Social media itself is a revolution. It’s a medium for knowledge and ideas. It’s a place to share anything and everything.
However, it is also a haven for negativity, narcissism, and hate. Generally speaking, it doesn’t do much to enrich our lives. It’s an entertainment vehicle full of selfies, lists generalizing us by telling us what we should be doing with our lives, (Every twenty-something should be doing these ten things or you’re a failure!), and political, racial, and religious hate. It’s full of generalizations and stereotypes as well as what people had for breakfast, what time they have to be to work, and for how long they’ll be working.
I don’t say this to attempt to bring down social media. As with anything, there are positives and negatives, and I’m tired of the negatives. I’m tired of seeing the photos of random strangers with text on them saying how someone hurt someone else, or someone passed some law, without providing any proof. I’m tired of people sharing articles from The Onion or Empire News as fact, and I’m tired of the photos telling me that if I don’t share and comment on some photo professing some sort of religious zeal then I’ll be banished to hell–as if any religious deity would be monitoring Facebook to make sure people are properly sharing his or her likeness.
I’m also tired of being told not to vaccinate my children. I’m tired of the posts saying that the government has taken away all my freedoms, when I still have them and actively use them. And I’m tired of being told that the police are going to beat and arrest every minority on the street.
I’m tired of so much expression of hate just because someone has a different view or belief.
This isn’t to say that any of the people who do any of these things are bad or wrong. It’s no secret that the internet provides everyone with a certain anonymity that allows them to say almost anything without consequences, and sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed in certain situations. Sometimes it helps bring situations to light that would otherwise be pushed away. Social media is also a fantastic tool for networking. For bringing people together. It allows us to reach out to people from different states, and even from different cultures. It allows us to keep up with our family and friends who may or may not be a long distance away. And it exposes us to a lot of good things that we might otherwise not experience. However, a lot of the good gets hidden in the looming shadows of negativity. Of the scandals, the celebrity culture, and the hate. And none of that matters.
So what does matter?
My family matters.
Current events matter: What’s happening in the world, why, and is it going to change my way of life?
Reading and writing matter: Stories, other ways of life, things seen through the eyes of those experiencing it.
These are all things that matter, that affect me, and that are most important in my life.
With that being said, I will be spending more time away from social media. It used to be the first thing I did in the morning was scroll through my Facebook feed only to see the same thing. Instead, I’ll be scrolling through news headlines. I’ll be focusing more on raising my family. On making sure I play a major part in my son’s life. And I’ll be focusing more on my writing. On telling a good story, and on doing something that matters and can really bring forth some kind of change.
Some of this may seem blunt, and it may seem as if it’s bringing people down, but I can assure you that is not my aim. This is an effort to improve my own life, to become an informed citizen, and to make sure I’m here for the people who matter most to me.