Posted by: Harold Knight | 04/01/2012

THE VAGABOND URBANITE – or what’s wrong with social media

FACEBOOK deleted my Ticker (no, not my heart – or maybe it is), the ticker tape showing the activity of my friends. They said it is because I don’t use FACEBOOK enough, I don’t interact enough. Meaning I don’t play games, I don’t share APPS (whatever they are), I don’t. . . you get the picture, I don’t pretend it’s the real world.

not sociable enough

not sociable enough

Perhaps this is why FACEBOOK deleted my Ticker.

My use of social media is not sociable enough.

One ought not say these things in private, much less

for Mark Zuckerberg  to own forever in perpetuity

that my life has never been securely part of any one vibrant community that my friends are so scattered that I cannot keep close enough contact with them to feel connected in a continuous way over the years and the miles when we are separated by one of us moving away – or both of us becoming immersed in a way of life a fellowship a community that does not include the other – a natural occurrence

that I have been over the course of the almost forty-nine years since I left home part of several communities – serial communities, like serial monogamy? – and each time moving on taking with me closeness to only one or two or three of the others. Through all of these changes my family is the constant and I am grateful we have never fallen apart or been alienated for longer than a spat or two

that beginning in 1963 I have lived in one place four years, the next seven, then five then seventeen and now eighteen, four vastly different areas of the country. I am not a native anything and in the one sense in which I live in the moment, that is, that I keep track really, that is, open myself in the most significant way, only to those persons whom I can literally see face to face on a regular basis

and yet feel love and grace and gratefulness toward the many persons who have opened themselves to me and I to them in each place I have lived and in each community of which I have been a part so whenever we are together again I feel and believe they feel the same closeness as before minus a huge  amount of contactual information.

Does everyone perceive our vagabond lives this way, or am I too self-centered to know how to be a committed member of a relationship, of a group? Or (every time I say this, I determine it should be the last) has living in a veil of TLEpileptic mystery forced me to accommodate in a strange way by avoiding the very kind of forever long friendships that I desire because all reality is fleeting, and disappearing friendships are the most painful dreamlike states.

Or is all of this simply a rationalization for what we all know. We of the animal kingdom – all of us, my cats who want their ears scratched – need touching and feeling not alone. It’s not “out of sight, out of mind,” it’s “out of sight, out of body.” Either no man is an island entire unto himself or (to quote the most disturbing bit of “spiritual” literature I know, Job), “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.” Is it really that the LORD gives and takes away, and I am simply living out the giving and taking away?

back to where I came in that I have loved deeply and well a few people  in each place I have lived and have each time chosen to leave the place and with it the people until I have created a world for myself in which I have no single connection strong enough to keep me here.

And then I create a world in which touching is not possible so fantasy becomes everything? We’re all playing “every man is a fantasy island, entire unto himself.”

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Responses

  1. It is true that Socalizing–be it as a job skill or by itself–is extremely important in our modern society, somtimes to the point of Society, in general, being too focused on one’s capacity to talk to other’s and ignoring everything else.

    In my opinion, it is not that you are not sociable enough–even though I may not be the best person to judge, the simple fact that you have a family which you love and cherish is the best sign that you’re sociable–the problem lies within how other’s perceive it:

    For someone judging if you are using your FaceBook page in the right way, that person will already be immerged in a “cultural lie”, as I call it.
    The lie is the fact that they believe that people actually form “True” relationships with others throught playing games and using weird calendar activities to track each other’s birthday. For me, a real relationship, a true friendship, can only start when two people share something noteworthy–having played the same game or being marked in the same calendar, at least for me, don’t count as extremely noteable–that something may of course begin with having the same birthday marked on their calendar, but that alone will not create a friendship, it may great a basis for useless blabbering or for young people to begin seeing each other, but it won’t be that alone that makes it a friendship, there has to be some spark, something like a common interest.
    Of course, the fact that you never stayed may, as you say, mean that there really never was a connection “strong” enough to make you stay put. But it can also be that your nature is not one that can stay put, consider, for example, gypsies and nomades, even though they may form strong friendships with others for the duration of their stay, they eventually leave, hearing, as they describe it, the “call of the road”.

    What i mean to say is that many things in our world are highly overrated, like being sociable enough or being “cool”. If i should quote one philosopher’s saying that illustrated my opinions–that there will always be change and that we should be happy about the connections we have, and not worry for those other’s think we should have–it would be Heraclite :
    <>

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    • Apparently worpress doesn’t appreciate the the “<>” , so, the quote I meant was : “You can never enter the same river, for it has shifted and changed, as everything does”.
      Just thought my post somehow appeared stupid if It said I’m quoting something and then the quote never appears in the post…

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      • I didn’t think it sounded stupid, but thanks for clarifying,

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      • It was nothing. I hope you enjoyed reading it , or at least appreciated the fact I ”tried” to explain what iI thought.

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