This is irony. When I originally wrote this post, it was four pages of angry and negative stuff. So I it. What is left is only positive or neutral or fact based thoughts (I hope).
And as I was revising, I realized that although I try to keep a positive mindset, it is negative by default. I have my theories as to why.
I’m not a student of the social science or psychology. Perhaps it is between nature and nurture. However, I worked at this post and tried to bring the negativity barometer down.
Negativity in Social Media
Have you ever scrolled through your Facebook page and noticed an overwhelming amount of negativity?
Bad news floods my news feed. .
Prior to 9/11
I think back before 9/11 to recall if the news ever concentrated its efforts on one story. The only one I can remember is “The White Bronco”. Although I felt that was more like an car chase in a movie.
I’m sure in the past there have been some awful crimes that received a lot of airtime, but I hadn’t noticed.
It wasn’t until 9/11 that I realized the saturation of bad news over the airwaves.
This was particularly troublesome for me because every broadcast station replayed the events on a loop for 2 days (if not more). On 9/12/2001 my office was closed (all of Manhattan was closed) and the only thing broadcasting on broadcast TV was news about 9/11.
I lived through that, I didn’t want to keep watching it (or hearing about it). It was brining my energy way, way down. This is one time HBO was a Godsend.
Since then, every bombing, shooting and the like has at least received several hours worth of news coverage.
I have the control. I can turn off my TV and during that time, I did.
I say this to point out where I think the excess and continuous stream of negativity stems from.
Not from the awful events themselves, but from the constant bombardment of them on our peace of mind.
Negative Nellie’s and Debbie Downer’s
These people. Man, do I not appreciate these people.
Someone posts something happy, such as, “I’m getting married!” Most people will write some sort of congratulatory message. But not Debbie or Nellie. No. Debbie will write, “Don’t get divorced.” And Nellie will write, “I hope he doesn’t leave you at the altar.”
Say congratulations and keep it moving.
It doesn’t have to be something so momentous either. Someone can write, “I found $5 on my way home.” And Debbie will come in with, “That $5 could have belonged to someone who needed it more than you, someone with starving children…” You get the idea.
It doesn’t matter what you write, they will write something contrary. Why? Just because.
But if you post something such as “I got divorced,” they will ‘Like’ that post.
I’m not here to psychoanalyze these individuals. I do know that these are some profoundly unhappy people.
The “I’m going to get my point across by filling up your news feed with angry meme’s because my way is the only way and you should listen to me,” poster.
We get it, whatever you are passionate/militant about. We get it. Do I want to see it 15 times on my news feed in different meme’s?
I don’t mind the occasional passionate plea for justice, or a thought provoking post on something that needs to be said. Heck, I post those.
I am talking about me scrolling through my news feed and every other post is from one person talking about the same injustice over and over and over.
That is what blogging is for!
I appreciate the fact that Facebook has an Unfollow feature. I can Unfollow someone without unfriending them. Because, these aren’t bad people, they are just a wee bit annoying.
My Life is so awful
No it’s not.
OK for some, it probably is. Those who have a serious illness (or family with serious illness), the loss of a loved one, abusive relationships, serious financial stress….you know, real problems.
We need to practice gratitude more than we do. Don’t post to complain that you missed your bus, another will come. I mean that figuratively and literally.
And yes, I myself am guilty of the occasional rant about something trivial. We all need to blow off steam about stupidity. I am talking about the constant posting of such things.
My Personal Mission
I strive to keep my Facebook posts positive and uplifting. I go out of my way to post these. I could not post anything, but doing nothing doesn’t counteract the effect of negativity. Only light can stomp out the darkness.
Some of my Facebook friends are doing the same thing.
My posts are generally non-denominational. However, I don’t mind posts about praising God, Allah or Jehovah, or anything positive like that.
Cute animal posts? Yes.
Cute kids doing cute things? Yes.
Hunky men posts? Yes.
Sarcastic Snarky someecards posts? Yes. Yes.
Meme’s that make me think and cry because they are profound? Yes.
There is Freedom of Speech After All
Listen, I’m not the Social Media police. And we live in a country where anyone can post anything (within reason) on their Facebook page.
There is something to the saying, “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life.”
If I don’t like what someone posts, I generally keep it moving. I don’t get offended, I don’t get angry. Life is too short for negativity.
I urge people to post at least one fun or uplifting or fun thing on their Facebook page a week and then increase it. If more people did this, there would be a lot less negative stuff floating around.