Mail Slot (from Kenshi Yonezu's diary)

A person like me joining social media to say things and make announcements about their work isn't especially unusual in this era, and sometimes it feels like the flow of things is headed toward "in fact, that's the way it should be." In practice, joining a big community where countless people gather lets you be seen a lot, and has a lot of merit from various perspectives. Assuming you have the proper literacy and can keep things under control, anyway.

I think when you have a tool that with the press of a button can make all sorts of stuff happen, it can be rather difficult to control it at your will (like Nobita from Doraemon). I've been hanging out on the internet since childhood, so I've witnessed people being unable to control themselves and stirring up trouble numerous times. The slightest things can deeply wound people, a little curiosity can ruin you socially. Having the gravestones of these predecessors to warn us, internet literacy has increased, sure. But as information flows more freely, even our little sand pits seem to be getting rather hectic. In recent years, the speed has greatly increased, while new technologies and rules rapidly appear and disappear, and we have to adapt; it's all very difficult. Utterances are converted into numbers of retweets and likes, which get treated like Dragonball-esque power levels, and that can be a real hassle. As I said, participating in social media gets you seen more, but to put it a different way, not participating may make you invisible (moreso the larger the community is). Saying the stuff you wanna say, seeing the stuff you wanna see, and just watching annoying scenes unfold... it's clear you can't just spend your days looking from on high, thinking "guess that's the way it is."

Wondering if I should quit social media isn't a thought I only just had yesterday. I've gone through a bunch of hassle, so I'm able to say "I'll let off a little here," keep a distance, and keep control that way, but this doesn't change that it's still a hassle. But, well, you've got to live dealing with that kind of hassle, and part of me worries that it might whittle me down mentally, so I lazily keep it up. I feel there must be a kind of richness in taking the long way home, or listening to music on a record in the modern day, unproductive things like that. Though there's a lot of hassle accompanying it, it's a fact that I've had fun times on social media, and met a lot of virtuous and cute people there - perhaps it's better for us to think on that and close our eyes to the hassles, or even rebuild ourselves to enjoy it, hassle and all.

(Speaking of social media from a viewpoint of productive or unproductive, I'm sure there will be opinions like "when it comes to online communication, only bother with it if it's productive." But to humans like us, there's a definite reality to social media, making it no different from moaning and groaning over coffee in a cafe. As someone who was saved by the ways of online, I find fault in the notion that face-to-face communication is supreme.)

With the flood of information, the world steadily changes appearance, and new, kind of amazing things pass right over our heads. Explaining how you can't cope with this using pre-existing methods alone, while also scrambling to rebuild yourself to accomodate it, may seem like a passive action at a glance, one devoid of individuality. But I think it's far more passive to define an arbitrary concept of "individuality" and attempt to live inside that box. In some cases, that may be described as "strongly principled" or "sharp," but is it really? I wonder a little.

Posted March 21st, 2017


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