Oh social media how I simultaneously love and hate you. You can be informative, inspiring and entertaining. You give us all a place to spout off about any little (or big) thing that we decide needs to be spouted about. It’s awesome. It’s valuable. And it is, at times, infuriating. The internet has become a soapbox for, well, everything and everybody. And that in itself is not a bad thing. I would argue that, for the most part, it’s a very good thing. It gives us a platform that is sometimes anonymous, and at the very least, removed from actual real time human interaction. That can be quite liberating. It allows us to have a voice. That distance often gives us the courage to put across the ideas and ideals that we have but may not otherwise communicate.
I use online platforms to voice my opinions, my thoughts, my concerns. All the time. And I expect others to as well. And they do. All the time. I don’t mind getting caught up in a heated, yet respectful, debate. It’s powerful. Why? Because knowledge IS power and many, many times I learn something new. It might be something that supports my views, or it may not. Some days what I learn might make me consider something new. Something I’ve never even thought about before.
What I don’t enjoy about all of this, the one thing that often makes me close the keyboard or put down my phone and walk away – is when other people insist that I have to be mad about something, because, you know, they are. They are outraged, they are disgusted, they cannot, for a moment, fathom why I’m not either. In fact there must be something fundamentally wrong with me because I am not hopping up and down with rage and pumping my fists in agreement. The mad list is big. And growing. Microwaves, GMOs, girls not allowed to let their bra straps show, a brand telling me to eat salad instead of fries…. Yes the list is long, and nauseating. I am all for taking a stand. I do. And I get mad. Frequently. And I’ll be honest, I might even roll my eyes when I read your reasoning against my opinion. But I will not attempt to shame you into getting mad about something you just aren’t mad about. There are a million and one things to be mad about. I’m sure you will find yours. So yes please, tell me your thoughts. I want to hear them. Seriously. I want to know what’s going on in the word. I want to know what you are taking a stand for or against. I want to learn. I want to be inspired. But don’t stomp your feet and sulk like a three year old when I shrug my shoulders and move along. I will pick and choose what I find outrageous. Somewhere along the way it seems that it became fashionable, to some people, to just get mad about everything. Like somehow not finding something appalling to support your ideals on a daily basis means you are failing. But being mad just for the sake of being mad gets old quick. It’s like hammer pants and acid wash.