It’s just past 4:00 am (The Witching Hour) and I’ve been awake for the last half hour or so. Unable to sleep for the second night because of a misunderstanding that has cut too deep and been carried too far, and a grammar correction, that for some reason, really bothered me; enough that I woke up just to give myself a grammar lesson. The grammar correction didn’t hurt my feelings, just my over-critical brain. That was an easy problem to solve. Now all that is needed is to kill off old bad speech habits.
The misunderstanding has me thinking about how we have come to communicate as a society and how social media is shaping the way we deal with emotional issues and the problem of the acute narcissism that may be being over-developed by all of us.
Clearly, we have elected the leader of this country (regardless of collusion or not) who is by his very nature a narcissist and uses social media as his primary method of communication, simultaneously building his own ego and attacking his supposed enemies.
It’s no wonder that we have developed a thin-skinned and at the same time vitriolic means of communicating through social media. This sense of “Don’t you dare post anything that I may not like, or I will (or my friends will) call you the most hateful names, or threaten you, or make you pay in some way.”
There is really no way to win in a game where the rules of engagement aren’t clear and at any moment, the most innocent phrase or imperfect meme can set off a firestorm of hurt feelings and angry outbursts, by people who don’t know you or worse by those who should know better because they do know you.
This assumption that anything or everything shared or posted on someone’s social media page is meant to be a personal attack is becoming so prevalent, that it’s no wonder a foreign actor can infiltrate our personal communication systems and influence a political election.
I’ll admit whenever a friend of mine writes about or shares something lambasting “liberals” (something I am and quite proud to be) it does sting, and I do have the urge to call them out, but I don’t one because I know they are not attacking me personally and two because by engaging in the discourse that has already ensued, I am simply exacerbating the vitriol. The minute that names are called and individuals are lumped into an easily but wrongly defined clump, the conversation is already soiled.
It’s been just a few weeks over a year since I last wrote here, and I’m hoping that this release of words will get me started again, because, while I have on occasion, felt the urge to write, I have stopped myself. Once too often I’ve silenced my voice for the sake those who don’t actually deserve it or care about me enough to hear me, but I am old enough now and hopefully wise enough to know that I am at my best when I express myself here and in some way work out the things I want to say verbally, face-to-face to the people whom I love and want to speak my truth to in person.
In the past, I’ve written about the importance of our stories and that the telling of them is a gift we give to the world. Our stories are shared as our nature is human nature. What we as individuals face, we as a species face. The telling of our stories cleanse ourselves and can help in the healing of others.
It’s taken me about an hour to get out these last 600+ words. I feel a little more clear and if you’ve read to this point, thanks, I hope in some way it’s helped you too.