I'm going to use my husband's favorite expression of mine. You have to imagine my look of exasperation and annoyance, but here it goes.
For fuck's sake.
I've been reviewing 2020 in my mind and thinking of all of the crap that has happened in my personal life that completely sucked. With the exception of the loss of my step-father, Ben 💕, I found one common element in most of my 2020 stress.
Swear to God.
I know I'm not alone in this. There have been a number of people who have mentioned that they quit or paused Facebook because it was just too much to deal with. The social media monopoly seemed to amplify and exasperate all of the other stressful things that are going on. Let me think of a few....
- Global pandemic (who was getting COVID and where did they live)
- COVID-19 (who thought it didn't really exist or that it wasn't that serious)
- Social distancing (who wasn't doing a good job of it and needed to be shamed)
- Masks (who doesn't know how to wear one correctly and which ones are crap)
- Sheltering in place (who didn't wanna comply and why why why)
- Education (who was inconvenienced by the schedule and remote learning) (guilty party right here!)
- Toilet paper and cleaning supplies (who was hoarding, who was deprived and WHY toilet paper?)
- Politics (who was slinging mud and who was getting muddy)
- Election (let's just not go there....it's still not even wrapped up completely)
- Children (who was losing their mind being trapped at home with their kids and who was grateful that they didn't have any)
- Elderly (who was paying attention to their vulnerability and who had loved ones stuck in nursing homes)
- First responders (who didn't appreciate their tireless work and who was exhausted from being essential)
- Relationships (which unions were going to crumble under the stress and who was "flourishing and blossoming in the most loving ways" 🙄) (I call BULLSHIT!!)
- Work (who was forced to go to work and who lost their income)
- Racism (whose lives mattered and who felt that racism was/wasn't prevalent) (It IS, for the record)
Those are just the broad topics. There are a slew of subtopics in there as well, but let's be honest, we don't have all damn day. You know them.
What should have been a means of staying connected with our friends, family and community was being turned into a vehicle for venting anger and spouting off opinions with no repercussions or any reparations. Keyboard warriors were running the show and getting stronger with every added tragedy or societal concern.
In the midst of it all, I learned a very valuable lesson: I bring out the worst in people on Facebook and Facebook brings out the worst in me.
What was once a source of fun and giggles was now something that made me angry and hate human beings. I'm a pretty positive, happy person for the most part. I lean in to relationships that make me happy and hide from people who make me feel anger or emotional pain. However, I am a true Gemini and I'm either super joyous or extra pissed off. There isn't much gray area there.
I'd look through my Facebook timeline and start ripping! "Can you believe that (so-and-so) is a (political candidate) supporter???" "Look at these two miserable bastards pretending they have the perfect relationship!" "How is this person on vacation when there is a global pandemic???" "Why would (so-and-so) be showing off that they just bought a (expensive item) when so many of us have almost no income??" It went on and on and on. I was just judging and criticizing and hating everyone. And when I would post something positive, SOMEONE would inevitiably respond with their own judgement of me! That was where started the cycle of hate began.
But then something changed.
I grew tired of the anger. I realized that every time I clicked on that little blue icon with the annoying lowercase "f" on my phone, I was bored by most of what I saw. I discovered that I was looking for a good laugh or something uplifting and coming away uninspired and blah. Yes, blah. Commonly known as "meh".
Today, I was scrolling through Instagram and was giggling over a super judgey, feral cat who is literally a peeping tom, when I turned to Justin and said, "The guy eventually won the cat over....I freaking love people!"
His response? "Wow. I don't think I've heard you say anything beyond 'I hate people' in eons!"
How sad is that? I'm not a people hater! Or at least I wasn't. I may be a people loather now though. I have my select peeps and if you aren't one of them, I've got a bit of a bubble around me that's not going to permit you to access my Natural Vickness.
My friend, Lynn, left Facebook about a month ago. She didn't want to be surrounded by the negativity any longer, so in one swift motion, she disconnected. I was jealous and in complete awe of her. It was such badassery!
"So, it's been a week now. How does it feel to not have Facebook any more?" I was dying to know what life was like on the other side! Someone disconnected and lived to tell the tale!
"Awesome! I totally don't miss it at all," she said. And she meant it. I could tell. And I LOVED IT.
Maybe it's time for me to disconnect too. I want to find the "awesome." Is leaving Facebook behind the answer to some of my woes? Or am I just too sensitive to be a part of the gang? Regardless, Facebook needs to find a way to stop the anger and 'find the funny' again.
We need decency among humans. We need compassion, not indifference, for others. We need to support each other. We need to focus on what we completes us, not what destroys us.
We need love.
ps. Yes, I am aware that Instagram is affiliated with Facebook. It's like the happy place for those of us who can't handle the judgement and bullshit of the Big
FU FB 😉