Patrick Shannon’s Hilarity Ensues: Social Networking Blues

Patrick Shannon's Hilarity Ensues

Patrick Shannon of All Else Failed is back with his latest installment of Hilarity Ensues. This week’s column is good one, and tackles a subject all of us can relate to. Or at least I can.

Some nights, I seemingly spontaneously miss the most random old friends.

It doesn’t happen quite as often as it used to because of the social media revolution that’s unfolded in the last decade. It’s actually occurred to me that there are some people that I wish I never caught up with via the social media.

It may sound like I’m some sort of isolationist, but I think there is a romance in wondering what people are up to anymore that was inspiring. If you chose to track someone down and meet with them, or even just share a lengthy phone call, it was much more meaningful than a friend request.

If you chose to let that person fade away, you more than likely had your reasons, but you also had the memories of them that you could hold on to. It’s like we all know too much about each other anymore. One of the greatest songs ever written is called “Dolphins” by Tim Buckley. The hook is simple but haunting: “Sometimes I wonder, do you ever think of me?”

It’s a beautiful emotion, to wonder if you had as much of an effect on someone’s life as they had on yours, and to perhaps be content with never knowing the answer. Now we’re all compu-friends, even though we never hang out, don’t really want to, and never would. By being “friends” with everyone, I wonder if we’re actually becoming friends with no one.

I tend to find myself more likely to reminisce about the people that have never “friended” me than those I know now are married in Philly at a job they hate but can’t wait for vacation next week and so on and so on. Which is a shame I guess, because some of those people were amazing friends; it’s almost as if knowing what I know about them satisfies any urge I may have had to find out how they’ve been and therefore actually pursue genuine human interaction.

It’s a tragic defect that I am going to fight like hell to rectify, because about the only thing I’ve learned in 2011 is that life is too fucking short. Not like any of you didn’t know that already…

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About Patrick Shannon

More than 15 years ago, Patrick Shannon was a founding guitarist in All Else Failed, a hardcore band hailing from Philadelphia. All Else Failed recently released a new EP called Wouldn't Wish This On Anyone, which is available through War Torn Records.

  • Jesse James Madre

    Perfect. I enjoy the shit out of his column.