This may sound a bit hypocritical, given that I’m writing to you on a phone over a wireless signal in a darkened bedroom, but – my Christmas and non-denominational wish for all of you is this: take a holiday from social media. That means Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all of it.
I realize some of you are very good at it, receive an enormous amount of affirmation, feel “connected” with your greater tribe, and that’s awesome. But don’t forget the “medium” part of social media, which is a beast that we have all been powering with our own sweat equity for 5 years now. Just. Take. A. Break.
I’m not even going to ask you in an interesting way, nor am I even going to put a random image on this entry in order to guarantee FB click-throughs. I’m just going to politely suggest actually looking at the people next to you, your kin, the smells of a skipped shower, the arch of a single eyebrow across a table, the tone of voice that says a word in a funny yet sad, yet also defensive, and somehow self-knowing way.
Tammy wrote something fascinating the other day, a phrase we learned in middle internet history but always forget: if you are paying nothing for a service, you are the product. My generation has spoken precious little in the great American conversation so far, but we’ve always been sensitive to being sold, and that instinct shouldn’t leave us now that we need it most.
Remember those art teachers we had as kids, the ones we made fun of, but secretly loved, with their paper plates, rubber cement and dry elbow macaroni? They accidentally got it right; the brilliant conversation over a secondary activity. I plan on making some messy stuff with my daughter and her cousins over the next five days, and I hope you will have a wonderful holiday and join us in spirit.