Social Media vs. Government Tracking

by Sera James

Perhaps someone can clear this up for me. Do the benefits outweigh the likelihood that I’ll eventually be hunted down and chipped? Consider Facebook, the self-sustaining tracking device which only asks you the same questions a cop would: where were you, when was this picture taken, and who were you with.

I’ve recently submitted to the fever, due largely to being a Kindle author and desiring to synch with GoodReads. These are the less invasive beasts available compared to Twitter and what is the name of that other one with the pictures? Instagram.

I also hesitate to subscribe to the notion that every moment of my life is worthy of documentation and a following, which is a) ironic, being as that I was a writer before the Internet was this messianic tumor, and b) neigh senseless, as “networking” has become a necessary evil in any field as well as a large facet of American culture. I am, however, of the belief that the stuff of writing comes from the quiet moments. I’m on the verge of teaching a Creative Writing course at a local private university, and I think the first class will be about the importance of boredom to the inspiration process. I propose that Youtube is the reason every movie sucks now.

Not only are some things private, as well as reflective moments precious and few, but I worry that the belief that every thought we have, every notable image we see (like how we look in department store mirrors wearing sunglasses we don’t intend to buy, which is as unfathomable a trend as “planking”) is worthy of documentation leads us deeper into the chasm of narcissism which has come to define a generation.

I’m poised to dismantle my cell phone, and challenge you to do the same. The oncoming panic attack should serve as a wake-up call that not only are we inhabiting an Orwellian present, we’re actively participating in its maintenance. Says the girl who is blogging.