Hulk Smash: Rage at Puny Social Media
I find that engaging in the constant fighting on social media, namely Facebook, is having an adverse affect on my interpersonal relationships. I get aggro. I get mean. I even overcompensate in attempts at written humor. Apparently opening oneself up to other people’s rage, ignorance, lies and misery manifests itself negatively in my own life. Who would have thought…
See, I’m good with words. They’re like magic spells or concealed weapons in my well-trained mouth and fingertips. If I wield them irresponsibly, I can hurt people. If I apply myself, I can change the course of history. Nevertheless, even if you’re not good with words, you can use yours to change the course of history too. Perhaps if people had used less dickish words about his art, Adolf Hitler may not have used his words to make all that murder happen.
It’s like that old adage about arguing with idiots; from a distance people can’t tell the difference. With social media; however, the only people that can see you arguing with idiots are other idiots. At least in real life, you can become King of the Idiots, but to do that on the internet, you’d need a high priced marketing team and the reality production crew that put together Jersey Shore.
Of course, there is an obvious addictive aspect to all this that tickles just the right part of my lizard brain. I get so excited when someone contacts me directly and asks me to intervene in some ridiculous argument they’re having against a misguided acquaintance or oblivious racist. Being called upon to serve up piping hot rhetorical ass whoopins provides the kind of satisfaction you used to only be able to get from winning freestyle battles.
Now we can all feel that way from the comfort of… well anywhere. I personally relish the opportunity to serve some fools, but it’s satisfying like dessert. I wanted it and it tasted good, but I’ve derailed my long term goals and feel empty inside. Then, instead of a few extra pounds, I just get needlessly antagonistic in and outside of my life on internet. Nothing’s changed.
No policies, no perspectives, and no minds. Every now and again I quit Facebook to protect my fragile sanity, but even as I deactivate it, Facebook holds onto all my information. It knows I’ll be back eventually. How could it not? It knows everything about me…
So to all my friends and acquaintances: the racist ones, ignorant ones, and especially the stupid ones, I want you to know that what we say on social media helps no one, save for the shareholders of social media companies. We can be proud hashtag revolutionaries, digital politicians, vicious avengers and social justice warriors, but we are only doing these things for ourselves and only lining the pockets of the media we constantly berate as woefully out of touch. Now, there is nothing wrong with with this as long as you recognize what you’re doing and why, I implore you to remember that any time you give a shit about anything, you’re already too busy doing it to be on social media yelling about it.
I fully believe in your ability to go out into the world and make change. I want you to protest injustice, write and have heated conversations with open and close minded individuals. Don’t be afraid to live your truth, talk your shit, and cast judgment from your shaky moral high ground. Just do it in reaching distance from people that you have such a problem with. Take a risk. See how much you mean that noise you spout on social media. Why condemn rioters when you could go somewhere and personally tell them to knock it off. If you’re so concerned about “where America is headed,” just know you have ample opportunities to do something about it and none of those are on Facebook.
From here on, I will personally be making a concerted effort to turn my social media platforms into bastions of compassion, creativity, and love. Meanwhile, I’ll be putting my words and ideas in places where you can see them, return to them, and debate them with me… not that I won’t come to your Facebook page and “throw down a 360 tomahawk jam from time to time, just to let these boys know [I’m] still in business.” a la Steven Pressfield
So don’t get too comfortable on my Internet.