and my answer would be that no matter what I order, that’s all I ever get: pasta, tomato sauce, meat, and cheese). My sweet wife, Annelle, on the other hand, joneses for that restaurant’s pizza in the same way an incarcerated crack-head hankers for a dime bag after three days of enforced sobriety. I instead enjoy a cold brew from the tap when we go, but that invariably requires my attendance to the convenience facilities, since their mugs hold 16 ounces, and my bladder only 12.
Said facilities are quite antiquated, and hark back to a time in my childhood, when rock and roll had yet to be born, and most white people considered the word “cool” an assessment of ambient temperature. As I stood reading the graffiti, I saw amongst the expected exhortations of, “Here stood Napoleon while he beat his Bonaparte,” and, “Why are you looking up here for the joke? It’s down in your hand,” something which validates and exemplifies the underlying reasoning for our original inquiry: a URL for a YouTube vid.
Consider for a moment the import of such, that we now use that time honored medium of communication, the public restroom wall, to promote our content. This is the current extent of our love for Social Media. But why?
Certainly the enhancements accorded commercial purposes, but much of those wouldn’t exist were it not for the ubiquity of society’s personal use. One word arguments abound, though if constrained to choosing only one, it would then be creativity, that single measure which separates us from all other mammals.
I can remember when first seeing photographic images of the Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave paintings, which date back over thirty thousand years, that I wondered how it was at a time when every minute of a day in the life of the typical person was spent locating and consuming food, some enterprising soul(s) took time to update their status, though without the convenience of Facebook, Twitter, or Foursquare. And yet they did, as we still do to this day, all because of the inherent need to create, and communicate that we’ve created.
Thus we find it is the same in the here and now as it was in the there and then. We love Social Media because it allows us to differentiate ourselves from all other fauna, to proclaim that we are unique from all other of Earth’s creatures. We as humans are able to create, and we do so because we can.
Now, if only we could generate some interesting content…