Monday, November 16, 2015

Enough


If I've ever wanted to quit social media, it is now.

I have about 750 friends on FB, and most of the time I REALLY like all the different posts. There are definitely certain categories of posts that can be emotional triggers, depending on what I'm going through at the moment. But for all the chuckles and uplifting posts and fun photos, I don't mind one or two that are hard to read.

Lately, though...the negativity is winning. It has just seemed so...passive-aggressive lately, or something. I wonder if that's true or if I'm just in a phase where I'm sensitive to things like that.

A lot of times, the standard procedure is to post a quote, image, or link to an article that reflects the person's viewpoint. And it makes sense when what you want to say has already been wrapped up nice and tidy by someone else. But for someone reason this is where that passive-aggressive vibe comes into play for me.

A few months ago, it was Planned Parenthood. There were videos surfacing, with Christians speaking out against killing babies, while PP supporters accused critics of wanting women to suffer without cancer screening, Ob/Gyn care, etc (not to mention birth control and abortion). I had friends on either side who were equally passionate. And yes, many changed their profile pictures to reflect their views, which meant that I thought about the issue whenever their names came up in my newsfeed.

At the same time, many were mourning the plight of refugees, and a lot of posts came up about that.

Oh, and the CUPS. Starbucks cups generated this year's annual Christmas cheer controversy. EVERYONE had to comment on it. I literally thought the FB world had gone mad.

Usually after the first round, the "Christian" response pops up in the form of blog posts that tell us what we should do, sometimes in the form of a letter "to the abused," "to the mother who had an abortion," etc.


Just a few weeks ago, we were mourning a Russian plane crash. I shared about it here because I live in St. Petersburg and wanted to provide a little local perspective as well as share what I've read in Russian with my English-speaking readers.

And then there was Paris. So fresh, but the internet attention has already soured. The first wave of sincere, heartfelt posts were beautiful. Then it became a "trend," and then once more the blog posts and more "original" content had to have their few minutes, and then the others decided that there must be an alternate view, and surely we can find a bone to pick even with pure, innocent grieving. How can you compare types of loss? It is unfathomable to me. But I am truly sorry for any tragedy that hasn't received as much fame as it should have. I wonder, do we even have a moral obligation to recognize tragedy and express grief publicly? What if the presidents didn't say anything? I guess that wouldn't be too good.

It's interesting sometimes to see which arguments are exclusive among Andrei's (Russian-speaking) FB friends, and which are more common with mine. For example, Russians may feel more strongly about the attention Paris got in comparison to St. Petersburg after the plane crash. I've seen some of those comments among Russian-speakers. That leads to a kind of anti-West sentiment.

Also in Russian news (and particularly St. Petersburg) recently was a heartbreaking case in which a Tajik family (without the proper papers) was brought in to immigration authorities, and separated from their infant son who then died. So some of the same border control issues are in hot debate here as well. But as I've probably mentioned before, the Russian internet is refreshingly devoid of many of the scandals that can make Americans rabid.

It feels a little more refreshing to get this out here than to be bombarded by FB posts for once. But my heart still feels very heavy, not only about the news themselves but about the way in which people respond. I just need it to be a little bit more quiet and respectful. As I wish for people to filter their reactions more, I answer myself: but what a gift to have free speech. And that's true, too. So there are always different sides to consider, but sometimes it's time to just stop, or keep your thoughts private.


5 comments:

  1. I think I would find FB equally overwhelming, but for a long time I've been unfollowing people whose posts I don't care to see often (but don't want to unfriend/lose contact with) and I probably only actually "follow" about 1/4 of my Facebook friends! Then, I follow news or artists or public figures whom I like to hear from. I find this has mostly customized my newsfeed to be positive and helpful! :)

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    1. That's a good idea. I do that too. It's mainly when I feel a temptation to argue or criticize whenever their posts come up. But if it's someone that often has nice posts, I hate to lose the contact.

      I actually had your blog open for several days to comment and now I can't remember if I ever did!

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  2. I put a lot of my FB "Briends" into a lower category - many of them way down in "barely acquaintances" or whatever it's called. That eliminated a lot of posts, but of course there's always something there, and I agree that somehow now everything is controversy - all the time. And, I seem to have an equal number of friends on one side of every issue, which seems impossible, yet it's true. It seemed to me that FB used to be funny little updates, but nowadays it's all memes and links to posts about issues. I love blogging so much more, but either my friends got hurt by it, as I did and have dropped out, or they got bored, or something.... Not so many blogs to read any more.

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    1. I think I'd even enjoy even a "look at my meal" photo now!

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  3. Unfortunately the political posts come from good friends/interesting people, and I wouldn't want to "unfollow" them. But I'm learning how to censor a little bit. I am a bit heartsick about blogging as well. It's harder to find good blogs because they won't earn points in the Google ratings. Many blogs in the categories I like have gone "commercial" and I personally find the sponsored posts insulting, as if my readership isn't enough. Let me know if you find any good ones!

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