It’s currently 4am Friday morning and I’m unable to sleep. The pain is too intense, the room is too hot, there is too much on my phone and my mind is too busy.
But I have learnt something in my newly accepted state of sleep deprivation and induced pain. It’s not that ‘Everything happens for a reason’ like some BS quote from Pinterest and I should just accept fate, but more and I’m going to say this louder for those at the back… ‘It’s how we deal with the cards we are dealt, that determine who we are as a person’.
Life is messy. There is drama, there is anger, there is heartbreak. But there is also love, and laughter and humanity. Everyday on the news, without even looking you can expect there to be another downfall of human integrity; another reason to be angry with the world, and to be in fear of what’s to come. Quickly emulated by immense terror online and attack at any of the minorities that so happened to be involved. There is always going to be death and illness and tragedy but there is also going to be miracles and cures and love, there is always going to be love.
Now as my fan whirls around in the background, being drowned out by the sound of my typing I could have stayed in bed, moaning at the world for this horrid situation it’s put me in, getting lost down an inescapable YouTube cat video and giant burger hole focusing purely on the pain from an intense surgery, the time and money I am loosing from not being able to work, the people and events I have to miss out on, OR I could spend the time learning to love myself, learning to love the world and learning to reignite the passion that I so rightly have lost in the corporate modern world and teach myself how to Social Media all over again.
We are so quick to hide behind metaphorical versions of ourselves; made up online creations that we think other people will like. We take that picture with our Instagram followers in mind, not ourselves. We tweet our victories and up-play them like a broadway show in order to seem accepted, and popular and liked. But do you know what’s hilarious about Social Media to me, right now – and this could be the post-operative drugs still floating around in my body. But Instagram and Twitter were still not ‘accepted’ spellings of words as I wrote this piece. I had to ‘add them to my dictionary’ to remove the dreaded red jagged line us writers loathe. I made them normal. I made them accepted. As so many of us do, day to day.
This isn’t a hate against social media, burn all your phones kinda post. Social Media, to me. Is one of the greatest tools of the modern world – but we have done it all wrong.
When it first started, back when you used to be able to throw sheep at people on Facebook it was about connecting with Friends and Family. It was about being able to see what is up, and how people were. It was nothing more than another way of connecting – it wasn’t a daily charade of online keyboard warriors fighting for the best spot as ‘Number One, Grade A Dickhead’; it definitely wasn’t about who can type the loudest or be the most ignorant, or both.
Social Media has changed, because we have allowed it. But does that mean we have to continue to let it be that way?
We have all played this major role in shaping the SM to be what it is today. We fuelled it’s fire and played it’s little games – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a loophole.
Life may have dealt us a shitty hand by taking away our save haven and allowing the bullies, the degraders, the assholes, the fascists, the racists and haters online too and destroying our escape. But it’s the way we deal with these online trolls, the worms and the vermin of the dark side of the internet that truly make us into the people our children can aspire to be.
You can hate, and moan about the way the world is turning, or you can do something about it.
You can’t boycott the internet – we are too far gone. But you can make the online space, a nicer place to be for all involved. Be your friends (be that online or IRL) cheerleaders, support and honour their successes, be there to catch them when they fall. Allow them the opportunity to express their freedom in which ever way they choose, empower them to speak their mind, laugh with their mistakes, cry with their misfortune and love with every ounce of your body, data and WiFi speed.
It’s not the card’s we are dealt that shape us, it’s the way we play them that make us into that better person we are all striving (and googling how) to be.