Antisocial Diaries is an ongoing thread exploring the concept of connection in an age of constant connection. Written by Emma, currently living in New York City and without any social media.
“Sometimes its like.. why am I doing this?? But if it makes you feel more like yourself, no need to even ask “why?”’
My friend Aisling texted me this last night. She quoted it from an article she was reading, but it was a part of our ongoing dialogue about social media. I went out on my porch in Seattle, wrapped in a blanket with a mug of ginger tea surrounded by the stillness, coldness of the air. Silence to me is starting to feel loud, I can’t fall asleep to silence, I can’t think to it. So I called, and tucked the phone between my cheek and my shoulder, pacing back and forth as one does mindlessly on a phone call. I described my place and perspective, and she said, “It’s funny, now that you don’t have a social media I have no idea where you are. I like it.”
Before she could follow my random trip through Europe or in New York via little squares, and maybe feel more connected to me, and I could feel more connected to her through the same means, but we hadn’t had a FaceTime or phone call. I felt like I was up to date with her, filled in enough, a thin fabricated relationship. Illusory and misty, falls apart at the touch. I had this sort of faux-relationship with a LOT of people through social media. Oh, how easily I could have had someone brought up in conversation and be able to detail what they were up to and doing and feeling, all without having a conversation with them.
This conversation with Aisling went on for an hour and three minutes. She was telling me about how she was struggling with social media as well, identifying it as the source of her anxiety, pressure to be creative, pressure to be liked. But she felt held back, wavering and thinking maybe for New Years she would delete it, or just delete the app, or just try and use it… less… but the next day she texted me that she had deactivated her Instagram and was already feeling a lot better. I half-heartedly hoped maybe social media was dying, or at least evolving, and how that might cause a different landscape of connection to emerge.
We sent back and forth our feelings and inspirations, from me: a photo series featuring denim on denim outfits, stargazer lilies covered in plaster, and peaches on white linens. From her: an article about the interpersonal value of phone calls, an amazon link to a book about gender identity, acts of kindness on NYC subways, and how September’s New Moon in Virgo is effecting all of us. I read the entire phone article, ordered the book, and reread this passage about how the moon must be seriously.. seriously fucking with me.
“The next half of the year is going to be all about rebelling against the status quo to get to the core of not only who we are but what kind of life we want to build.”
Call me sometime…