I think I am breaking up with social media. Specifically, I am going to take a big ol’ break from twitter. The relationship is pretty toxic.
I loved social media at first. It felt like I was connecting to people outside of the house, finding peers and a social circle packed full of like-minded individuals.
But does social media make me feel good anymore? Nope. Everyone is yelling all the time about things that outrage them. Constantly. There is a new, greatest injustice every 10 minutes-it’s like a parade of agitation. The speed at which these outrages occur force you to quickly make a decision to either support or refute it. No one does research. No one even reads the article whose headline made them so furious.
And I fell right into the trap. I’m a contrarian by nature or by bad habit, so I have to consider the opposite position of every outraged claim that catches my attention in my twitter feed. One after another after another. Too quickly to reasonably research and calmly debate to come to a rational consensus. Just the right side (the one you already agree with) and the bad side that must be argued against with righteous rage. And each time I would remember that arguing
a)accomplishes nothing (sorry if that is a painful realization for you, but everyone is committed to their held beliefs and nothing on earth will move them from those)
b) makes me feel worse than before.
So I would stop myself from launching into pointless internet arguments, letting the arguments pile up in my mental storage room. But that room is packed to the gills with garbage and I want to de-clutter.
The blame ultimately falls on me, because I liked the provocation that social media provides. Bored? Go look for some excitement on the interwebs. But it was bad excitement, hostile stimulation. Now that I’ve noticed the connection between my argument stockpile and my general level of anxiety, I’m severely rationing my social media use.
And not to put too fine a point on it, I didn’t need to know this much about you all. I wanted to see your pictures of your kids and your pets. I wanted to know about the nice things that made you happy. That’s it.
The upside should be a marked increase in blogging (oh and general peace and happiness in my brain. That’s a pretty significant upside. Should have led with that.)
Remember this sound advice from Lisa Simpson and Paul Anka. It works for monsters, and it works for the perpetually outraged: Just Don’t Look.
And don’t be Homer. “Don’t make us poke your eyes out, dad.”