Social media needs you like a fish needs legs to walk.
Writing this article seems (is) hypocritical, but what other way can I reach you? The digital nomad? The modern, modem-enabled individual? The collective you just one wireless connection away? Yelling a message into a bottle, sealing it from leaking precious letters with a wine cork, and letting the currents of the sea carry the fragile, urgent note to whatever shore will listen would be more practical if it means being less superficial in delivery and more meaningful. I cannot delegate the user's thoughts anymore than the medium in which that user chooses to be fed thoughts does.
This is not my personal intent to change your mind or even to get you off of social media. What would you do to amuse yourself, anyway? Read words tattooed on dead trees? Please, don't make yourself laugh at another typist-with-access-to-the-internet's expense. There are far more larger egos with senses of humor that are easier to laugh with than laugh at. I write this knowing the strange alchemy of social media.
Most people have friends. A group of friends, some friends you count on one hand. For a select number of people who are selective and discerning, friends is a label that deserves more definitions. For these people, Facebook is not a true indicator of friendships and relationships. Friends for them do not belong on a Friends List. Connection online is really secondhand; a phantom limb trying to learn how to hug someone that is not there, but which settles on the digitized projection as good a substitute as any. Who would travel the length of desperation or loneliness to meet and solidify their interactions if it they were to only be achieved from behind a keyboard and Lithium-battery-powered screen?
Don't you make the exceptions for the paraplegic, ALS, comatose, or Groot pen pals of the world either; they make connections through technology because it is the best way they can. But if you are and I are not mind or body and countries apart, I see no reason why we should limit our interactions to better-than-reality bouts of meme-sharing, YouTube deep-dives, and pernicious followings that bleed over into the reality we neglected (for too long) in the first place. What's more, we have to use or lose this online learning curve if it means being accepted, liked, or at the least, considered to be an existing entity.
All I'm saying is that you and I are no less and no more human with or without an outlet to the bottomless internet. The online interaction is still us, and though it be immediate, it is still analogous of feeling close and not actual closeness. Imagine a coin with no sides and you have yourself a virtual world, changing constantly from amorphous rule to pigeonholed rabbit holes of fixed freewheeling without direct or instant consequence. Cyber bullying, neutrality and virtual rights, E-waste effects on the environment, among other social and nonsocial issues that find a way to collect their own digital dust, all can't be solved with a clear-cut dissertation through emojis. If you want to start a fire, you better choose if it's for warmth and meals or burning bridges. Or keeping it lit.
Live your life before someone else codes it.