After a Twitter conversation this weekend with Heavy D and similar conversations with others over the past weeks and months and years (I've been complaining about this for a while, apparently), I had a tiny breakthrough about my ongoing angsty relationship with social media.
I have a like/hate relationship with social media. I'm typically an early adopter so I've tried all sorts of social media networks multiple times looking for the "right" network (for example, my active but pretty much abandoned Ello account) with the "right" network being a utopia, a fantasy world, a future Disney production that has zero negativity, zero complaining, and zero TMI.
This network does not nor will it ever exist. If it did, hardly anyone would sign up. People love their negativity, complaining and TMI and so do advertisers.
The simple realization I had (and this has been a long time coming) is we must be the positivity that we seek. We must be like the salmon of social media, swimming upstream, sharing positive thoughts and funny stuff and trying to share those things that someone else might not have seen, something that represents your own specific interests that might be specific enough to allow you to find others with similar specific interests.
We can turn social media into a place of encouragement and learning and good vibes at least on our own personal profiles, right? Maybe our examples will cause a revolution!! Or, maybe not but at least we won't be putting the same old crap out there. We won't be adding more fuel to the garbage fire that has engulfed so much of the internet and so much of our culture.
My problem with social media has been two-fold.
First, I have quit things many times. As soon as something (a blog, podcast, social network) gets splattered even a little bit with negativity, I run for the hills. I delete that profile, website, etc. like that will fix anything. I am all for deleting things that no longer have a positive impact on my life but I have been quite hasty in my decisions to quit things many times in the past and this is not a good thing.
Second, my latest strategy was to not quit things but to just fall silent, not participate, ignore. I realize now that this is no better than quitting. Nothing at all positive can come from having no voice at all. (One thought here - this is different from limiting time on social media which I think is necessary for productivity and good mental health.)
I've just got to be me and if that means sharing silly thoughts when the rest of the world can't stop talking about the Russians and all of the other bad news out there, so be it!