This morning, I took my latest favorite mug (it changes depending on how the thing feels in my hand, against my lips, and how long it keeps my morning iced thingy cold), pumped in 1 squirt of sugar-free vanilla syrup, reached down for some sweetener packs, and then looked into the mug. There's water in there! I dumped it out!
That wasn't water, sweet ADHD brain. That was the the clear flavoured syrup you JUST pumped into there not 10 seconds earlier.
Without Twitter, I've been a bit lost. I had the best connection to Knitty readers there, or so I felt. Once it went all Mad Max on us, I had no choice but to walk away from 37,000 (theoretical...I never saw them all in a room together) followers. Since then, I've been flailing about, trying to figure out where the brain juice that used to flow there should go. This blog was one option, and I am enjoying it (though the space between the last post and this one shows it's not a perfect solution). Also, I was waiting to feel cute to show you the teeth*.
While flailing about between Mastodon and Bluesky, then starting this blog, I've also been applying a Black Mirror filter to the concept of social media in general. I am not telling you something you don't already know when I say that social media has absolutely ruined society. Humans have always had vicious desires in our hearts. Most of us just want to squish the head of the guy who cut them off in traffic, and then we turn up the radio and resume being decent and harmless until the next annoying provocation. But seeing others exhibiting their hateful, selfish beliefs publicly has taken the leash off those who were already prone to being horrible. Now they've got role models – TV stars, an ex-president, billionaires – demonstrating that loud hatefulness, unbearable selfishness, joyful cruelty, unbridledme-first-ism, is super cool and you should do it too.
I also know that, back in the innocent days of the internet, when Knitty was born, people were nice to each other on social media. And people are still nice to each other on social media. Those that aren't, we have ways of making them invisible to us. Social media does good things at the same time as it has and will continue to destroy society. I have no answer about what to do about this. I avoided Facebook for years until I realized I could keep in touch with my sister (who lives 8 hours away) better if I used it. I reconnected with my partner on Facebook (we were acquaintainces in college), and we've been together going on 7 years. I keep up with my network of friends who live everywhere-but-here through Instagram and Facebook. And I make my living through a web-based business that thrives when I share content on both Instagram and Facebook.
But I miss the daily over-the-fence chatty nature of short thoughts shared in a central place with people I care about. So I signed up for Threads, because I'm in up to my neck already with Meta products. Soon after, I saw a post by my friend Julia that explained that if I want to delete my Threads profile, I'll have to delete my whole Meta account. Ah, of course. There's always a catch. So I haven't opened an account for Knitty there yet. (There are tools to hide your Threads profile or deactivate it, which might suffice. Only time will tell.)
Here's what I think. Like the pages and pages of legal crap we clicked the ACCEPT button on, every time we sign up for a new service on the web, we're already in up to our eyeballs. We gave away the keys to the kingdom a long time ago. We can't change the locks now.
I do the best I can to protect my privacy and you probably do too. But we're all screwed. We agreed to the terms and conditions of being on this public place with our private stuff and now the world lives here, and there are consequences.
Charlie Brooker will never run out of ideas at this rate.
*Here you go. The teeth. I have no idea how to smile like this naturally. I had to say "hee hee" to take this picture.
But they turned out pretty well. They match the rest of my mouth and I'm pleased.