I’ve been traumatized in a million ways by Facebook. By everyone I know.
In small ways. In a cumulative way. They add up.
Most recently, a friend posted a photo of a dead cat in a gutter. The “why” does not matter.
It was an intelligent, even poetic post. But . . . I did not know that it was “there”, in the ether, waiting to sicken, deaden, and depress me.
There was no warning. It was just there. It was just there in a way that sick images did not occur unexpectedly and traumatically in ad breaks during “Green Acres” when I was 10 years old in 1967.
Another recent trauma: I watched a video of four Chinese workers being accidentally electrocuted. Again, it doesn’t matter how I got sucked into watching it. But there it was.
Congratulate me. Finally, I know what “electrocution” looks like.
I can’t imagine what happens to kids when they see these things, whether on purpose or unintentionally. I can’t imagine what these things would have done to me – or to you – at ten years old. I do know what having my dog, Mischka, run over and killed in front of me when I was ten was like, on Lay/Leigh Street in Canton, NY. I’d love to thank Facebook over and over again for dredging that PTSD back up thanks to a random acquaintance seeking attention.
And remember, these Random Attention Seeking Units, RASUs for short, are the people we know.
Some of them are truly malignant creatures.
They’re easily taken care of. Unfriend them. Unfollow them.
But what do you do about the others? What do you do about the RASUs who are . . . just like you and I are?
I have dreams and nightmares about Facebook, and I am far from a power user.
During my nap yesterday, I dreamed that I was in a darkened room looking out a window toward a window of a darkened room in the house next door. I could dimly see a woman standing at that window, looking at me. It was like a Hopper painting. Me looking at her. Her looking at me. Seeing nothing. Dimly. More imagination than reality.
This is our age. Voyeurs of nothingness.