You think that the stream will satisfy you, that the browser will enlighten you, that this app will complete you, that those likes will fill you.
All of this at a memoirist’s fingertips, even if she is not ready. Even if she wants to be alone.
Sifting through my digital detritus
some rare moments of light
of the weight
I wish to escape
Just because I follow you on X, Doesn’t mean I’ll follow you on Y or Z. If my internet is composed of many rooms, Why on earth would I want the same people in each one?
I publish something on a blog when I have something to say, when a point can be made. I’m quiet otherwise. But real life happens in between status updates, doesn’t it? The mundane and uneventful, the low points, the days I feel ugly and inadequate — I wait until it all passes, until something crystallizes from the buildup. So I’m here to comment on what feels like nothing in particular: the ebbs and flows, the in-between, the bits that add up to create the plot points of my life. That’s the thing about publishing on high notes — on announcing news or our successes across our social networks. The lapse between one Big Moment and the next can seem long and frustrating, and because I continue to conflate writing with publishing, I tell myself there’s nothing to be said until then.
What we post in these moments of proclamation on a site like Facebook is a byproduct, a projection. Instead, life happens between status updates.
Then I opened Instagram, ran a filter over it, and posted it — to send it off into the world to be liked and viewed for its moment of glory, and to shortly after join the stream of other Instagrams disappearing into our Internet wasteland.
I think of the expiration dates we stamp on produce at the supermarket. How when we place items on shelves, we instantly date their freshness. I think about tweets in the same way: once unleashed for all to see, how long can they sit before they’re irrelevant? Before they’re kicked out of the conversation of now?
Read Later. I’m unsure what this means now. It’s become less of an action, and now some kind of blessed, magical place. An ideal state far in the horizon, to where I put stories and ideas and information for me to consume and synthesize to make myself a better, more informed person.
Sometimes I envision my Twitter feed as rushing water: my presence is a dam, and each tweet is debris making its way downstream. It’s now a challenge to let information simply flow—to let tweets swim by without me seeing or interacting with them.