I love social media for all the good that it brings to my life. I stay connected with friends and family regardless of how far away they may be or length of time since we’ve seen each other. I love the inspiration. I love the collaboration. I love the whimsy and humor. I love the heartbreak amidst miracles and all that the human experience is during those times. I love the wealth of perspective I gain about the world around me and the exposure to lives other than my own. Social media has so much power and has proven its effectiveness various times in a multitude of situations.
But there’s a dark side.
Passive aggressive attempts at connecting, confronting, and criticizing people. Watching who is posting, commenting, sharing, liking/reacting to posts, coming and going, messaging, and everything else is for all to see. People get their feelings hurt over a missed post, not enough likes/reactions to pictures, few comments to heartbreaking information shared. It’s alarming to me to think that critical information shared via facebook or some other social media platform should garner any specified amount of attention. We should connect more personally when those situations arise. Call me. Text me and ask me to call you. Call me crying. Knock on my front door with a tear-stained face and let me make you a cup of tea and cut you a slice of cake while we talk it out. Knock on my front door and yell at me for being a jerk so I can wrap you up in a big hug after you’re finished reading me the riot act and then tell you I’m sorry. But today we just post stuff and act as though that’s official notice for wrong-doings, life’s tragedies, and our feelings. It’s passive aggressive behavior that is truly emotionally abusive. It’s not fair to anyone involved to handle business that way. If you’ve got something to say to someone, handle it directly. Or don’t handle it at all. Sometimes situations need time to resolve on their own; sometimes time is one’s best friend. We aren’t a patient, or thoughtful, society right now. We want to hurt quickly and painfully. Cut to the quick and make your point faster but the damage done to relationships can be irreparable. It’s awful, really.
Social media is powerful. It is powerfully moving and can fuel social justice, promote awareness, inform, and expand one’s outlook on life. As quickly as it can bring good to the world, it can shatter relationships, bruise hearts, and propagate evil. We need to temper our passive aggressive attitudes and re-learn communication skills without the filter/safety behind our screens. We aren’t connecting at all when we do that. We are just fighting with sharp swords behind a very strong sheild. We cut deeper than we realize because we can’t see the effect we have on others. We wound each other more than necessary and damage much in the process. It’s time for a shift in how we connect and how we handle our relationships.
And it starts with you and me.
The Repressed Peach