I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of social media. Mostly, about all the outrage over, well, literally everything that’s on it lately.
There’s no doubt that words have power, and social media can spread that fire like the wind. We can choose our words to be positive, to share our triumphs, and to support one another. Sometimes, life can throw us a curveball, and we occasionally choose to use it to share those struggles. We can use it to inform others of situations they might not otherwise be aware of in the hopes of creating a change for the better, if that’s what we choose to do. Social media has the ability to get the word out in positive ways, but it also has the ability to get the word out in negative ways. At the end of the day, social media is not a requirement to participate in, and certainly doesn’t have to be a place where you feel you need to add your two cents to any given subject on any given day. It’s a social platform and if you aren’t feeling social on subjects being discussed, then you are under no obligation to participate.
I wrote this on Twitter the other day: “Reminder: Social media is an opt-in experience. You don’t owe anyone anything by being here, and you’re free to be on or off it as often as you like.” After I wrote that, I took Twitter off of my phone so I could focus on all the shit I have going on in my own life, and not feel like I could take the easy path of zoning out on my phone by staring at the dumpster fire that is Twitter. I immediately felt better by doing this. I will continue to stay informed occasionally through social media on important issues via my laptop but honestly, who can handle the constant dread of Twitter anymore? Not me. My husband and I share a lot on social media, but we definitely don’t share everything. He took Twitter off his phone months ago and suggested I do the same, but I held on (far too long, in my opinion). The things we have going on within our family are very personal and not for us to share because they are not our stories to tell, but it’s also okay to not share literally every aspect of our lives with the public. I’ve heard from several people who’ve reminded me, in one way or another, that social media is not a diary, and no one is entitled to my thoughts or opinions on anything. Wise words.
Life is too short to spend it holding onto anger, seeking revenge, looking to others for validation, or getting caught up in arguments. While I am aware that having a large social media platform means I reach a lot of people, some have tried to make it a requirement of me that I give my two cents on all kinds of subjects being discussed. I finally caved recently and talked about the kids who were being taken away from their parents and sent to live in camps in other states, and it left me a sobbing mess. Not commenting on something doesn’t mean I don’t care, it just means I’m not up to getting involved because like I said, we’ve got a lot of shit going on. The saying “Put your own oxygen mask on before you help others” is so true. It kills me to see so much of our world falling apart but right now, my oxygen mask isn’t on so trying to get involved in anything extra just isn’t an option.
I believe in lending a helping hand when others truly need a boost up, and speaking when someone feels they do not have the ability to speak for themselves. But if you just don’t have the fight in you right now, sometimes it’s okay to step aside and allow others to fight that fight. It doesn’t mean you don’t care, it just means you aren’t able to take it on, and that’s okay. It’s a shitty position to be in, knowing I have the privilege of taking a step aside when others don’t always have that privilege themselves, but I’m just doing the best I can for me at the moment.
I try my best to live my life with honesty, honor, empathy, and compassion. I’d like to kindly ask that you respect that as I work through my own struggles so that I can get back to fighting the good fight with my oxygen mask firmly in place.