It’s the middle of the night. Thoughts were layering themselves like a lasgana in my head; and soon, I realized that I was still asleep. It was necessary to get up and write the words down, before they overcrowded me.
The pen ran out of ink in the middle of the second sentence. What else to do but get out of bed and find one? Note to self: Keep a couple of pens by the bed. My thoughts were of Thoreau and Facebook; specifically, what would Throeau think of Facebook?
Thoreau, my modern hero– a philosopher, poet, essayist, activist, naturalist, tax evader of an immoral government.
His first journal entry asks, “Do you keep a journal?” What would he think of the online chronicles of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? 1) Why are some causes more worthy than others? Are some lives more valuable than others; how do we rate disaster? 2) In the U.S, why are racial groups so culturally divided with their FB posts? 3) Why is nothing private anymore? 4) Why are ten hashtags needed for a simple thought? 5) Is posting three or four photos of oneself confidence or vanity? 6) Are we sharing the best of our lives or creating a false reality? 7) Is one real friend more valuable than 500 social media friends and followers, or not? 8) Why the need to be right about issues we know nothing about, really?
Would Thoreau use Facebook and Twitter as tools for his activism, especially in an age where being an activist is loosely defined– when almost everything is “a cause”? Would he use social media for steering people into right action, into waking up, into mobilization? Or, would he shun social media and find another way?
“I did not wish to live what was not life, living is dear, nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put rout all that was not life…” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
It’s 4:40am; time to go back to sleep.