So I’ve been private on a different social media platform for a bit. But I’m going back to public on Sunday. I needed to get through this (emotional) week…the last thing I wanted to deal with was some ass on the Internet setting up stupid fake social media accounts just to harass me. I mean, they aren’t even original or even slightly creative. Total work of an unimaginative, inside-the-box thinker (I do use that last word lightly).
I tell people about the experiences I’ve had on that particular platform, and they’re all like: why don’t you just leave? Or be anonymous.
Answer: Because I don’t live my life in fear. These accounts don’t scare me; once upon a time they would have. I’d have feared for my safety and whatever else I could fear for. But I get it now: the law is on MY side. And occasionally a social media platform’s Terms of Service, too.
Answer: Because no way in hell will I allow someone who is so unable to manage their own life or deal with their own sickness to dictate what I say or where I go or what I do on the Internet. This is a big, beautiful, fake HTML coded world. Plenty of other places to hang out and people to harass…go find someone who doesn’t understand the nature of bullies and cares more.
Answer: …unless, of course, you have some kind of personal vendetta to address with me in particular. In that case, you’re getting absolutely nowhere, because you’re too much of a coward to use your real name and real picture. I find a lot of the accounts so laughable. Example: I’m as ugly as Shrek. Am I? Really. Well, then, let’s see YOUR face so we can see how stunning you are. Example: I’m a 400 lb beached mermaid, a fat brown cow, and some other dorky attempts at fat shaming. First, I’m not anywhere near 400 lbs. And even if I were, there’s like a whole lot of people out there in the world who find that gorgeous. Just because your shallow ass doesn’t doesn’t make it true. Example: I can’t manage my life. LOL so hard because psssst…I’m not the psycho setting up anonymous, fake social media accounts getting muted, blocked, and reported. I have a job. And I pay my bills. And I’m surrounded by friends and family who love me. I live in a nice apartment with nice furniture, and while I may be in debt up to my eyeballs, I do have some income to play with to go out to nice dinners and buy nice clothes. How about you? You got all that? In between wasting time on the Internet in really unimaginative, unproductive ways, that is. (eye roll.)
Answer: Because I’m kinda done being a doormat for other people…at least on the Internet I am. (I still kinda am a doormat though, in real life. But SHHHH!!! Don’t TELL anybody.)
This leads me to want to talk about social media. I have a love/hate relationship with it.
I love that it connects us. I love that it lets us share information and ideas really fast. I love that it’s sort of socioeconomic and famous/non-famous equalizer.
I hate that it connects us…to the detriment we aren’t PERSONALLY, offline, connecting with each other in meaningful ways. I hate that it lets us share information and ideas really fast…because sometimes the information is bad and the ideas are wonky. I hate that it’s sort of an equalizer…because some people think they know you, based on what you put out there.
Listen: until you and I meet for drinks and/or dinner and I personally tell you what’s going on in my brain or my heart or my life, don’t make assumptions about what I choose to share on a platform. A former friend once accused me of making a lot of references to her on one of my social media accounts, and she couldn’t have been further from the truth. Nothing I’d posted had anything to do with her…because of her constant, chaotic emotional state she was making wild assumptions (and she also thinks she’s got special powers, and she. does. not.). Have I used social media to vent and be angry? Yes. Is that okay? Probably not. Is it fair? No.
I’m learning. And I’m growing. Just like anybody reading this is. We’re all works in progress. Some are farther along than others, and some aren’t even anywhere near the starting gate of the Progress Racetrack. Or even in the same county, city, state, country, or continent, and sometimes – for “people” like the ones that set up fake social media accounts to bully and harass – not even the same planet.
Ditto for what I write on this blog. (Which is still ending, some time next month. I just have to find the motivation to go set up a new one…it’s a process.)
Twitter, I’ve noticed, seems particularly bad when it comes to this stuff. Maybe because…I don’t know. Your grandma isn’t on Twitter? Grandmas are on Facebook, and nobody wants to upset Grandmas. Also, on Twitter, people just seem to feel entitled to other people, complete strangers. They think they can say whatever they want, as if they’re good friends or have some kind of magical access to their inner beings or whatever.
I’m not sure what to do about that. I do know that I started an account there to connect to other writers and gently harass (in kind and not threatening or kooky or scary ways) my favorite thespians and other famous people.
I will say I don’t think politicians count. They have direct control over our lives…if they’re acting like asswipes and they have a social media account, by god YES you can be an asswipe back to them. Their asswipery can directly mess up your life. Example: Trump. Plus, he’s exactly the kind of person who DOESN’T need access to social media. Social media was not created for certain types of people. I’m not talking age or anything here; I’m talking grasp on reality. And common decency.
You know what I’m really ashamed of about my own social media behavior? How I’ve treated men I love and/or care about. I’m thinking specifically of B here, who I can’t have a relationship with on any level…even if I hadn’t said some of the things I’ve said I couldn’t. We didn’t have a friendship; we had a…something. But not a friendship. The next time I get involved with a man at that level, we’ll be friends first. I am determined. (Hide the wine, though, y’all.) And I get now that some things should be handled directly and in private. I failed there, over and over, for a long time. And I’d say I’m sorry and then get all mad and go do it again.
Sitting in a Unity class on Sunday, the minister said the best way to handle conflict is directly. Don’t go to Person B or Person C. I do agree with this in theory, but sometimes you need a quiet, non-judgmental Person B or C to listen to you because Person A is completely crappy at communicating and you need to bounce ideas off someone else before approaching them.
In addition, I was just talking to a friend today, telling her it’s just NOW, at 45 years old, I’m realizing I probably struggle with Anxiety a lot. And possibly ADD. It causes me to overthink, to overanalyze, to overcare, to overlove, to overdo pretty much everything. I get irrational. I get weird. I get angry. And sometimes I have a terrible time with impulse control.
Which is so weird! Because at work, I’m kind of the opposite (with impulse control). I hold back and really really watch before I act or speak. However, the overthinking and internal worrying/analyzing never ever stops. It’s not fun, y’all. It’s not fun.
So, like when I was stalked/harassed by that guy I’d gotten close to and he was so abusive and called me all these names…and this cowardly, anonymous weirdo who’s calling me names…and this former friend who keeps sending me UNWANTED emails calling me names…these are people who are deeply, deeply troubled. Trust: whatever I have done or said online is like about 1/4 of the venom I’m getting from them. I get the stalker guy and the former woman friend – they feel betrayed. I do NOT understand the troll with the accounts. There’s not a thing I can do about former friends who feel I lied to them and betrayed them. That’s their issue, they’re responsible for their own feelings, not me. The troll I can just ignore and do my thang. Again…they’re responsible for their own feelings, not me. I can address their abuse via legal avenues though. And also? On Pinterest a few weeks ago? I found a really awesome hex against villains. And I have sage. DON’T PLAY LIKE I WON’T USE IT, YO.
In related news: I’m joining the Unity church Miss M and I have been attending. I like their teachings. The minister was actually married for a bit to the founders’ great-granddaughter. What I like about Unity is that they’re very Buddhistian. For a long time, I’ve told people (if they’ve asked what religion I am) that I’m a Buddistian. Which is a cross between a Buddhist and a Christian. I like Buddha. I like Jesus. I like their teachings of non-attachment (which I suck at), letting go (which I also suck at), love (which I’m pretty good at), forgiveness (which I suck at), and peace (which I’m good at in theory, but not at certain times of the month). In other words, I’m a crappy Christian and a REALLY unsuccessful Buddhist. But I’m going in anyway! Cuz learning. (and soul growth and healing and progress.)
They are Bible-based, but they read it metaphysically. Like, the story of Adam and Eve. There wasn’t ever an actual Adam and Eve, a garden, a snake, or an apple. Adam and Eve each represent humans, but also an aspect or characteristic of human beings we all have. The garden represents something, the apple and the snake…each represent a part of each of us that is in all of us. The garden is peace, the apple is choice, the snake is temptation. That kind of thing. This way of reading ancient religious texts works better for my searching, questioning, logic-prone brain but also helps my heart that loves the mystical, magic, and the unknown. I literally can’t deal with conversations that go like this:
ME: But how do you know that’s really what happened?
Xtian fundamentalist: Because the Bible says that.
ME: But how do you know?
XF: Because it’s in The Bible.
ME: But what if it’s wrong?
XF: It’s not wrong.
ME: But how do you know?
XF: Because it’s in The Bible.
AAAAAAAAGGGGHHHHH. Ripping. Hair. Out. Banging. Head. On wall.
They don’t really pray as much as they affirm goodness, love, and light. They meditate. (Prayer is us talking to God, meditation is us listening…you guys have no IDEA how hard this is going to be for me, someone whose brain literally never stops wandering or thinking or talking to itself. I am often quiet on the outside; on the inside the chatter is loud and chaotic.)
They say things like “Mother Father God.” Which often gets them told they’re pagans and going to hell. (But why does God have to be a BOY?? Why does God have to be ANYTHING?? What if God is formless? What if God is literally the atoms that make up every single bit of us and everything on this planet AND in the Universe?? What if there is nothing that is NOT connected and part of God, that in each breath we take, we are literally breathing in an ancient-beyond-ancient-beyond-ancient piece of chemical stardust that connects us all, from which flows synchronicity and serendipity and all that is and ever was and ever shall be? WHAT IF.)
Today is Wine Day, and yes, I’m drinking wine (a nice Pinot Noir), but no I’m not drunk. Totally sober right now. Just thinking.
It’s not a religion, just a way of thinking. In fact, one of their goals is to enable their members to go out and do/be/have what they were always meant to do/be/have. If that means leaving the church, yay! You figured you out!! Go YOU.
There are people in this church who are Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, and whatever else you can think of who have regular churches or synagogues or mosques or temples or home living rooms they attend each Friday, Saturday, Sunday or whenever…but their home places of worship are not quite fulfilling some sort of calling they have. Some sort of seeking they’re being pulled to do. And so they find Unity and its teachings and they come to services every once in awhile.
I, however, since about right after my dad died, have studied and followed and agreed with their teachings. And I feel peaceful and at home in this place. And so I’m joining and staying.
…I really have no idea how I went from social media angst to peace and love and Unity. I’m sure there was a reason. Maybe I’m getting to a place where it just all is what it is. (But I’m still filled with anxiety. And I will always be an overthinker, bless my little heart.)
The good thing about me is I’m also and over LOVER. If I love you, I may do and say wonky things, but you are always loved. Even if we don’t talk again. If I have to come to you and say: LEAVE ME ALONE. It’s because you’re doing something that hurts me so terribly and wounds me so deeply I can no longer love you like I once did. I don’t hate anyone, not even a sad little troll who can’t get it together. But just because I’m trying to stay grounded in love doesn’t mean I have to talk to you, doesn’t mean we’re having lunch dates, doesn’t mean I’m going to give you want you want, or even be that nice to you if you attempt – after I’ve very firmly asked or told you not to – to engage with me, especially if you insist on doing it in ways that are abusive and unloving. Not doing that, and I have no patience or room in my life for it anymore. I’ve got my own issues to work through…you go fix you.
Next up: I’m going to address polyamory. (Ha, I’m kidding…maybe. If I don’t have anything to write about this weekend and feel like writing I will do that. Because it fascinates me.)
Okay. I’m done. I’m operating on 3 hours of sleep. I’m going to hit publish on this and let the cards fall where they may and go fall asleep to Netflix. Last night I watched Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark (oh, young Harrison Ford! you were yummy). Tonight I might try a musical. I like to keep my options open. But only with my media, not my people.