There was a time in my life when all of my social media posts had some political angle. I blame it on being young and angry. Or at the very least young and perturbed.
Then, a few years ago, several things in my life changed. My circumstances and understanding of the world didn’t quite align with the angry young man vibe. The frustration is still there, but the rage is mostly gone.
These days, the political landscape in the US is terrifying. Almost everyone I know is afraid of where our country is headed. Regardless of their ideology.
Fear is the emotion of the day.
The best way to deal with fear and uncertainty is to bring it from the depths of shadow into the light of reason.
I read that somewhere. Maybe in a fortune cookie… a huge fortune cookie.
So, I can’t complain when they name their fears on Facebook and Twitter. I understand and I agree.
But, I keep seeing this theme repeated in posts. This shaming for those of us who don’t espouse our politics on Facebook and Twitter. As if it is impossible to have political or moral ideals.
It isn’t true. Some of us have reasons to avoid it. I have three.
I’m a straight white dude
I figured I would start with the most and least obvious.
A lot of the scary stuff happening is being directed at people who fit into statistical demographics I do not represent. And, I think the members of that demographic are tired of people like me talking over them.
So, I stay quiet and listen.
I can have an effect every day
My day job lets me have an impact in the world in a small but important way.
My job isn’t glamorous. I take technical mumbo-jumbo and translating it into normal human words.
If I’m doing my job well, it might help someone get through a rough patch or figure out a hard situation.
It might not be much in the grand scheme of things. But, it is what I can do. And, there are so many small things like it being done by faceless cogs in the bureaucratic machine every day.
I don’t want the therapy
I used to bottle up my fear and frustration. I buried it deep in my stomach and left it there until it congealed into a pool of molten loathing.
It wasn’t healthy, and I was sure it would kill me, so I found a better way of dealing.
I spout whatever is in my brain. Then it’s done and I can move on with my life.
And, that’s what I don’t want to happen with these big, important things.
I’m afraid Facebook and Twitter make it too easy. For me, that instant gratification reward system kicks in and I lose something in that moment.
Something I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to let go of the anger.
Because if I do, I’m one step closer to being compliant.
But, don’t stop
I don’t want to make it sound like I think people should stop posting about their beliefs or fears on whatever platform they choose.
The world always benefits from more understanding.
But, I want to make sure we remember you can worry about the world and enjoy cat videos.
You may do both.