I canceled my Facebook account last week. “Sacrilege!” you say. “You’re crazy! We should shoot you/eat you!” But here’s what I say: No I’m not crazy let me tell you why I did it.
I did it by accident, and in fact I never actually canceled it but only SAID I did it at the beginning of this article because I wanted to create a hypothetical situation. Like if I were to say “Let’s imagine I’m in Prague right now” but in fact I had never been to Prague. In fact, I actually HAVE never been to Prague, so the latter part of the last sentence is not a hypothetical situation at all. Confused yet? Haha, don’t worry.
Let me give a better example: Maybe you’re attempting to figure out the possibilities of what will happen to you in the future if you check out a book from the library. By definition, you won’t be able to tell for sure what is going to happen because it hasn’t happened yet. But would it be too much of a stretch for me to ask you to use rationality to determine some likely outcomes? For example: You could return the book late and pay a fine. Or you could return it on-time and not pay a fine. OR you could return it late and not pay a fine and maybe get your bursar account frozen, OR etc.
Here’s the thing: ALL of those are hypothetical situations. Every single one. You can’t just pick and choose; you can’t just say, “I want only this one to be a hypothetical situation,” because, in reality, regardless of how you label a situation the objective facts will determine whether or not it is hypothetical.
But I’m getting sidetracked here. Basically, Facebook was proving to be a huge detriment to my work habits and (as anyone with Facebook will tell you!) I was having a lot of trouble working. Since I’ve canceled my account, however, things have been way different. I can actually focus on things that are important to me: face-to-face interaction with my friends and family, extra-curricular activities (go improv! wooohooo!), academics and diet/exercise. What I’m saying is my life has gotten measurably better because: 1) Interpersonal connections have increased, 2) I have more time to do things I really enjoy doing, 3) I can finally study for that midterm! and 4) I can eat right and go on a treadmill.
Now I’m not trying to convert you or start a debate. As an author who is (intimately) familiar with the nature of a newspaper, I understand that I am not opening up a dialogue here. You are reading my words and thinking what you want without having the chance to respond and interact. Believe me, I get it! I’m not going to expect a snappy comeback line from you or something because the reality is I will not hear it unless we are sitting close to one another right now. Is that going to prevent me from writing something that I think is important? No, not directly because of the freedom of the press OR indirectly. The First Amendment gives the me right to publish what I want whenever I want but (here’s the catch) always in a medium that is printed and, as a result, ONE-SIDED. Because I’m not actually here telling you this; you are reading it.
So maybe you should stop reading and stand up. Turn to someone next to you and say, “Hello.” Introduce yourself and learn their name. Strike up a conversation. Refamiliarize yourself with the pleasures of talking to someone out loud instead of just reading them on a page or a computer screen. Did you know people will use cell phones hundreds of times this year ALONE? When there are people all around them who are not on their cell phones! If you’re on your cell phone, what do you think will happen if you hang up, hypothetically (see above)? Would the world crumble around you? Dr. Managa says, “No.”
Right now, carry someone’s books or buy them a book. Or a souvenir. Because you’re in a world full of people just waiting to meet you. Don’t keep them waiting. After all, I’m watching you.