Last night I asked my husband to download a social media blocker onto my Smartphone. I believe I am wasting the majority of my days scrolling through Facebook, and I wanted a way to keep me from what I know is an addiction. I was going to use the new app. today, but so far I haven’t because I am having a productive day.
I woke up and read four articles on the New York Times website (they were great articles about creativity). And then I checked my Facebook writing groups for leads and tips about writing and selling articles. Finally, I downloaded some videos by a freelance writer to watch in case she had information to share that would help me build my portfolio of clips (she did!).
About fifteen minutes ago I turned on the news (something I also do way too much of), and I started to scroll through Facebook. After about ten minutes of reading and scrolling, I saw a large text post on a black background that said, “Do you know the best thing about schizophrenia? You never have to be alone!”
I typed out a sarcastic and angry response to the person who posted this “joke.” But then I deleted it. That is the problem. I am so angry. I have become angrier since the election in 2016. Every day on Facebook I read nasty comments that people have posted. Yesterday I read an anti-vaxxer’s (someone who doesn’t believe in giving vaccinations) post about how only rich people and suckers get the flu vaccine. (I am not rich, and I’m not a sucker, but the flu can kill my husband so I get vaccinated so that I won’t accidentally expose him). The arguments under this post were fierce.
Of course, I agree with the people who fought for the support of vaccines, but I am tired of these fights. I am tired of the nasty responses on social media, and I am tired that it is a platform for “jokes,” ignorance, and hatred. The current climate in our country is toxic. There is open racism. There has always been racism, but for many years it was not okay to talk about bigoted or racist beliefs openly in public. I still think it is wrong to think and express these things and don’t want to be around people who do, but it is now something people feel comfortable saying in public.
I read terrible things written on friend’s facebook walls about Christians. I want to say, “Hey, I am a Christian!” But I understand their frustration because of the hypocrisy coming from our politicians. Recently, a politician who fought for pro-life legislation asked his girlfriend to get an abortion. Some politicians are anti-gay and then have been discovered to have had sex with a same-sex partner. Then there are the Christians who fought against Bill Clinton because he was so horrible for having an affair and the very same people think God has put Trump into office. And in their minds, those Christians can explain away nude pictures of the First Lady and multiple divorces, offensive talk about women, etc.
My blood pressure is high just typing these things. The hypocrisy, the hatred, the anger, the bullying, the racism, the ignorance, is making me an angry person. I don’t want to be angry. I was so excited about the Women’s March until I got on social media and saw articles about how people thought it wasn’t inclusive enough. Can’t we do anything right anymore? Can’t something as big and as positive as over a million women coming together at least mean we are going in the right direction? I just can’t take the negativity, and the negativity is everywhere I look on social media and in the news.
I make sacrifice after sacrifice to protect my mental health. The one thing I let go, and let slip in 2017 was an increasingly harmful addiction to social media and the news. I’m pulling back now. I am going to be reading more, and writing more. I may not always know the latest cultural trend from here on out, but at least I am avoiding being a pissed off person slinging hate on the Internet.