After reading “My Family’s Slave,” Alex Tizon’s story in the Atlantic, my mind has been a cauldron.
Entered that world once again,
and there he is, my dear friend gone.
I send a friend request, despite —
Just need a moment to pretend.
The image is a byproduct, a shadow of a memory.
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.
I deactivated Facebook.
I haven’t posted a tweet in ten days.
You can create your own profile on Medium and Hi and Exposure. But there’s an element of renting out space on these platforms, and I’m reminded of the loft my husband and I just moved out of — one unit within a huge, impersonal condo complex — and our quest to create the exact home we want.
What we post in these moments of proclamation on a site like Facebook is a byproduct, a projection. Instead, life happens between status updates.
I guess, deep down, I do enjoy the labyrinthine-ness of the web. I complain about feeling left behind. About not knowing the best ways to do something. But I’ve never really been someone who expects — or wants — to conquer each minute of the day, to be some kind of marvel of productivity.
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?