It all began so innocently. I was stretched out on the sofa enjoying what I consider to be a time-honored Southern tradition—the Sunday afternoon mid/post-NASCAR race nap, which have come earlier each race with the boredom brought about by the meddling of NASCAR chief screwerer upper, Brian France, and his “innovations,” but I digress; that’s fodder for another column.
Anyway, there I lay dozing, an entertaining race finishing up on the tube, resting up for the pivotal second game of the NCAA Super Regional baseball game between Oklahoma State and South Carolina who, for the second straight weekend had their backs to the wall, needing to win two in a row to save the season and advance, this time to the College World Series. And as a Gamecock fan, you gotta know my hope springs eternal, even when I know in my gut it’s probably false, but optimistic I was. Spurs Up! Go Cocks!
So, all in all, it I was a grand ol’ spring Sunday for a Carolina Boy. Just a few more minutes snooze…then, out of the blue, it blew up.
It began when my phone startled me awake as I thought I had muted all calls, but apparently not all Twitter notifications as it was deemed important that I be notified that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was pleased to be enjoying a buffalo chicken wedge prior to liftoff, information accompanied by a photo of Little E grinning that Cheshire cat grin of his with girlfriend Amy Reimann looking over his shoulder.
I’m not knocking Junior, by all accounts he’s one of the coolest celebrities on the planet, but that’s not exactly how I really wanted to be awakened, especially when my personal dining options at the time consisted of half of a half-eaten Subway sandwich, which really wasn’t all that good when fresh the day before, or some cheese toast on old hamburger buns.
Then, checking my phone, Facebook and my news services blasted me with news feeds and opinions/analysis of the “Pulse” shooting/massacre, making it increasingly impossible over the course of the day for me to avoid the fact the event was the result of a radical Islamic terrorist, or an anti-lesbian and gay activist, or a suicidal nutcase, or maybe a combination of any of the above. Or maybe not. And that it was Hillary’s fault and Obama’s fault and the FBI’s fault and even the damn gun’s fault, and the whole time, for the first time ever, I actually tuned in to Twitter, full flow, and began reading some of these “he said/she said” and “I’m gonna leave the country” kinda tweets and…well, to be honest, some of the nuttiest knee-jerk reactionary stuff I’ve ever read in my life.
Just what is it that makes some movie or TV or rock star or singer or crazy rich ballplayer or boxer or even model think that his or her opinion really matters anyway? Really? What makes them feel compelled to pipe in with their opinions, feel their thoughts relevant to the national dialogue. I’m sorry, but what arrogance. And folks it was an onslaught. Arnold and Whoopi and Rosie and preachers and sinners and ballers and folks of all stripes just a-tweeting away left me with but one final, yet inevitable, conclusion: Twitter is an Evil, Ego-feeding Monster.
And then, out of cyberspace, the coup de grace was delivered, the final blow, a Twitter tweet that broke the camel’s back—or more appropriately in this case, I suppose, snapped the bluebird’s spine–word from the Kardashian camp that they were crushed by the events in Orlando and would be issuing statements—and adjusted public appearance schedules, of course—later in the day.
That was it. Enough was enough. The fact that I even knew what a “Kardashian” was annoyed me beyond my immediate means of self control. I went to deleting phone apps as fast as I could. Goodbye SnapChat, InstaGram, FaceTime, and Periscope. Adios CNN, FOX, ABC, even PBS, and lastly, the evil Twitter itself, with, fittingly the last tweet received was one from good ol’ Dale Jr., who announced that he was “leaving on a jet plane,” apparently for parts unknown.
And I had to smile because, in a manner of speaking, part of me had departed, too, Junior. All that meaningless BS had to go. The poisons had begun to back up, but were slowly leaving the body. An exorcism was underway.
At a critical time, too, as I had begun to let the political overtones and the “I’m right so you have to be wrong” mentality that has come to pervade Facebook jade my thinking a little. And that’s definitely not who I want to be.
So I’ve reset everything. Twitter is now dead to me; @GrayBostick is forever safely interred in @boothill, #whereelse#forever#whynot#makessense#whattooksolong#goodriddance.
I’ve boiled it down to just two: Spotify and Facebook.
Spotify I kept, foremost because I love music, and, secondly, because I have a little hearing condition and I like to be able to control what goes into my ears—a rare circumstance this day and time—and that is a service Spotify provides so well I’ll pay for it. I also find it beyond remarkable that there exists a repository of 20+ million musical recordings of nearly any artist I can dream of to which I can have uninterrupted and unlimited access, 24/7/365.
And, of course, I must almost shamefully admit, the ubiquitous Facebook remains. But my perspective is fresh; no more anti-anything. From now on Facebook is for positive posts and “likes,” keeping up with birthdays and anniversaries, sharing prayer concerns and uplifting stuff, and occasional funny pics and cat videos. Just like God meant for it to be. Oh, and maybe more videos like that of rapper Snoop Dogg throwing out the first pitch at a San Diego Padres game–and almost hitting the team mascot standing in the on-deck circle 20′ from home plate, because THAT’S entertainment.
I’m going to try to put the social back into social media, folks. Join me if you will.
Til next time, Peace.