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On Social Media

Ten years ago, I joined Facebook and just quietly watched as people would post to my wall, wish me happy birthday, or share their random thoughts.

Today, as I type this, I have 581 friends. These friends all have differing races, backgrounds, histories, religions, cultural backgrounds, and political opinions. However, over the past 24 hours I’ve been personally insulted because of my political opinions and my friends have been insulted on my own page (which can be equated to someone insulting someone else at the same gathering in my own home) for their own political opinions.

I’ve seen people say things passive aggressively about me today as well as in the past about varying things from Politics to my own health issues.

On social media, and even more so since the onset of our most recent election, I’ve read so much “we need to eradicate the Muslims” “we need to kill all mentally ill” and “we just need to get rid of anyone who isn’t a Christian because God will do it anyway” “People like YOU are the reason this country is going to shit” and “Gays should die!” kinds of posts and responses to others, that it makes me sad.  It stresses me out. It hurts me to see people behave in this manner.

Last weekend, my husband went away for a couple days and I, for the most part, stayed off social media. The pain in my teeth from the constant gritting I’ve been doing since early December started to subside. As soon as I opened up my social media app again on the way home, the anxiety came back. The backstabbing, insulting, hatred, rumors, speculations and absolute embarrassments were in front of me again.

I cannot allow myself to be a part of that any longer.

I cannot draw myself into a conversation about how horrible certain people are.

I cannot allow my friends to hate on each other in my own ‘personal space’.

I can no longer bear witness to people hurting others in the name of religion

Over an election

Over race

Over sexual preference

Over an opinion.

I have very strong political and religious opinions, however, I’ve also learned that voicing those on social media only leads to more stress and anxiety because of backlash from those who don’t agree with me.

And so, I’m backing you off. I’m backing me off. I’m doing this not because I don’t want to be your friend any longer, but instead, because i want to remain so. 

I’m turning social media back into what I originally meant for it to be, which is just a means to keep a few people in touch with me: family, some friends and a few contacts for my disability.

And so, if I’ve unfriended you, it’s not a slap in the face. Don’t think I hate you. I do not. I need to distance myself for me. I need to distance myself for you because obviously, for some of you, my opinions make you rather irate.

I feel that as a country, we are at the cusp of repeating a very dark and sad time. I understand those who want change.  I understand those who did not want to see history repeating itself twice in their own lifetime. I understand people not wanting to ‘re-elect’ someone to office, or even have someone in office who has a proven negative track record. I get that. It’s why I didn’t vote for a first female President this time. For me, it would have taken more than just estrogen and two X chromosomes to make it happen.

I also didn’t vote for reality TV star, real estate tycoon, narcissism either.

But, the way I see it, the irony is that by voting  against her, some of you voted FOR narcissism. You voted for a person who wants change THEIR way, not the way the majority wants. You voted for tyranny. You voted for bullying. You voted for sexism, racism and hate. But I dare not say that much on social media. I’d be insulted by my friends who see things differently than I do.

I dare not say that I don’t want to say anything about it on social media.  I’d be insulted by my friends who DO see things the same as I do for NOT saying anything.

Today, though, I was told that since I did not vote for the woman who was the First Lady of the state I currently reside in, I automatically voted FOR this hatred. I was told that directly. Again, I did not vote for anyone who has lived in the state of New York within the past 10 years. But somehow, I’m to blame.

The level of disrespect I’ve seen over the past year has been heartbreaking. Disrespect of myself, my friends and our fellow humans in general. The only way that we can resolve that is to first improve ourselves. If social media makes you have to take Xanax just to get through the day, then maybe you need to step away, too.

And that is what I’m doing first. I’m stepping away the only way that I know how without worrying my family or disappearing altogether.

And so again, this isn’t against any of you. It’s about me and my own health, anxiety (and my god, my teeth!).

I don’t hate anyone.  Hate is a strong word.  I don’t dislike anyone I’m departing from.

I’m just disappointed in my friends, in the state I live in and in society in general. If I keep you around, don’t think of it as winning a lottery or a friendship contest. I’m being very selective in that regard. Again, family and my immediate support network both in health and friendships are what’s sticking around.

I’ll still be around.  I can be found in my groups I moderate. I can be found in the neighborhood groups. I can be found on my site for my blog and the one for my craft. You’re welcome to find me there.

I just can’t with the hatred, entitlement and disrespect any longer. I just can’t.

Peace, Love and Unicorns.