To Be or Not To Be on Social Media

Like you, I spend a fair amount of time wondering whether or not to participate in social media. Same old, same old.

You will not be surprised to learn that Hamlet’s famous lines map perfectly:

To be, or not to be
on social media
THAT is the question
Whether tis nobler in the mind
to just scroll past an ocean of narratives leading
us to societal collapse
or to futilely counter them at the cost
of assorted friendships.

Something like that.

One my first Facebook friends lost was in a dispute over this comic. The year may have been 2015, which is when it dawned on me (thanks to this comic) that it was a bad idea to try to balance the history of gender inequality on the backs on one generation.

The idea that the only thing worth knowing about being a man is treating women with ‘mad respect’ is dangerously inane. What’s more, so as not to appear dependent on male approval, said women should then respond to this ‘mad respect’ with indifference.

It’s a recipe for interpersonal and social disaster, and a consequence of what we might call the over-reification of corrective measures, an almost irresistible tendency to project large scale narratives onto small scale interactions.

I’d say most adults know that such projection makes healthy relationships impossible, but at this point, we are being relentlessly instructed that such projection is a moral imperative. Good people, we are told, do the ‘hard work’ of relentlessly framing themselves in terms of a master narrative of cherry-picked history. To even notice the host of obvious problems with this is a psychological, and a moral, failing.

As with the clueless dad in this comic, embrace of this solution actually makes the hard work of inquiring into the nature of correct behavior strikingly easy. Son, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about being a man: fawn over girls and never expect anything in return. I think the kids nowadays call it “simping”.

I suggest that “ally-ship” is, in its over-reification, racial simping.

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