Full disclosure, I could just be nearing an episode like a Victorian lady whose family would then send her off to the shore for a rest but I am almost at a point of my life of going back full analog, I type out on a laptop to a blog on the world wide web.
Maybe it’s the pandemic. A lot of it is the pandemic. A year and a half ago, an already decades long obsession with social media grew almost necessary to keep mentally healthy in lockdown, to know that my friends and family were okay. Zoom happy hours and Instagram pictures of mask designs and stock-piled wine and Twitter trends to constantly keep up with COVID outbreaks and whether the country was going to fall into fascist rule.
Maybe it’s that when I was watching Cobra Kai, I thought about how lucky Johnny Lawrence was when he didn’t know what Facebook was. Maybe it’s that while I was watching Money Heist I thinking about how nice it would be to be locked in a bank without any way for someone to get a hold of me. Or know where I am. Or what I’m doing. Without knowing what my friends are doing that’s better than what I’m doing. Or which ones think that masks and vaccines are for the weak. I’m tired.
Maybe it’s that about 2 and a half months ago my friend died. My internet friend that I met in 1993 on a Prodigy bulletin board for Kids in the Hall. My internet friend, that turned a real life friend and had been with me on every social media site up until now. Because now that she’s not there to laugh with me, the internet doesn’t seem fun anymore. And it keeps moving on and changing and I don’t have it in me to figure any of it out anymore. I don’t want to know how reddit works. I don’t want to learn Discord or Tik Tok or Spotify or whatever else. I don’t want my kitchen timer spying on me to send me deals on Facebook for the Nerf gun my kid said he wanted at dinner.
I want out. I want to go back to my flip phone and cds. I don’t want to sit on the couch scrolling other people’s lives for hours. I don’t want to keep being reminded that my friend is gone. I want my life back.
Am I having a midlife crisis? Maybe, but I feel kind of excited at the thought of going off the grid and I know how that sounds. If I were watching me in a movie, I’d think, “Uh oh” but I don’t feel on the verge of a breakdown. Not when I’m off social media anyway. What the pandemic taught me is that I’m happiest locked in a house with my family with no social responsibilities and nothing to take pictures of to post to Instagram and Facebook for the serotonin dose from 3 likes. Imagine what I could accomplish if I wasn’t constantly on the internet.
I just wish it was as easy to let go of it all. The thing of it is, is that I care deeply for my friends. I want to know that they’re happy and okay and that I was online to wish them a happy birthday, but I need a break. Maybe a rest at the shore.