This post is partially inspired by my dear blogger friend, Allen, over at The Midnight Goose. These are thoughts I’ve had for a long time, and a distantly recent post of his inspired me to finally write them down.

To reiterate what Allen said, I hate social media. I hate it with a fiery passion. I don’t understand it. I don’t know what I need it for as far as personal means go, and I don’t know how to properly utilize it for professional/promotional means. I hate it so much that I’m prone to bouts of rage towards it which result in me deleting the bulk of my posts.

If you’ve followed my blog for more than a year or so, you already know that’s something I don’t limit to my social media. This place is constantly in danger of getting barren.

See, I have a love/hate relationship with the internet in general.

I acknowledge that the internet, as a place and not a thing, is necessary to do… basically anything in today’s society. Particularly if you’re a creative-type who would like to earn any kind of decent living from your creative endeavors. Even the most reclusive authors and artists have Facebook and Twitter pages for promotion.

I also think that the internet is ruining the world. Or, at least the way we function in it.

Here’s the thing: The internet has become a culture unto itself. As of December 2017, more than half the world has internet access. Over 4.1 billion people belong to the culture of the internet. For scope, the culture of Christianity (still the world’s most popular religion) boasts about 2.2 billion on the high estimate.

On the surface, that seems amazing, doesn’t it? All those people, connected and interacting and learning from each other!

Except, I truly believe people are not meant to know everything.

In a day, I can get news about atrocities not only locally, but from all over the world! I remember seeing a webcomic or reading an article or something a couple years ago that can be summed up as such: people used to get 1-2 pieces of bad news every day, but now we’re getting 5+ pieces of bad news every day. That’s a huge increase in bad news, but we’re still using the same old means to try to process and deal with it.

But, the inevitable depression that comes with being bombarded by bad news isn’t the worst part of it; oh, no.

The worst part of it is that, if you are not outraged and actively expressing said outrage, you’re the problem. If you’re overwhelmed/depressed/anxious/tired/dealing with your own personal shit, and you don’t post about the latest outrage (beamed directly to your screen every 2.4 seconds), you’re not just lazy and apathetic; you’re actively part of the problem.

I hate the phrase “silence is violence,” because it’s bullshit. Don’t tell me my silence is violence; my silence is self-preservation, survival, keeping the knife in my hand away from my wrists. I would love to do nothing but write scathing diatribes about how awful the latest worldwide nightmare is, but I’m constantly on the edge of suicide and excuse me but I need a minute to remember life is still worth living.

This kind of all-or-nothing approach to socio-political opinion exists only on the internet. When I walk down the street, I don’t have people constantly in my face, “Hey, why aren’t you talking about this right now? Why haven’t you mentioned anything about that? Do you just not care? Or maybe you’re actually secretly happy about it because deep down you’re racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic.”

But on the internet, people aren’t at risk of getting stabbed when they accost random people they’ve never actually met, so they can make all the accusations they want. And if it stayed on the internet, even that wouldn’t bother me, so much.

It just never stays on the internet. Accusations and slander hurled on the internet has real-world consequences. People lose their jobs constantly over things they said on the internet, over things maybe taken out of context or misunderstood (or even outright false) but the public outcry is already so bad action has to be taken, anyway. People get doxed, stalked, assaulted because of things they were accused of doing/saying on the internet.

Now, I’m not saying people were never harassed or stalked or assaulted before the internet, but you have to admit it was harder. If you wanted to stalk someone pre-internet, you had to put in footwork. You couldn’t just make a dummy account to add them on Facebook and scroll through their feed.

It’s madness, and it’s dangerous.

Of course, like I said, this is a love/hate relationship. I know the internet can be wonderful. It’s a great resource for meeting like-minded people easily, it is a treasure trove of educational information, and my socially anxious ass can now buy everything I need without ever having to leave my bedroom. The internet can be a magical wonderland of innovation and light.

It’s just that those asshole ruin it and make me want to burn the whole thing to the ground.

With only all-natural, organic, ethically sourced kindling, of course. Wouldn’t want anyone to think I was pro-pollution.

I love you all.


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10 Comments on “

  1. I have to stay away from a lot of news for self preservation as well. It’s not always easy but it’s necessary. That’s one of the reasons I write a humor blog. It’s my happy little corner of the internet!

    Liked by 3 people

    • It’s not even the news for me (thought it certainly doesn’t help), but the way people go on the attack if someone doesn’t immediately state their stance (of course, it has to be the *right* stance). It’s just awful.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I just got home from having lunch with a couple of old, lovely friends. And I’ll tell you, this was a hot topic for a few minutes over our meals. They’re Republican and I am…not. However, all three of us agreed that this level of vitriol coming from both sides is just ridiculous and how we can’t tolerate all the meanness and craziness out there right now. You do what you have to do to preserve your mental health and do your best to ignore the rest. Your blog family loves you, you beautiful person!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m glad you and your friends can agree it comes from both sides. Republicans always say that liberals are attacking them, liberals say that Republicans are way worse and were just defending ourselves. But, I have literally been attacked by other liberals for not being liberal enough, so I know that’s bullshit. I’m really glad I have my blog family! I love you guys too!

      Liked by 2 people

      • I hear ya’. I’m never liberal enough for my liberal/Democrat friends…and Republicans/conservatives just hear “liberal” and roll their eyes. Just because I’m socially liberal doesn’t mean I don’t have some conservative values. And just because I have some conservative values doesn’t mean that I don’t want women to have access to contraception and abortion or want to force my ideas and beliefs on others. I try to keep myself out of other people’s vaginas. l live my life the way it works for me and I try to be kind and understanding towards others. The things that bother me most right now are, 1) if I say I despise Trump, McConnell, and Ryan–I must be against all Republicans/Conservatives. Not true at all. 2) If I say that I don’t like abortion, I must be against it. Not true at all. 3) If I say that I’m for gun control, I must be against people owning guns. Not true at all. You can dislike things but that doesn’t mean that you want to get rid of them–I don’t like sweet potatoes, but I’m not slapping them out of other people’s mouths. LOL

        Liked by 3 people

        • Oh, don’t get me started on the gun control stuff. I have a friend who lost someone in the tragic Las Vegas shooting last year and since then she’s had this zero-tolerance policy on guns. She hasn’t said anything directly to me, but when you read one of your friends posting things like, “No compromise” and implying that anyone who supports even limited gun ownership is still the enemy or a half-ass ally, it’s tough not to take it a little personally. =/

          Liked by 2 people

  3. Adie,

    I had someone take something out of context that I agreed with on Twitter once, and they were so full of hate (they physically threatened me) that it truly scared me. I look at this as road rage on the internet. People do this because they have relative anonymity, a lot of built-up anger they are looking to unleash and they can get away with it. They are basically having a two-year-old temper tantrum on social media! Of course, some of the social media sites have since started cracking down on these people because they are abusing the platform and it can, and often does, have dire consequences. Since then, I stay away from most things that are political or that I have no control over. I try and focus on what I find beautiful, funny or adorable. Everyone has a right to their opinion, of course. I have a right to respond back with (as my kids used to say) — “speak to the hand, cuz the face ain’t listening!”

    Only if this is helpful to you — There is a gestalt concept about figure and ground. It basically has to do with what you decide to focus on because no one can change another human being (as much as we might like to.) Therefore, the only thing we can truly change is what is within us, that is often our perspective. So back to Gestalt. Yes, there is everything in the picture/figure and ground (good, bad and in between); but if you can (and I know this can be difficult), try and direct your focus to that which you find comforting, beautiful, awe-inspiring, whimsical, educational, positive, or funny. As you stated, there’s a lot of good things that come from the internet. Let the other b.s. fade into the background. When you find yourself focusing on the other b.s., consciously re-direct yourself to what you want and need and are looking for and let the b.s. blur and fade. If you can learn to do this (it takes practice), it becomes a self-protective mechanism for you when you come across the kind of b.s. you describe. Eventually, it will become second nature, fingers crossed. I hope this helps a little. As usual, I suppose I’ve said too much, but I feel your hurt as I read your words and I would like to provide … something … if I’m able. Again, this is what my therapist taught me. I paid thousands and it took me years of struggle to get to … here! You get the cliff notes for free — if you want them! 🙂

    Otherwise, if that’s not helpful, just ignore the above and just know —

    I adore you and I’m so glad you wrote this post! Sending hugs and lots of good thoughts your way, Adie!

    Mona

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Mona! I try to focus on the good more than the bad, but like you said, it can be difficult at times. Especially since I am a political person by nature. Politics are important to me, fighting for what I think is right is important to me, so I don’t want to ignore it completely. I just wish I was able to have a platform without receiving death threats and crap.

      It’s just a matter of finding the balance. That becomes even more difficult because the balance changes when trying to avoid other people (which is almost impossible on the internet). It’s easy for me to read/watch/talk about just enough to feel like I’m involved without feeling like I’m drowning, but trying to manage interactions with other people? That’s a dance I’m not very good at.

      Thank you again for your comment, Mona! You don’t ever have to worry about saying too much. I love when people have things to say about what I post!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, Adie. I LOVE this post. I grew up in the 80’s (yeah, I am ancient) and I have to say, I long for those days. There were no cell phones, and there certainly wasn’t any internet. And you know what? We were all connected. We would talk to each other and engage in real time. It was amazing. It’s crazy to me that there are people in this world who don’t know the world before the internet. We knew less, ​and I think people were way happier. It is essential you take care of yourself and step away when it gets to be too much. The atrocity in the Whitehouse does my head in every day and causes me anxiety, and though I disagree wholeheartedly with their racist and elite agenda, I have to shut it off. It’s called self-preservation. So, you keep taking care of you by doing whatever you need to, okay?! Big hug, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, hun! It’s just so exhausting. The irony is that the same people who tout self-care and taking necessary breaks are the same people who accuse people who don’t immediately take up arms as not caring and being part of the problem. SMH. This is why I got over my fear of the “block” button on social media. I’m very liberal with using it.

      Like

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