Summer Freedom From Fakery

My band GUPPY EFFECT played at my Father in Law Howard's 80th birthday party on July 4th. In the middle of our set, Howie gave a great speech about, among other things, growing up before modern technology and social media, reminding everyone that when he was a kid, kids entertained themselves by playing outside in the "real" world and how different that is from today's socializing in the fake virtual reality Internet world. At least, that was one of the take home messages I took home.

I have been thinking about this speech a lot the past couple of days. At the start of the new year, I resolved to fast from social media a lot and focus my brain power on more meaningful things. I did well for a couple of months, rarely going on any social media sites except on Sundays (social media "free days"), and being more productive as a result. But gradually I got sucked back into the social media "sinkhole," as I call it. Howie's speech inspired me to redouble my social media avoidance efforts.

Social media does have some usefulness to me, but most of that utility is on the sending end, not the receiving end. Since I play in a band, for example, posting show dates on Facebook helps keep our fans (and even my bandmates) informed of performances they might like to attend (FYI, the next show is at the Monona Farmers Market - Mad Music Foundry Stage at 10 AM on Sunday July 23rd, totes free admish with squeaky cheese curds as an added bonus). I sometimes organize social bike rides and create events for them on "The Face." But that's about it. Twitter and Instagram are 99% useless to me. I have "unfollowed" many of my so-called "friends" on social media, so they are effectively muted, and I suspect and hope they have done the same for me. Nothing I post on social media, ignored or not, will impact anyone's life in any way, positively or negatively, notwithstanding that my band GUPPY EFFECT's music is clinically proven to increase happiness and well-being.* This is a fact.

Based on the low response rate I get to most of my music event postings on social media, I theorize that very few people use social media as an information gathering source (receiving), but rather as more of a mouthpiece for their own inner thoughts (many of which should probably remain INNER thoughts only...trolls). That's useful to know because it prevents me from putting too much time or effort into my outgoing social media posts. Everyone ignores everyone, but assumes everyone is not ignoring them (News Flash: Everyone is ignoring you on social media!).

Speaking of biking and outdoorsy activities, it is the height of the summer right now. As a result, I am getting out to enjoy the nice weather as much as humanly possible. Along the lines of what Howie was talking about, I am happiest when I am engaged in fun outdoor activities, like going biking with m'wife Deborah. A side effect (or maybe even a cause) of being outside in the open air is that it keeps me away from the negative effects of media, social or otherwise. My brain literally works better the less influenced it is by corporate mainstream and social media. I don't want or need to know what idiocy our mentally deficient President tweeted. It's obvious that no atrocity or felony committed by the Trump crime family, even when explicitly reported by the media, will be punished. So why the hell should I waste energy caring about it? If the USA is doomed, there is clearly no stopping the American juggernaut from plummeting over the cliff edge to smash on the rocks below, so I am going to have as much fun as I can before the end.

Thanks for the insight, Howie. And happy birthday too!

*Note: This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. GUPPY EFFECT's music is not intended as a substitute for the administration of food and/or drugs.

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