The best thing about computers is that they reduce people to bits and bytes. The worst thing about computers is that they reduce people to bits and bytes. Bits and bytes are malleable. They can be blocked, muted, deleted, ignored, or labeled away. Bits and bytes do not talk. Bits and bytes are non-confrontational.
I hate confrontation. Growing up in a household with a lot of fighting will do that to you. And so, I find myself managing the complexities of my feelings towards others with buttons and textboxes.
I add a rule to my Gmail inbox. From:email-redacted, Skip inbox. Just like that, I erase away a part of a human being.
I search for a username and tap the "block" button confidently. Have fun missing out on my askew flat-lays of my notebooks and pens!
I read the Facebook message as it appears in the notification but never open the Messenger app. They'll never know that I read it. Ha. Sucker.
I click on the light blue gear icon and click "Mute." You're speaking, but I can't hear you.
Like many people my age, I wield technology as a tool of social manipulation. I sometimes wonder whether this pathological deployment of seemingly innocent product features is bad for me. I debate whether or not I should just learn to confront people about the problems I have with them. That takes too much energy and time. I don't have any of that right now. Mute. Block.
I wonder who else has been inflicted by this. Are there others who use technology as a weapon of mass deception? I'm sure the answer is yes. The proliferation of memes that make tongue-in-cheek comedy about how technology can be used to avoid interpersonal engagement, instead of encouraging it. I'll admit that even when I do use social media in the way that it should be used, I find every interaction to be abrupt and brisk, like a stroll that only increases your agitation.
Technology is a double-edged sword. Sometimes, you end up cutting yourself and others.