This isn’t just another diatribe about the hollowness of life during the social media revolution. It’s something else.
Recently a dear, close friend of mine discovered something unsettling about our connection on social media. It’s the sort of thing that can test a relationship. At least, I think it could. I’m not sure since it didn’t test ours, but I think it could test others.
That might have to do with the strength of the friendship. The person who made the discovery is one of my closest friends and a trusted confidante. He was able to contextualize the truth of the matter and know that I was dealing straight with him.
I mean, honestly, I deal straight with everyone. It’s the level of bluntness that varies.
“Hey, You Muted Me.”
It’s not important how he discovered it. He discovered that I had muted him. It’s ironic that he discovered it while I’ve been on a self-imposed social media sabbatical.
I “muted” him.
It’s a fair presumption you know what that means. In case you don’t, I’m guessing you don’t use social media very much. “Muting” someone means you silence their account unless they mention you.
You may ask why someone would do this. I’m sure there are as many reasons as there are people using social media. I’m not going to waste time or bolster word count by speculating all of them. People have their reasons.
In this specific instance, you may wonder why someone would “mute” a close, dear friend. It stands to reason that a close friend is someone from whom you’d want to hear. You would be right. A close friend is someone from whom you’d want to hear.
That’s why I muted him.
I Already Speak to Those Close to Me
I am in contact with my friends. I stay in contact with some of them primarily by text message. Some of them stay in contact by phone calls, though that’s a rare few at this point.
I typically hated speaking by phone before text messaging was “a thing.” I loved it when I was younger and life was less complicated. I’m a talker, though, and in the current hectic everyday world, phone calls can be frustrating for me because I’m just getting warmed up when it has to end. Better to have me trained to get to the point.
I’m in contact with my close friends on a daily, or near-daily, basis. There’s a direct pipeline to them open at all times.
It came to a point where, thanks to algorithms “curating” things, I was seeing the social media messages of people I spoke with already. It makes sense since the spy devices in our pockets keep tabs on our engagement. The online services, with all the wisdom of a robot, figure that since I speak to someone a whole lot, that’s who I want to speak to at all times.
It’s not that I object to hanging out a lot with people I like and love. It’s not that I don’t want to stay in contact and share in their lives and experiences.
It’s that I see social media as an opportunity to interact with new people I’ve not known before. It’s an exercise in mingling, and discovering someone else out there.
Otherwise, I don’t see the point. If I just want to talk to the same people all the time, I do that already when I’m not on social media. I know this to be true because, as I’ve mentioned, I’m on a social media sabbatical and I still speak to them every day.
His account lays out there, muted. Others do, too, for the record. This person just sleuthed it out, and another person has known for a long time. Still others drift through life, ignorant of their online muzzle.
I still see pictures they want to share. I still speak to them constantly. I still change the subject when they don’t agree with my opinion about Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
I still love them. I just don’t need them dominating all my channels.