Real Life Interaction Trumps Social Distraction

This is a poem about how real life is far more fulfilling to me than spending time on social media. As a Xennial, I recall life prior to the social media saturated world we now experience. So if you are tired of Twitter, fed up with Facebook, irritated at Instagram, loathing LinkedIn, yawning at YouTube, stressed about Snapchat and decided to go on a social media fast for your own sanity, then this poem is for you.


Real Life Interaction Trumps Social Distraction

How sweet it is
not to let thoughts of checking an app
immediately turn to action
to habit to addiction.

How sweet it is
to only use social networks
to only share your own original content.

How sweet it is not to mistake an algorithm
for how much your friends truly care about you,
and you know that they really do
in spite of all their personal posts being hidden from you
by a website in favor of advertising and rehashed news.

How sweet it is
to remain in real life,
to put the duties of friend and wife
above the societal false priorities of websites.

How sweet it is
to read the news only when you choose
in solitude without ever having to debate about it.

How sweet it is
to hold tight to your own viewpoints
and not have to explain yourself.

How sweet it is
not having to see vulgar memes
and gory death photographs.

How sweet it is
to not have to see the same topic
reshared two hundred times.

How sweet it is
never to be tagged
when it is not a photo of you.

How sweet it is
to keep your life to yourself
and be in the moment.

How sweet it is
not to know every detail
about everyone else’s life
to the point of never asking in person.

How sweet it is
to not have to explain your posts
in real life long after you forgot what you said
because a person confronts you, but never commented.

How sweet it is
to only purposefully enter conversations
when you feel like talking
instead of chatting on a screen when you’re winding down.

How sweet it is
to hold a real one on one in person conversation
and see your friend’s faces
instead of their Facebooks.

How sweet it is
not to compare your hit count
to that of other people’s posts.

How sweet it is
to not be invited to twenty impersonal events
that ignore your previous health and finance related announcements,
and to not feel the guilt trip of not supporting them.

How sweet it is
to be allowed to be an introvert
and only enter the world when you so choose.

How sweet life was
when we did things just because
and not to hold up an image of ourselves.

How sweet life was before
social media became a newspaper,
and we really used it to stay in touch
instead of spy and complain about the world so much.

How sweet it is
to stare at miraculous sunsets, soaring birds, and ocean waves
instead of a tiny screen for days and days.

D.L. Lang is the current Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California. She is the author of ten books, and one spoken word album. Her poems have been published in the Benicia Herald, Jewish Journal, Poets Are Heroes Magazine, the Benicia First Tuesday Poets anthology Light & Shadow, and in A Poet’s Siddur: Friday Evening Liturgy through the Eyes of Poets. Lang has been a featured act at several events including the Vallejo Man March, Unity Day, Solidarity with Charlottesville, and International Peace Day. She is also a regular at Poetry by the Bay and leads the Poetry in Notion poetry circle. She has won ribbons and rosettes at the Alameda, Marin, San Mateo, and Solano County Fairs. Her poems have been transformed into songs, liturgy, and used as a means to advocate for causes.

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