Thursday, May 9, 2013

Edit the Sad Parts

Facebook is a magical place that allows you to boil down your entire life into only the good and happy things. If you choose to. There will always be trolls and morons wherever you look but for the most part, people share their lives in a very calculated way. I was recently scrounging around on the site for people I used to know, you know the kind of people that passed through your life once a long, long time ago that you never really think about except during occasional spontaneous bursts and you vaguely sort of go "oh yeah..."  Probably about 90% of them are actually on Facebook, by the way. The rest, well who knows whatever became of them? I'll bet Google does.

Anyway, because my brain is hyper-actively all over Facebook during my workday (which is always, at all times, forever and ever until I turn 98 and croak), I think maybe my brain has been reformatted to assume that what I see is what is reality. Because I'm not of this born digital generation, I can only assume that over the course of what, 15 years or so, my brain has learned to, along with most people who are actively on social networking sites, edit the sad parts. Or rather, everyone has already edited those out of their own lives to show the social networking universe how happy they are and what a good time life is giving them.

And when for whatever random reason that realization comes to me intermittently  interrupting my tacit compliance with the lives people are choosing to show, I feel very cold and strange and not really at peace with what I spend most of my time doing. I'd like to see the director's cut, raw and unedited. Sometimes. It is very easy to simply assume that everyone you think you know is inevitably hiding something and once social networking becomes your main form of keeping in touch and being acquainted with someone, that there are huge, secret aspects of their lives that they are all stuffing underneath their beds or tossing out the back windows of their idyllic houses. That they fought every day on their beach vacations or that they too feel as alienated as you do when you scroll pictures of people you recognize but don't know. Is this a cynical notion? I don't even know anymore.But I think it'd be great (or just better) if I could be a "what I see is what I get" kind of person. It would be comfortable.

Yet,  I very often feel that it is impossible to truly know someone, especially now, in these times we live in. Though when I think about it, I'm sure there were ways of hiding things back before all this technology. That I can't remember minuscule  mundane details about life before it is frightening. How did people hide their true selves without a digital screen or the comfort of editorial approval on every and all photograph?

I don't know what the point of that notion is except to say that it would be nice to not feel that, ever again, but I'd settle for feeling it less often.

And now, just for kicks, here's a video of the song "Edit the Sad Parts" by Modest Mouse:

No comments:

Post a Comment