We live in a time when a lot of people have a lot to say. Nowadays, the entire world’s an audience at our fingertips. It’s so easy, isn’t it, to just spout whatever comes to mind: I like this! I hate that! That’s stupid! This is the best! Do it my way (you’re an idiot if you don’t!). Social media has placed anonymous bullhorns at everyone’s disposal and people happily—and routinely — use them. We just love it because, dagnabbit, everyone’s opinion matters. Right?
I believe in the freedom of speech (mmmmaybe my family is not always thrilled with my practice of it) and I do believe that every person is entitled to his opinion. What I’m not a fan of is all the anger and negativity that now typically comes with combining those constitutional rights. What I like less is the intolerance that surfaces when opinions are met with disagreement or opposition.
Why is everyone so angry?
Here’s an idea: how about if you see something you don’t agree with … just ignore it and keep scrolling. Imagine that. Just. Keep. Scrolling.
I am utterly confounded by the amount of people that carry on virtual arguments from behind their computer screens. The ranting, the nastiness, the back-and-forth, the insulting. Does anyone truly believe a contrary mind can be swayed simply by expounding in capital letters and angry emojis?? How asinine. For every one person that agrees with you about any issue, there will be just as many who oppose you, despite your seemingly harmless thought or statement. Many, many people are ignorant. Why is it so hard to ignore them? Many, many people are (punctuation aside) clearly not very bright. Where is the importance of shining a spotlight on their stupidity? FortheloveofGOD, why is everybody so offended all the time?
My recent experience with a total stranger on Twitter touches on this.
After I’d tweeted head-scratching disbelief about the sudden allure of Tonya Harding, a gentleman responded to (and disputed) my opinion of her. I have to admit, I was a little taken aback. Living here in the Nancy Kerrigan quadrant of the country it never even dawned on me there might actually be Tonya Harding supporters still out there but apparently, he was from her home state of Oregon. Geeze, well I’ll be. I attempted to mollify his anger with an LOL (and a laughing emoji of course) and gave a sort of Oh Well, To Each His Own retort but it was unsettling. I’d never heard from him before (and likely won’t ever again) so it was curious to me why a total stranger would bother to take the time to drop the gloves with me. Really, over Tonya Harding? Could we even come up with a more insignificant topic? Let it go, man.
I try to stick with Oprah on this. She was recently being pressured to give a response when our fearless leader publicly insulted her (because, heck, with not so much going on in this country, why not spend some leisure time degrading celebrities?) and her simple reply was: “I don’t like giving negativity power.”
Fist pump, girlfriend, me neither. I think of all the times I type something, then think a minute about the implications, then often keep my finger on the backspace button until it disappears. With a public page/blog/feed I’ve learned the hard way: sometimes even tongue-in-cheek comments bring out the crazies. You just never know. The truth is, not every thought-provoking comment needs to be controversial and not every difference of opinion needs to be documented and debated. It’s not that I’m above a well-versed discussion of opposing views; it’s just that I’m certain none of the world’s ills are ever going to be solved via Instagram argument. And it has nothing to do with accepting criticism. Ha! I’m a mother of four — my thick-skin suit is impenetrable.
Don’t like me? I am perfectly okay with that. Just. Keep. Scrolling. Find someone or something you do like and spread THAT around instead. Wouldn’t it be great if people paid attention to just how many positive-vs-negative posts they were putting out there? We talk ad nauseum about the bullying epidemic of our kids and yet we-the- adults are kinda sorta doing a lousy job as role models for them. Isn’t that a shame?
After the frightful events of late I’ve seen posts from some friends touting the 2nd Amendment, the NRA and certain red baseball hats. I also have friends who spew venom at our Commander in Chief – legit – every single day on his social threads. I get it. This is a hot topic right now. This is THE topic right now. But this serious, dire, deadly problem is never going to be solved in a Twitter rant. After plenty (and – most important — private) throat clucks and eyerolls, I watch all these posts go by and Just. Keep. Scrolling. I don’t chime in, I don’t respond, and I even refrain from throwing in incredulous hashtags (#useriousgirl?). Why? Because my friends are entitled to their thoughts and I am entitled to my eyerolls and – like Miranda Lambert says – it takes all kinds a’ kinds. I am an educated woman. I know if anything is going to effectively change my mind about gun control right now it might be words spoken by a parent who just lost his child in a school shooting but it is never, ever going to be because of a Facebook post by someone without skin in the game … sitting behind a computer … or staring at a smartphone. No way.
So to all the people that happen to be gun lovers …
and keto champions ….
and crossfitters …
and animal rescuers …
and vegan worshippers …
and (endless) fundraisers …
and any other enthusiasts of ANYthing I wouldn’t be apt to give a swipe right to …you should know: if I’m not interested in joining the cause – and especially if I don’t have anything nice to say, I’m simply going to Just. Keep. Scrolling.
If everybody else did the same, that’d be just great. No offense taken.
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Read any good books lately? Start one here: A Collection Of Eyerolls: A Momoir
Chapter 2, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/08/13/chapter-2-sometimes-kids-suck-a-lot/
Chapter 3, Click here: https://tinadrakakis.com/2017/09/22/chapter-3-sorry-were-tied-all-kids-are-filthy/
Tina Drakakis blogs at Eyerollingmom and was featured in the 2014 Boston production of “Listen to Your Mother: Giving Motherhood a Microphone.” Her work has been featured in NPR’s “This I Believe” radio series yet she places “Most Popular 1984” on top of her list of achievements. (Next would be the home improvement reality TV show of 2003 but her kids won’t let her talk about that anymore). A witty mother of four, she takes on cyberspace as @Eyerollingmom on Twitter and Eyerollingmom on Facebook. and@Eyerollingmom on Instagram.