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.

The De-Clutter Challenge

I hate social media. Okay, perhaps I don’t hate it. It’s more that I find it aggravating.

Go ahead and post 1,000 photos of yet another stellar European vacation or even your hot self wearing a bikini and killing it at age 50. None of that bothers me.

I don’t even care when the super moms of the world daily share about their kids breaking another sports record on the same day they received the “great, but totally expected news” that their teen genius got a perfect ACT score. Bring it! I’m all over hitting the “heart” and “wow” emoji for you.

What’s zapping my mojo is when people share life improvement tips that morph into a series of show off moments. The latest one is the 30-day De Clutter Challenge. For the record it’s bad, not as bad as the “Gratitude Posts” that sweep Facebook two years ago, but give it time.

At first I was all about it. There’s a calendar that shows what area of clutter you need to work on every day. I was excited and ready to actually take part in a Facebook group. I clicked on “join” and was raring to go. Count me in on being part of the Summer 2017 De-Clutter frenzy.

What I didn’t expect was all the humble bragging. For example, last week it said to “go through old shoes.” There should have been an asterisk next to that challenge stating “and by ‘go through’ we don’t mean posting on social media about your shoes.”

I get it. A sizeable portion of the female population has a shoe fetish. How else can you explain DSW? But, what I don’t get is fools who pay upwards of a $1,000 for footwear that resembles something a fashion forward Pilgrim would have worn boarding the Mayflower on a breezy fall day in 1620. (I’m talking to you Manolo Blahnik.)

Furthermore, who uses a de-clutter challenge as an opportunity to post about the heartache of deciding what four figure designer shoes to purge? Please, stop. Everyone knows there’s a better chance that these women would rather sell their blood plasma than get rid of single shoe.

The shoe show and tell then lead to closet tours which scared me because I didn’t get all goofy with storage lust. Is something wrong with me because I have no desire to remake a bedroom into a closet with a trio of chandeliers and a “hand bag bar”?

If you’re wondering right now what a “hand bag bar” is let me break it down for you. It’s basically a kitchen island in your closet where you display your purses on Lucite stands.

I’m so old school I still share a closet with my husband. The horrors! And if I was going to display something it would be the pair of jeans I’ve been trying to fit into for two decades. (That right there is what I need help with – letting go of things that will never happen.)

The next day when the challenge was to clean out your frig these same shoe women started posting pictures of their commercial size refrigerators. The appliances, the size of a Sasquatch, were so big I’m positive they would cause my home’s electrical panel to explode. One group member, I kid you not, shared a picture of herself inside her refrigerator. I’m afraid that was the final straw.

I decided to go rogue. I de-cluttered my life from these women. Yep, I dropped out of the group that had become less about home organization and more about overt show boating. Now, not that I would ever humble brag myself, but that’s what I call a very efficient life purge.