Saturday, January 17, 2015

Deleting Toxic...Everything

Last year was a walk through fire for me, and I can count on both hands (and on both feet) the number of horrible events that I had to deal with. I'm talking life altering stuff here. Not small irritations.

What made it worse was at the end of a shitty day, I'd go online to relax and see what was shaking on Twitter or Facebook-land and there was just so much sanctimonious crap to sift through. All this negativity from other people on every possible topic ranging from pop stars to politicians to race and religion.

It's really overwhelming, the level of hate this, hate that, hate her, hate him that gets broadcast across the interwebs every minute of every day. Some people post so much hateful crap that I've had to bite my fingers to keep from typing out: Do you like ANYTHING? Anything at all? Chocolate? Disco? Furries? Rubber suits and the smell of your own farts? I don't care what it is, really, just is there anything that you could post about other than this rabid fanatical armchair crap you're raging about?

After a while, when your life is already in a deep hole of despair, coming across this kind of raging, non-stop negativity feels like there is someone standing at the top of the hole and dumping dirt in on top of you, one shovelful at a time.

Around October of last year, I was in such a negative place I wanted to give up...well, just about everything. Writing, school, life, sanity, civilization. Just toss my hands up and walk away from it all. It was at that point I had to ask myself what was really bugging me - aside from the constant uncomfortable situations I kept finding myself in: a suicidal depression, court, classrooms, the funeral home, the doctor's office, and the list goes on and on. I realized that at the end of the day what was bugging me the most stemmed from the constant barrage of other people's negativity. And here's what's wrong with that: it's completely avoidable!

There's nothing quite like being in a (fragile) good mood and posting a picture of something you love online - pets, cars, supermodels, whatever - then having a quasi-stranger come to your page and take a big steaming shit on top of it because they're feeling snarky (aka, they think they're being clever, but really they're just a first rate asshole), or they're having a bad day, or whatever else their problem du jour happens to be. When they do this to something personal you post, for example, if you're posting about being worried about the future, and then they take a dump on that...well, cupcake, in a nutshell, fuck that person. I am soooo over letting people dump on me. Especially *especially* especially online.

I have taken to deleting every post, thread, user, person, "friend", follower, etc. etc. etc. if it 1.) offends me 2.) infuriates me  3.) disturbs me, or  4.) in any way makes me feel uncomfortable. People can post whatever they want. That's 100% fine with me. I really don't care. The point is, I don't have to listen to it. And from here on out, I won't be seeing it when I go onto my social media accounts to relax.

I have deleted over 100 people from social media accounts since October 2014, and let me tell you something.... It feels FANTASTIC to dump the toxic dead weight. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone suffering someone else's miserable online crap. Stop putting up with people who are pissing you off and making you unhappy.

If  the annoying party is connected with you on a social media account, and you're reluctant to delete them for any number of reasons....I totally understand that. I call it unfollower's guilt. You know, where you feel too guilty deleting someone because a.) you know them in real life, b.) they might realize you've deleted them and react, or c.) you feel guilty dumping them because you are "friends" even though they are a negative douchebag 99% of the time. But you know what?  As afraid as you might be to "dump" that person, they aren't going to change for you. They aren't even remotely concerned about your feelings. Over time, listening to their spew adds a lot of negativity, weight, and baggage to your "friendship" with them. Why do we ever put up with it?  It's totally not worth it.

The reality is, someone might be offended if they realize I delete them. So bloody what. I don't owe that person my time or attention, and if they are one of those folks who does nothing but hate this group or that, or they rehash some ranty garbage they plucked from a news cast or webpage, I am a much free-er, happier person for letting them go.

When I go online now, if I see a repeat offender in my timeline/news feed, they're gone. Remember Ally McBeal's dump truck?  Yeah, I hear it backing up. Social media comes equipped with delete, mute, and block buttons. If it means worrying about potentially hurting a stranger's feelings, versus being miserable because you have to see their mean-spirited posts all the time, don't ever be afraid to use those buttons. Your happiness is worth far more than being a sounding board for their misery.

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