I know you're all looking at this post title going..."what is she on about? Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/(insert other social media site I am oblivious to) is working fine." Yes, the sites might be working fine, no glitches, no outages, but I'm talking about our use of said sites. So maybe I should have titled this little rant "people are broken." I'm not alone in stating recently I decided to limit my use of Facebook. I check my notifications, I sometimes scroll through my newsfeed, but I've snoozed/unfollowed/unfriended a vast number of people. I only stop to read the posts that are about people's personal lives/careers/kids, funny memes, animal pictures, and recipes. I've subscribed to several motivational pages in an attempt to lighten my newsfeed. I'm so tired of the ranting/complaining/whining and sheer hatred I'd been seeing every day. It's funny, my mother used to tell me, "if you can't say something good, don't say anything at all." And though she meant it in regards to commenting on other's appearances, I think it kind of applies in this situation. WTF is up with all the negativity?
"Oh that," you say. Because I know you feel me here. Sadly, some of you reading this are probably offenders. I get that a vast majority of people are unhappy with the political and social climate of the country, and I'm not even going to go there because I try so hard to keep Politics, Religion, and Meanness off of my wall/blog/Twitter.
"But, Stacey," you whine. "Things are SO bad. And people need to KNOW." Newsflash: People already KNOW. We read/watch the news ourselves and form our own opinions. "But maybe they didn't see this article!" Ah, but maybe you didn't see THIS article. Let's face it, you can find articles/videos/news reports/statistics to back up every side of every argument if you look hard enough. And the real truth is: you aren't going to change anyone else's opinion by blasting yours all over the place. Seriously. Especially, if you're nasty about it. Not even once have I read a rage filled rant on the internet that countered my own views and thought, Man, that person is so right! And neither has anyone else. In the history of ever. All you are going to get from that post is either people who share your views posting comments equivalent to, "Hells yeah, bro!" or the opposite, "Shut the F*ck up, you moron!" Because negativity breeds negativity. And hate? Well that breeds more hate. So why the hell are so many of you spreading that shit around? Who has convinced you that divisiness and sheer fury are going to heal our country? Because that shit is the real fake news.
And don't even get me started on the people from other countries doing it. Sorry, guys. I LOVE my foreign friends and followers, but tend to your business. Isn't there a saying about glass houses and stones? There's not one country on this planet currently that is problem free. There are skeletons in every continent's closet if you dig deep enough.
"Stacey, this is most unlike you. What prompted this little outburst?" you ask. I could make you a powerpoint presentation, complete with color coded handouts, but since we are all also pressed for time (I'm like a super busy author, don't you know?), I will make it short. The tipping point today was my Twitter feed. I logged on because I wanted to see what some other authors were tweeting. I don't really focus on my tweeting much, but decided I need to up my game before the new releases I have coming out. But instead of seeing awesome tweets by people much farther along in their careers, all I saw was politics. Either their own tweets, or retweets of others. It made me sad. I don't read your books because of your opinions on politics or religion or vegetarianism or even if you got your kids vaccinated. I read your books because I enjoy them, and often in spite of those other things (although, I don't know if I could set aside the vaccination one, but that's a personal trigger). So I want to hear about your process, your life, your next book, what films you've liked recently, what books you read. Simple stuff. Good stuff. Happy stuff. And if you want to give me a serious opinion on something? How about which charities you support and why you think they're worthy.
Okay, rant over. I had to get that off my chest, because sometimes that's how you let it go. "Why don't you just stay off social media," you casually suggest. I try to. Honestly, my amount of time spent on those sites has dwindled measurably in the last year. But I pop on to check out some groups I'm in, catch up with a few friends, look at videos of my grandbabies, and hopefully post something that makes people smile. Sure, sometimes I post about being chronically ill or in pain, but I try to make is casual. I'm not asking for sympathy when I do so, though a bit of empathy would be lovely. But I post to let myself and others know that we are not alone in this battle. So many people with serious health issues (and especially work from home creative types) have a tendency to be isolated. Whether by choice, or circumstance, it can be lonely. So I hope that people can connect with my posts. If even one person laughs, I've made the world a little brighter. And gosh knows, we could use some light nowadays. Happiness is a choice, but it's also a lot of work somedays. I'm trying to do my part. Join me, won't you?
I really do 💗 you guys. Well, most of you anyway.