These past few weeks I have begun to notice a really bad trend on my social network feeds. And it has been amongst people that I am or have been close to in life. Both friends and family. I don't know what has been going on with people lately, but there is so much anger and bitterness. I had left a status saying "Apparently it's ambiguous, passive-aggressive, crappy status week on Facebook. I must have missed that memo." Because it really seemed that way. Maybe I, along with some others, are just too thin-skinned and read way too much into things. But regardless, we are all adults now. Adults with jobs, families of our own, and responsibilities. There is so much more going on in this world, and life is too short to be so mean and judgmental. Especially when it is towards people you call/ed friends. I have been guilty of it in the past, I can fully admit to that. And then when it happened to me, I felt the hurt that I made someone else feel and I vowed to never do it again. But mostly, I've learned that since moving so far away from my home and loved ones, friendships & family mean everything. You realize just how much you love them when you need them the most. And you aren't doing yourself any favors by leaving such snotty things on a social forum for everyone to see.
Another parenting page left this status the other day, and I loved it.
" I think sometimes we forget that social media sites are made up of real people. Every hurtful word that's carelessly flung hits someone. The web is not a free pass to be our anonymous, worst selves. If we're not kind on the internet, then we're not kind."
I expect ( but do not respect or condone) trolls to be hurtful and unkind. But when people I've known just about my whole life act that way, I'm totally stunned. Even if it isn't towards me.
Now, onto the other side of this topic. Sometimes it is hard to look past what people say. Words hurt. There are times where I sit and think " I cannot believe that Facebook/Twitter ( or whatever) is causing me this much stress." I know I am not alone in this feeling. It's crazy, isn't it? Crazy and stupid. I use these networks because it brings me closer to home. It is an obsession, yes. But I have no other way to share photos or updates on our life with my parents or in-laws. Some days I want to completely delete my accounts altogether just because people can be so mean and childish. Other days I want to comment and be just as snarky, but I know that by doing so I am no better than that person, and that it will just cause more problems. I try to remember that I'm not alone in thinking that what they said is completely out of line. I know that I have my family, my home, my pets. I live in an amazing city and have done/seen so much that it makes my head and heart spin. The bitterness people project onto others says more about them than it does you. Take the high road, and leave it off the internet. It's tough sometimes, but really, you will be the better person for not saying anything.
I have lost friendships over something totally stupid said on Facebook. Some of them have been with friends, some even with family. It is really difficult to maintain those types of relationships when people are so far away. It's like text messages, because you can't really grasp the emotion being used when people send them. We all have so much going on in our lives that it becomes overwhelming at times, and then you hop online, read something and a trigger is pulled. We lose our patience, feelings are hurt and the damage is done. I've learned that walking away is all you can really do before anything more happens. That stupid saying " if it comes back it was meant to be..." is really true. I have had people come back into my life that I never expected to talk to again, and it's like nothing ever happened.
No matter how old we are, we never stop growing. You learn something new every day. It can be about yourself, about life in general, or about someone else. Just remember that you have people that love you for who you are, and know the good in you. Those are the people that matter. Not someone hell bent on being a bully over the internet.
" If we're not kind on the internet, then we're not kind."