My mother is no social media maven but she gave me a lasting love of people lists. shopping lists no-people lists yes!
Every November, out would come the Christmas card boxes and off would go the Christmas cards, duly singed by my antisocial father. Back would come card after card,strung from strings that crisscrossed the high ceilings of our house.
On January 6th they came down.Every card individually logged on the next page from the Christmas present list, each record a reaffirmation of my parent’s outstanding relationship with friends and family and the local community.
The book survives and is still maintained across 50 years of marriage.
We all value our lists to some extent, one of my contacts on Facebook recently bewailed losing her 415th contact with the comment
I notice that I have two less friends than I did a couple of days ago. 415 was a nice number because it’s the SF area code and that’s why I remembered it. What kind of sad fuck trims their friend list anyway? [“Ooh, I don’t think I like him anymore … I’ll dump him and that’ll show him”]. I don’t even know who they are/were so their petulant little act was inneffectual.”.
Kooky maybe and there is something sad, weird and anal about our love of those contacts we have built up on Linked in Facebook twitter and God knows what you use!
I’m no different, I woke this morning in a muck sweat that someone had taken down my LinkedIn site.
For heaven sake what’s wrong with me!
I am re-reading Paradise Lost at the moment, full of lists inspired by the early chapters of the bible. I have recently read Dante’s Divine Comedy-ditto.
When I think of Milton and Dante I don’t feel so bad, I think it is part of our DNA to define ourselves against our peer group and if, as a self-confessed social media linkaholic, I feel a loser, then I can comfort myself I am not alone.