Why yes, I think I’ve seen a few, or a few thousand of these types of memes over and over again. However, a few days ago, someone I follow on Twitter mentioned something. This person is a world traveler and has transcended through a tremendous personal situation and is thriving. I enjoy the posts, photographs and other tidbits on their feed. Then, the other day, they posted that, for the first time in a very long time, they hit the home button on their feed and was very sad to see how much hate there was about so many topics. Nothing particular was mentioned subject-wise, but it was a wake up call. I looked back at some of the posts I’d made and at the time I made them, I thought that by getting things out that I was feeling, it would make me feel better. I think it did in the wrong ways. I felt smug, self-righteous and vindicated that I “had my say”. “Take that ~ Person I tweeted! Now you know how I REALLY feel!” (even though you’ll never, ever see what I wrote) Something to think about, for sure.
So, I did something pretty drastic. I deleted every single one of my tweets from day one. It didn’t matter what they said, or to whom; they were all just gone. While I have my account for this blog over there, my personal account was where I “expressed my opinions”. Well, I didn’t realize that they were all pretty steeped in judgement, anger, and not just justified opinions. Even if they were justified in my mind at the time, is it really worth it, the time it takes to write it, think it, re-read it, post it, wait and see if the person noticed? NO, it’s not. All I got out of it was just the “HA! Take that!” feeling of superiority. Scrolling through what was showing up from people I follow was the same sort of thing that I deleted from my own page. I was following the status quo, but why? I can’t figure it out really.
Recently, I’ve also begun the process of leaving, or unfollowing, several groups on Facebook. Each one contained concepts that I agreed with, but at the same time, were filled with strong comments, often nasty, mocking, everything that I claim to stand against. Once again, I felt the need to do something about it. As I’m going along, I am now adding in groups that I feel good about. Silly ones that make laugh, inspirational ones that spark ideas or make me happy are showing up in my feed now. So, when I’m scrolling through while having coffee, I can now click the laughing emoji or the wow one and share funny or inspiring posts and ideas with my friends and family. Sure, there are still going to be posts from friends and loved ones that may contain very serious topics that I’m used to furiously tapping the keys to add in my “you’re darn right! down with [whatever topic]!!” I don’t need that level of a sense of belonging that comes with being pulled in to that. Yes, I want to keep sharing my opinions on matters that mean something to me, whether it’s here, on another platform or outside the confines of the digital world, but I don’t have to compromise my happiness in the process.
Social media is all around us as you know. Some people choose not to be on it, but as a blogger, a mom, a wife and a friend, I keep in touch with people in many ways through social media. It’s a choice for me, so when I stepped back and looked at how I was interacting with it, I wasn’t very proud of it. So, I’m going to be making some changes all over with how I deal with things online. While I want to have my say, I can do it with a little less vitriol and a little more tact…at least I think I can!
For example, I thought emojis were ridiculous when I first saw them. I thought, as a writer, I would be able to eloquently just zap my words down and no one would ever think I was saying something other than my intent *eyeroll* lol. So, if you type, “If you don’t want to go, just let me know.” Depending on the tone I use in my voice, I could be very angry like FINE, DON’T GO (lol) or something very nice and polite. Now I see how adding them can put a bit of tone into your message.
Sigh…it’s all so impersonal, but it’s a reality that I don’t believe is going away any time soon, so working towards making it a pleasant and positive experience is something I want to work hard on. While I know I will still write about grief, abuse, loss and other things that contain negative concepts, I am truly looking forward to removing myself from online arguing about so many current events online.