I’ve been off Facebook since early March. While I miss certain things about having a visible, active online persona — being tagged in photos; people “liking” said photos; feeling validated by said “likes” (but only if there are an adequate number of “likes,” otherwise my happenings may not be “likable” enough, which might suggest I’m not “likable” enough as a person); learning what former classmates had for dinner, and how they felt about it; receiving daily updates on ex-girlfriends’ kids; and so on, deactivating my profile has effectively removed me from the constant onslaught of (mostly useless) information, an overload effect I call “news feed anxiety.” I’m no longer exposed to the inane public “discussions” that comprise our synthetic, engineered monoculture, and no longer have much cognizance of overblown, ridiculous, and utterly unimportant nonsense that passes as “news,” which is then distilled down to an even more inane hashtag, thus perpetuating the whirlwind of amorphous sludge that is “public opinion.” Nor am I exposed to the endless tirade of “election” articles: so much time, effort, attention and for something that is largely controlled by forces other than we the people, is both both comical and depressing — comical in that it’s such a joke and waste of time, and depressing for those same reasons, and because people care so much about something that’s more or less pre-determined. Nor am I exposed to daily update on my exes’ kids; not that I’m bitter or anything, it’s just weird, unnatural, and has no precedence in history.
Being away from social media also means I find out about things to old-fashioned way: word of mouth. I may not be the first to learn of the big news items, but at least I get to learn of it on my own terms rather than having it thrusted in my face. The paradigm change has been a nice reprieve thus far, and, God willing, I hope to continue in this mode of existence for as long as I can.
In this organic way of learning about the events of the day, I noticed the rainbow flag at half mast the other day. I had just spent the day hiking with some friends and was in an elated mood. We noticed the half-mast flag on the most-prominent landmark of our liberal city, but we didn’t know why. Some quick smartphone browser searching on my friend’s part revealed the reason: the worst mass-casualty event in U.S. history, this one taking place at a gay nightclub in Orlando, leaving 50 dead (49 not counting the “shooter”) and 53 wounded.
As I’ve written before, my default position whenever this type of event occurs is one of skepticism; in the past, these “shootings” have been more stagecraft than reality. In other words, it’s a “false flag.” While I didn’t know any of the specifics about what happened in Orlando, my mind went to false-flag mode, which, even early on, was validated by the supposed shooter’s supposed connection to “ISIS (wink wink, nudge nudge).” And given the event’s close proximity to the accursed “pride” celebrations taking place this month, it seemed a little too coincidental to be true.