Social media, according to many recent studies, has some degree of association with anxiety or depression. It can certainly help bring people together and create a community. And through that help some people feel supported. And, that is great. And, that is how I try to use social media. However, for many, social media leads to unrealistic upward comparisons. And, by now most of us are hip to the fact that all those happy posts are not a person’s whole story. How many times have we seen a super lovey dovey couple posting sugary sweet items about one another and then the next day their relationship status has been downgraded? But this all isn’t even my main point. But it is part of the context.
Through social media like Facebook you often just get exposed to likeminded thoughts. Someone posts something different and you unfriend them. For the record, I have never unfriended someone on Facebook. On Twitter you can mute or block accounts. Diversity of thought seems to be a fantasy for our society these days.
And it is in this unrelentless stream of opinions and posted emotions, in which we as a society have become too unforgiving. I read a blog post by a therapist who noted we have become a “cancel” culture and that it is unhealthy for us as individuals. We move on too quickly from someone for a wrong gesture, word, or attire. And it can be from yesterday or twenty years ago. Obviously (or so I think) abhorrent acts such as rape, murder, abuse, discriminatory behavior etc. don’t get easily forgiven, if ever. But do we need to move on so quickly from so many people?
Many people know that I am not readily offended. I have had to suffer through many indignities in life and try to address them and move on. That’s not a tactic for everyone. I get that. It’s just who I am. But even I, have at times come close (or maybe even done so) to getting wrapped up in online outrage sessions that maybe weren’t so warranted.
I’m not too sure if any of this makes sense or I am being too abstract. Today I felt a twinge of disappointment at someone who I haven’t “cancelled” despite all evidence pointing to a need to. Today, I came to tell myself it may very well be time. And, in thus instance it would be warranted and thus healthy to do. I’m not saying don’t write people off but I’m just advocating for some judiciousness. It’ll free up some space in your life. Yes, yes it will.