I’m sick of social media.
I’m sick of perfectly curated photographs and carefully constructed personas.
I’m sick of scrolling, and likes, and hearts, and hahas, and wows, and favorites.
I’m sick of elaborate pregnancy announcements, and 800-like engagements, and incredible before-and-afters and endless go-fund-me’s, all while I struggle to figure out what my “plan” should be, or whether it’s worth even having one when life always seems to intervene and destroy it anyway.
I’m sick of everything being a photo shoot, and pictures of perfect yoga poses in idyllic locations, and hot dog legs on beaches and photo editing apps that make human beings look creepily moonlit, like the Veelas from Harry Potter.
I’m sick of the highlight reel of everyone’s lives; the equivalent of a braggy family holiday newsletter, but instead, one that blasts off every goddamn day, causing everybody looking on to feel inadequate.
I’m sick of the depression, the insecurity, and the addiction to positive reinforcement, where I feel like a failure if one of my articles doesn’t perform well.
I’m sick of everybody “doing it for the ‘gram” and ignoring me while I speak because they need to check their feeds…
And of restaurants who put food on artfully collected slabs and in weird containers, so their patrons will share social media pictures.
I’m sick of friggin’ mason jars.
I’m sick of the non-ironic usage of hashtags while I’m interacting person-to-person, and even more sick of the fact that I do it too.
I’m sick of shameless clickbait, and flawlessly-crafted viral videos.
I’m sick of algorithms, and formulating shitty headlines to get more clicks, more engagement, more bullshit.
I’m sick of writing thinkpieces.
I’m sick of thinkpieces, generally. And thinkpieces about thinkpieces. And thinkpieces about thinkpieces about thinkpieces. And the entire circle-jerk of opinions that fire off just for clicks, just for ad revenue; just to agitate us social media addicts for money.
I’m sick of playing into it all with my outrage; my engagement.
I’m sick of every handpicked media story-of-the-moment being beaten to death within a 12-hour cycle — before I’ve even had a chance to process what it all means or to collect my thoughts to write my own goddamn thinkpiece.
I’m sick of everybody feeling like they need to make a public statement after every single noteworthy event happens — it’s like millions of miniature self-run PR departments kicking off into gear every time there is a mass shooting or huge political happening, or a celebrity dies.
I’m sick of feeling like I need to participate in this minute-by-minute word vomit, and of the fear that I will never be a successful writer if I don’t.
I’m sick of performing, and of feeling like I need to become a “personal brand,” and seeing writers and creators I love and respect having to feed the content-creation beast 24/7.
I’m sick of being so drowned in voices that I don’t even recognize my own anymore.
I’m sick of being “on” all the time.
I’m sick of writing “sorry for the delayed response” every time I don’t reply to someone within twenty minutes.
I’m sick of my aching elbow and hand reminding me that I spend my life staring at a screen; for work, for social life, for news, for entertainment.
I’m sick of only feeling fully alive every once in a while, when I am out of cell service range and am finally free of all the expectations and “conveniences” of modern life.
I’m just sick of it all.