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 – A Teenage Girl VS Her Dad’s Girlfriend in a Social Media Smackdown

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-8-59-56-am

 I’m getting a lot of pressure to force my 17-year-old daughter to apologize for something she did on social media. The problem is I don’t think she did anything wrong and I want to high-five her and take her out for lunch and shopping.

 Here’s what happened. My loser of an ex husband’s girlfriend went on Facebook and as a status update asked my daughter, who can’t stand her, want she wanted for Christmas.  My daughter replied, “to turn back time and have you not sleep with married men.”

 For background purposes my husband and I were still married when he began seeing this woman and after our divorce my ex pressured my daughter to accept his girlfriend’s friend request.

 Well, you can imagine how things hit the fan after my child posted that statement. To make matters worse the slimy girlfriend was off Facebook for hours and didn’t see my child’s reply so that meant it was up for a while and got a lot of responses. Some were not very kind to the girlfriend who had told many people that my husband was separated when they began dating.

 Now, my ex wants our daughter to post an apology on Facebook for hurting his girlfriend’s feelings. I told him she shouldn’t have to apologize for telling the truth.

 What do you think Snarky?

 Signed, Proud Mama

 Dear Proud,

 Your husband’s girlfriend is a fool! Primarily because she should not have asked your daughter on a social media forum what she wanted for Christmas. Was she trying to show off and pretend that she and your daughter were BFF’s? It makes no sense. Good Lord, she could have at the very least communicated via private Facebook message. Also she must not know how a teenage girl’s mind works because I’d rather wrestle a rabid Grizzly than go head-to-head with an emotional 17-year-old who is working through very raw feelings about her parent’s divorce.

 As for having your daughter issue an apology on social media – worst idea ever!!!  It’s just going to stir things up again in a big way. Tell your ex he needs to let it go and in the future if his girlfriend wants to communicate with your daughter than she can deliver her message either in person or via your ex husband. 

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky, “21st Century Advice With An Attitude” email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or send me a PM on the Snarky FB page. 😉