Can’t I Just Enjoy This?

Posting some random video or song or witticism, I sometimes stop myself and think: can’t I just enjoy this?

I’m still not entirely sure why we’re all posting so much on social media. A 2016 Nielsen Company report found that U.S. adults spend 10.5 hours per day consuming media. That’s 3,832.5 hours per year, roughly 160 days of the year. Some of those hours aren’t spent posting on social media, I’m sure, but between Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and OH YEAH, Google+, much of it is.

In one way, it’s very fun to have a collection of pictures and events while treating yourself–as well as your friends and family–like some sort of electronic trading card system. It makes my brain feel good, too, like I’m on a special drug that can tie me into the thoughts of the brilliant and the ebullient.

In another way, what the fuck? That’s a WTF especially for those of us who sit in front of a screen for hours during work. Why do we go from looking at a screen all day to–even on lunch breaks and time on the toilet–to tuning into some variety of Netflix, smartphone, computer, tablet, or (for some godforsaken reason) a watch?

Writing and work aside, I’ve been attempting to cut back on social media to reduce a big chunk of my excess screen time. Gaining a little bit of space is nice. This Donald Trump presidency only feels more bizarre halfway outside the door. It’s like being able to live in what you thought could only be an alternate reality.

But why am I on it so much? As anyone who follows me surely knows, I post too fucking much. You may not notice it because, frankly, you all post too fucking much too.

Is it some sort of human longing for more? An alternate world where everything is or can be entertaining and horrifying and personal? Is it to curb the loneliness? To waste some time and fast-forward a few seconds of boredom as we all wanted to do during those long childhood summers?

I’d genuinely love to see a response to this: Why do you spend so much time looking at the screen?

Me? I’m still trying to figure it out. Writing and research aside, I have little excuse to spend such long stretches of time online, aside from solo entertainment when I have to appease my introversion.

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