Dear Friends & Family, I Love You But Your Political Drama is Too Much
I'm sitting here at my desk on a Wednesday morning and I feel like my soul has been sucked out of me, stomped on, and stuffed back down my throat. WHHHYYY do you feel that disgusting, you might ask. Two words: social media.
After any big political event, like President's Trump's State of the Union speech yesterday, my social media feeds are filled with ALLLLLLLLLLLL the garbage that my own friends and family have felt the need to share with me and the rest of the world.
Part of my job is to watch over socials and pick out things happening both locally and nationally to post about on our websites. So, I spend a LOT of time on there and see a LOT of content. In my hours of scrolling Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I see post after post about everyone's thoughts, feelings, and OPINIONS about every.single.thing. I see nasty comments. I see name calling. I see the absolute worst in people that I love. Some of you hurl hateful comments at me because of my beliefs but do so embedded deep inside stupid memes. You probably don't even realize you are doing it because you don't have a clue as to what I believe in. I don't get caught up in blasting anyone or share things that are obviously untrue just because it's in line with what I want to believe. There's no sense in that. But when you throw out blanket statements about ALL Democrats or ALL Republicans, you are including people you love in those statements - including me. And you've never sat down and asked me about my beliefs. My guess is that you would never be so brazen as to say the insults to my face but somehow it's okay if it's, ya know, generalized in a meme or in your comment on a political story.
Let me be clear... I keep my opinions to myself because at the end of the day, NEWSFLASH!!! no one will ever look at a snarky meme or a wildly inaccurate "news story" and change their outlook. When you share them or make hateful comments, you are just creating negativity in the world and making zero impact for good. And that's unfortunate because something that can be used to spread positivity has become a breeding ground for trolls who enjoy taking nasty jabs at each other. Blech. No thanks.
Now, don't get me wrong. I've not completely removed myself from the political world. This country and the part I play in shaping its future is incredibly important to me which is why I do my own research. And, I have civil one-on-one conversations with people who have similar and different beliefs. I don't rely on the garbage being thrown around on social media to decide anything for me. Engaging with it just brings me down and that's not going to happen either. And honestly, if you want to talk politics on social media, that's cool! But there's no reason to be hateful or disrespectful just because your opinion is different than someone else's. Just be a good human.
Today was just my breaking point. I've just had enough of the trolls, the lies, the relentless opinions, the negativity. It turns my stomach. And, it has been proven that negativity on social media is bad for your physical and mental health. So, I started using my SNOOZE and HIDE button at an alarming rate. Cute baby or puppy - you are safe. Vacation photos - I made a face because I'm super jealous but you too are safe. Political hatred (no matter what side you take) - you're outta here! I don't care who you are in my real life. I might love you with all my heart but if you share the yuck, you don't belong in my social media life. Sorry - not at all sorry.
And I'm not the only one. A survey of 3,000 voters by communications and public relations firm, Cherry Digital, revealed that 37% of Indiana voters say they are already worn out by election coverage. And social media plays a huge part in that. It got me thinking, I wonder if people know about the SNOOZE and HIDE button. I initially used it on a person who kept posting photos of her butt all the time. No girl, I do not want to see your butt. Thaaaanks anyway.
All you have to do is click on the three little lines next to someone's name and this pops up. SNOOZE them and you don't see their snide remarks for a whole 30 days! HIDE them and it basically means you are done with them without completely unfriending them. Passive aggressive? Maybe. Do I feel 100% better? Yes.
Don't worry, I didn't discriminate. All Liberal and Conservative facebook pages were hidden today. This was just one that popped up as I was looking for a screen shot to show you!
And if you are feeling really froggy, like I am right now, you can click on the arrow pointing down and select NEWS FEED PREFERENCES. You can hide anyone who you know is a repeat offender. They'll never know and you'll finally get some social media peace!
At this point, you might think I'm a social media snowflake for muting all the negativity out of my feed. And, that's totally fine. Just keep your opinion about me in your own living room where it belongs. :)