Monday, December 1, 2014

the rage spiral & the BLOW OFF

Confession: I'm one of those people you would describe as being Facebook active. I don't go on there simply to stalk other people. I "like" status updates of acquaintances I hardly know, I comment, I post articles, pictures, videos, etc. My own status updates mostly consist of references to bad reality TV shows. Mainly, I just use it to share BLOW OFF posts and BuzzFeed quiz results.

As a recent rule, I've tried to steer clear of online activism. Maybe it's the fact that I'm still scarred by the Kony debacle of 2012 and I still cringe that I did the ice bucket challenge during a drought in California-- either way-- it seems my most passionate views and opinions are better articulated and discussed amongst friends and family and not 600 people I don't know all that well.

But that doesn't change the fact that lately, every time I go on Facebook, I'm on the brink of a rage spiral.

I don't know if some algorithm out there decided to crowd my newsfeed with political posts and ignorant status updates. Maybe I'm part of another one of those secret experiments where they try to manipulate your sanity based on the types of posts that appear in your feed. Either way, I'd done a really good job of keeping the rage below the surface. I even went as far as sending my brother a barrage of texts after reading the status update of a mutual friend. I had to vent, but I held it together enough to do it privately instead of publicly.

I kept the rage away all week. Even when a friend of a friend referenced the Cosby scandal with a comment to the effect of "I don't want to blame the victims, but why did these women allow themselves to be alone with a married man?"-- I didn't respond. When I saw other status updates that said "take race out of the equation" or or "These protestors are embarrassing our country" I kept my cool. Without going into specifics on what I think about Ferguson (because honestly, it doesn't matter what I think) it really doesn't seem like a time for white outrage and that was the tone of many posts.

Maybe that's why I finally lost my shit when I saw this article. It wasn't even that bad compared to some of the other links I've seen these days, but it was the straw that broke the camel's back. Before I knew it, I was in a comment war of words with a guy who used to be hot in junior high who probably doesn't know who the hell I am and another complete stranger. All on some poor girl's page who-- though I'm surprised posted the link-- usually fills my feed with adorable pictures of her twins.

This was a complete and total waste of time. All it did was make my blood boil and took me away from getting some actual work done. No one changed anyone's mind. The best thing to come out of it was this blow off post.

But it did make me wish there was a twenty-four hour wait period for comments to get posted. That way you could come to your senses and delete them. Mostly, it made me wish there was a Facebook filter where we could BLOW OFF political posts or controversial articles and opinions. I just want to see pictures of your babies and your weddings and every meal from that awesome tasting menu. The only opinions I care about are whether you're Team Brandi or Team Lisa and how you're feeling about this season of The Good Wife. Anything of more substance is better discussed with me in person.

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