Social Media is Breaking Me

I’m doing a pause on social media. I’m thinking of it as a little vacation for my mental wellbeing. And yes I know what you’re thinking. It’s probably the exact same thing my husband was when I told him this and he sarcastically responded, “There goes most of your column fodder.”

Indeed, a wealth of aggravation in which to serve as writing prompts has now left the building but I need this break desperately.

There is a slight caveat to this whole “break” business. I have to be on social media daily for some work-related projects. Then there’s the one true love of my life – my Snarky in the Suburbs Facebook page which I could never abandon. But I have successfully managed to modify my accounts so that I don’t see a lot of posts from most of the humans I know while I’m on social media

This is key because reading, really even glancing at the recent posts from “friends” was making me sad. Again, another tiny caveat – I start out angry and then morph to sad. This sadness is not just a momentary blip but an intense feeling like a weighted blanket of despair.

It’s odd but the posts that finally had me saying bye-bye weren’t that shocking. They were just so selfish and tone deaf I couldn’t take it anymore.

It started out with the incredibly moronic social media trend called “Challenge Accepted.” This is where women nominate other women to post black and white photos of themselves with lofty hashtags like #womensupportingwomen and #FemaleEmpowerment

Are you kidding me? How does sharing a (usually sexy) photo of yourself on Facebook in any way support other women or stand for  female empowerment? Short answer: it doesn’t. Good lord for most of these women the real challenge would be not to post a selfie on social media.

The comments that accompanied these photos were just as annoying. “So pretty.” “OMG, you’re still hot.” “Werk it gurl.” Yes, by all means let’s associate female empowerment with being hot. Haven’t we as women been trying to for oh, I don’t know centuries to not be judged solely on our appearance?

But sure, let’s go ahead during a raging pandemic amidst a time of racial and social injustice upheaval and post a black and white photo of our face and feel like we’re now an activist for positive world change.

The final push off the social media ledge was the unapologetic, self-centeredness of a group of mothers. Hissy fits were being had because some schools had made the decision to start the year with virtual instruction. There was extended bitching about how their children were “being robbed,” how “everything needed to go back to normal no matter what” and that they were “tired of doing teachers’ jobs for them.”

Nowhere in this “poor me” harangue was there any concern for their children’s educators or school’s support staff health. It was all me, me, me. What I want. What I need. What I demand.

 It haunted me.

I would have thought all the conspiracy theories, the blatant disregard for science, and the total absence of common sense would have been the trifecta that caused me to run away from social media but no it was the total lack of compassion from mothers for anyone but themselves that was the straw that broke my news feeds back.

What has happened to us? When did we reach the point where it’s appropriate behavior to show zero regard for your fellow human beings? Even worse we’re not just showing it but  shouting it from the metaphorical rooftop of social media and getting a whole lot of hearts and thumbs up in the process.

I need a break. A break from a world where you’re cheered for being a self-involved fool.

Dear Snarky – I’m Getting Attitude For Taking a Pass On Our Family Easter Dinner

Dear Snarky,

 My parents and sister are acting like spoiled brats and being totally clueless about social distancing.

 Not only are my parents, who are in their late 60s, still going to the grocery store almost every day like they don’t have a care in the world but my sister and her six kids are hanging out with my parents.

She’s even dropping her kids off at their house so they can babysit because she needs “a break” and her Bunko group still got together last week. 

 It’s like the coronavirus is happening to other people. My sister had the nerve to actually call me “selfish” for saying there was no way I was going to attend a family Easter dinner. She also said that I was ignoring my parents.

 I’m not ignoring anyone on purpose I’m following the rules. I also have a child with asthma so you can bet we’re hunkered down at home.

 Why am I being made to feel like the bad guy for sheltering in place? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

 Signed, Ticked Off

Dear Ticked,

 I don’t really have any words of comfort for dealing with idiot family members except know that you are not alone AND that this is the time where you need to unapologetically stick to the rules.

 I would also, and I’m sure you have already done this, explain to your parents and sister why these stay home mandates are so important. Perhaps graphs or a pie chart might help or pictures of overwhelmed hospitals.

 Sadly, the bottom line is it’s hard to herd idiots. Some humans are just predisposed to be morons who thrive at picking and choosing what they want to believe like they’re at an all you can eat buffet of stupidity.

 You can only control your own situation and I applaud you for following the rules. Stay strong and don’t let your family bully or manipulate you into doing anything else. Lives depend on us staying home. You’re doing the right thing.

 P.S. Your sister sounds like a total tool.

Covidiots

When we make it through the other side of this Covid-19 nightmare I’m hoping future generations won’t look back and say, “What a bunch of idiots.”

Because that’s what I’m thinking right now – idiots. Spoiled, selfish, willfully clueless stooges.

I don’t remember ever being more disappointed in humans. I’m literally going to go running in the streets screaming, while maintaining a safe space six feet distance from other pedestrians, if I hear one more person justify taking their spring break trip in the midst of a pandemic because they had “already paid for it” or “didn’t know it was that bad.”

Are-You-Kidding-Me? You knew it was “that bad” because when the majority of spring breaks happened almost every single college and university in the country had closed down because of the coronavirus. Institutes of higher learning don’t take the unprecedented action of sending more than 20 million students home on a lark. They do it because things are bad, tragically bad.

And that “we already paid for it” argument, well, guess what? The rest of us are now paying for it. It doesn’t matter that you posted on Facebook that you “came home healthy” or your teens are “sunburn and feeling great” because you can have Covid-19 and not know it nor show symptoms and yet you can still spread it with a vengeance. And P.S. as a citizen of the world you should be informed enough to already have this knowledge.

Also, if you have a college aged student that you are supporting financially and you shared on social media that you “can’t tell a 19-year-old to not go on spring break” I’m going to conjecture that the coronavirus might not be your biggest problem.

The fact is the spring breakers knew all this and still chose to go for no better reason than that they wanted to. Damn the science and those pesky guidelines. Those apparently are for other people.

There are friends I’m deeply disappointed with because they’ve been so self-indulgent. Please note these are people I thought were very intelligent who valued science. But I guess science is now something you pick and choose when to believe as befits your lifestyle or spring break travel plans.

If I sound harsh sorry not sorry because I know I’m not alone. There are now therapy websites giving suggestions for how to deal with family and friends that are not following the Center for Disease Control guidelines. #covidiots.

But what about strangers that have chosen being oblivious as their current course of action during this siege? The people who apparently have zero spatial awareness and no compunction about getting within kissing distance of you while in the self-check-out line or the people treating a trip to the grocery store like it’s a family reunion?

Public health officials and grocery stores are pleading with people to only send one person per family. Why is that so hard to understand? The grocery store is not a “fun outing” it’s a tactical Ninja maneuver where you want to avoid people and get in and out as quickly as possible.

And I feel immensely stabby when I still see people still clinging to the “It’s just like the flu. The flu kills more people” mantra. Are these people so brain impaired that they live in a constant state of denial or do they cling to falsehoods in an effort to justify their behavior of doing whatever they damn well please?

While I’m on the topic of denial let’s talk about all the claims of “fake news” or the “hysterical media.” My thoughts on this are if you think the news is fake or the media is blowing the coronavirus out of proportion than check out the World Health Organization or the CDC websites. Also, here’s the deal about throwing around the phrase “fake news” – just because you don’t like the news doesn’t make it fake.

For instance, I’m overweight. That is a fact. Do I like being told that? No. But it doesn’t make the information any less accurate. So, just because you are choosing not to believe the Covid-19 data doesn’t erase its scientific merit and calling it fake doesn’t give you a magical shield of protection it just makes you an egocentric ignoramus. Quite possibly an ignoramus that is not going to follow best practices and result in us being under lockdown well into the summer.

As for the hoarders I can’t go there right now. It’s hurts my heart too much. I currently don’t have the emotional bandwidth to fully digest this level of selfishness.

Perhaps, nothing symbolized to me people’s lack of concern for anyone but themselves more than when I found two used latex gloves in the parking lot of my grocery store. The gloves were by the cart corral and I can only surmise that this gloved person upon returning their cart, took off the gloves and threw them on the pavement because they didn’t need them anymore nor did they want the germ laden gloves in their car.

So, bye-bye gloves and hello some overworked grocery store employee having to pick up your pandemic detritus.

I’m urging everyone, myself very much included, to try to do better so that not only do we come out of this healthy but with a newfound sense of compassion and intelligence that supersedes are own immediate wants and needs.