I don’t think I do this annually. Maybe I should, but that would require a working memory and stuff.
While social media is a lovely tool, yes, I along with others think its gone too far and has hurt our basic ability to interact and communicate with each other. I certainly have my limitations. People who know me get these, and for those who don’t, here are some of my habits/attitudes/platitudes/whatchacallems:
1. “I dare you to share/post this/blah blah blah”. Really? Are you 12? You dare me? I very rarely share things except to either win something I want badly (Death Wish mugs, anyone?) or it’s a thing where I believe sharing will actually help (ie, missing pet). Oh, and guess what? Back in the day? I was where chain letters came to die as well.
2. Check your info, please. Oh, look. Here it is again. Plastic water bottles cause breast cancer. I wonder why just breast cancer? Because they’re vaguely breast-shaped? Oh my, this woman’s sister’s cousin was nearly killed by a guy with an axe hiding in her back seat, except when she went to get gas a good samaritan saw him and called the police. WOW! Ok, granted, it is really hard to separate fact from fiction these days, I get that completely, but a lot of these urban legends have been around for 15+ years. If you feel a genuine urge to protect the herd and post one of these, check and make sure its real first. Spreading fake fear is kind of not good, when there’s so many real things to be afraid of.
3. “Check on someone, even the strong people.”/Suicide prevention tips/hotline. These are good, but I just hope people realize they aren’t enough. I’ve been depressed, myself, maybe not to the point of suicide. And someone may take the reminder and really try. But if you can for a moment put yourself in the shoes of someone who feels worthless (if you’ve never been depressed, this may be impossible) or that no one cares…you are probably not going to reach out to a stranger. Part of depression is the “I don’t want to bother anyone”, or “I’m not important enough, they’ve got other people to take care of” mentality. They’re more than likely not going to call and “bother” a stranger (likewise with the gambler/drug addiction commercials…the people with the problem don’t know they have a problem and aren’t going to call). So, I’m not saying don’t post these, but I’m saying, definitely follow up and take a more active hand, particularly if you know someone in this boat, and particularly this time of year. Lead by example.
And some very brief ones with sarcastic answers to tell you how I feel about the rest!
“No, Facebook, I will not add my phone number to my account. Are you on crack? Like you’ve done so well with the rest of my information.”
“I don’t hate cancer. I think it’s dandy. Culling the herd and all that. What a stupid post. How about instead of copying and sharing and liking and being a lazy shit in a chair, I donate to the American Cancer Society?”
“Who the hell thought they couldn’t get 1000 likes? Have they been living under a rock? What exactly does that accomplish for them, anyway? (Unless it’s a business page, then I can be a bit more understanding).”
“Wow, only 5% of people got all these 80’s bands…can you…? Then you must have some real low-grade morons taking your quizzes, because from what I’ve seen, even a chimp can score 98%. Maybe the other 95% couldn’t bother because they didn’t realize it was 136 questions long and they’ve got other stuff to do today.”
And lastly…never, ever, ever, ever send me chain crap via Messenger. EVER. In case I’m not clear enough, DON’T SEND ME CHAIN SHIT ON MESSENGER. I can’t explain why but this feels like such a personal intrusion. Yes, use it to communicate with me. I’d love to say hi to you. But don’t send me an electronic chain letter because I will hunt you down and break fingers. /rant off.
I mean, yeah, its an outlet, put your political rants out there. Argue, if you must. Be reasonable, though. I see arguments over the stupidest shit (people personally attacking each other in a thread about the Mowgli movie). But there’s so much good. Look for lost family, share art and beauty and literature, make beautiful pictures. Discover. Give advice where warranted/requested, and share recipes. The things you put on the internet, I remind you, are forever. Even if you try to delete them afterwards.
Get out there and make beauty, make friends, make nice nice, and make it a better world, we all can contribute to that!