On my phone, there is a quiet book, where everyone is thinking.
In that book, there is a story, a well-composed story, where everyone is thinking.
In that story, some characters are teaching me, in the quiet book, where everyone is thinking.
In those characters’ words, there is poetry, designed by a passionate author, in that story, in the book, where everyone is thinking.
From that author, I am gifted peace and growth, from the poetry, through those characters, in the quiet book, where everyone is thinking.
On my phone, there is another app, where everyone is yelling. This app mocks the poetry, suspects the peace, can’t take the time for the characters, judges the author, fears the quiet, and is sure it’s heard that story before.
In that other app, where no one now is thinking.
(That was bastardized from the brilliant “The Napping House” by Audrey Wood and Don Wood)
How do you spell a really loud sigh?
Haaaaoooooaaaahg. Something like that, I guess. I’m not going to use an emoji because I’m bitching about social media in this post, and also because I have a fancy new emoji to introduce you to later. Hang on to your butts, it’s a doozy.
Boy, this has been a shitty, emotional few weeks to be human, huh?
And we’re all trying to figure our way through it. But we’re doing it in this weird, new-ish common space on social media. And it’s really bringing me down, how that’s all going.
I find myself wanting to go fetal every time I pick up my phone. I’ve almost got myself trained to read the novel I have in a book app on my phone versus compulsively checking FaceBook because I realized when I was doing that, I was feeling sick to my stomach, getting a headache, wanting to cry.
I have assumed it was the details of the tragedies I was reading in the news that made me feel that way. But then I dug a little more and found it’s not the news, necessarily, it’s the loud, insistent, critical response to it on social media that makes me feel like I can’t breathe right.
There was a mass murder, there was a death of a small child, there was a rape and miscarriage of justice. It’s been a rough, rough few weeks inside this country. (I will have much more to say on this particular hero and her trial and violence against women in another unfunny post not about my kids doing silly things you can look forward to at a later date).
I’m grieving. But what is throbbing in my head is the judgement I’m reading, coming from left, right, up, down. Personal assessments and assumptions as facts, twisted emotions, bent around flags planted hard in the ground and unmoving.
We on social media are all the mean girls in middle school. We are snide and quick to tear up anything we encounter. We’re better and right-er and we’re competing to be the first and loudest. Like the middle school Monicas with their perfect skin and hair, they were protected by their posse of mean girls, we have this sense of anonymity. And we REALLY like the way it flatters our egos to see ourselves published and post all the pictures of ourselves doing all the things.
I find it’s hard to process my thoughts and feelings when everyone else’s voices are throwing sarcastic knives and judgmental blows into my ring. The voices that have meaning to me get lost in the shuffle. Plus, I get the sense a lot of people live in a scared and angry place, and I don’t want that influence getting into me, more than I already struggle with it my ownself.
It seems like we’re such a know-it-all, NOW, sort of people, there’s no space to deliberate and quietly, cautiously pick our feelings off the floor and try to assess them, to adapt to the new information. We’re afraid we might be left behind as the social tide passes. We have to jump in and just try to keep our mouth out of the water so they can keep talking.
At it’s most sinister, social media connects people with a violent agenda and allows them to sling violent, threatening, horrible things at people anonymously. Cyber-bullying, we call it. ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ recently did a BOOM sort of sketch about adding a “I’m Going to Rape and Kill You” emoji to Twitter, to save people the characters of having to type all that out against the women they are hating, so they could reserve them for more important things like telling the stranger she is fat. Watch it. It will make you laugh/wince/laugh/sob. Like most things Amy Schumer does.
And….Ms. Schumer is on the cover of Vogue right now, with the headline, “I don’t want to play the game; I want to redefine it” which makes me cry tears of hope and excitement! She posted the pics from the photo shoot and….well, I screen captured some of the comments I was going to show you as proof of people living up to their role as pervy shitbags in her sketch, but I’m going to refrain. I don’t want you to have to see it, because it doesn’t add anything to your day.
So. I’m reading and writing things that I choose and not superficial, mean things that are slung around. That shit will stick to something it lands on, but I’m hoping it won’t be me. I’ll still post to the FB page dedicated to this blog, but I’m going to to try to see how my ego is without the reinforcement of people laughing at my jokes on my personal page. It’s not like some sort of huge accomplishment to not be a social media junkie, it should be no big thing. I’m mortified I have to go through stages of separating from this addiction. But there it is. I want to see if I have clarity when I cleanse myself of the voices. We’ll see how it goes. No promises. I’m weak.
I am reading a good book on my ibooks app on my phone, so that helps. (I mean, I can’t be expected to poop without playing with my phone in some way, right? Think of my poor colon! No, you don’t have to. I was just kidding. But now you are, aren’t you?)