Day after day, a tragedy strikes, makes the news and people talk about it on social media and what am I doing? Scrolling past it and re-sharing cat videos and posting about how I beat another boss in Hollow Knight that I was struggling with. (note to self: Get back to trying to beat the Broken Vessel when I’m not playing Witcher)
It’s pretty obvious that I’m totally clueless about what happens in the world and I don’t give a shit right?
WRONG. I got home last night after having dinner with my family and I was pooped out. Knowing had to go to work tomorrow, I shut off my phone, and went to bed.
The following morning I turned my phone on to receive a pop-up of an Amber Alert issued late last night of a missing 11-year old girl in the GTA. She was unfortunately found dead not long after the alert went out and the father was arrested and charged with first degree murder. My dad turned on his phone and it set off a loud alarm from the alert that startled me as I was washing my cats’ food dishes.
My heart goes out to the mother who is devastated to lose her child and my anger to anyone who who decided to call 911 to complain about the alert interrupting their sleep or late night TV show. Talk about selfish. How would you feel if your own child went missing and no alert was sent out about it? You can catch up on your show or sleep another night.
After work, my dad and I sat down and talked about what we thought about the incident and the late night Amber Alert.
So, you can clearly see that I am aware that this kind of shit happens in the world, but if you don’t know me beyond the Internet that well, it’s easy to get the misconception that I am oblivious or don’t care. Why is that?
Because I don’t post about it on social media.
The last time I recall ever sharing something on social media about some tragedy was that 2015 terrorist attack in Paris. I shared images and left my prayers and that was the last time I ever participated.
I use Facebook and Instagram to laugh, smile, swoon, and connect with my friends near and far. I share things that I love with my friends and family that I don’t get to see everyday. If I really wanted to discuss another ridiculous act that the orange crybaby running America has initiated or a murder in another city, I read the news and talk about it with friends and family, in person. That way, there is no misinterpretation of words when we communicate and we can reach mutual respect if our opinions differ. Online, it’s easy to rant about something you think is appalling and anyone who disagrees can start a flame war and you could lose friends for it.
Not just that, but I simply do not come on social media to see these kinds of tragedies and scandals that make me upset. In fact, I try to go onto social media to escape anything that makes me angry or heartbroken. I also use social media to escape my stresses in real life by engaging with who and what makes me happy, so hence that is also why I don’t share my struggles with autism and anxiety online either. But clearly, I need to lower those expectations because no matter what sort of event unfolds, the scandal or tragedy will find its way into my newsfeed.
I see enough of all the bad things that happen in the world in the news media and at the dinner table and I personally think that Facebook is the wrong place to talk about that stuff. If you want to get all stressed or saddened about some tragic event, why can’t you just comment on a news article or forum dedicated to it? Better yet, talk about it in person instead.
Sadly, social media has become the central hub for sharing every misfortune that happens in the world, and because of that norm, it’s common for people to probably think that I don’t care or am too tuned out.
One time I was in a Facebook group chat and the two people in it were talking politics nonstop. I was getting tired of the notifications and kindly asked if we could change the subject. But one of the participants refused and said it was important to talk about it. Yeah? Well you’ve been talking about it for the past eight hours, don’t you think it’s time to move onto something else?
You may call me some heartless space cadet who’s too shy to have her voice heard and hides under a rock, but I’m here to bust that. I do care about these things, but I shouldn’t have to share it on Facebook about who should and shouldn’t run my country or my condolences to the survivors of a destructive tornado that hit the town North of me, to show you that I care and am in touch with what happens in the world.
You really want to know what I think about these things? Let’s chat about it next time we hang out face to face. Can’t see me in person? Then let’s text or call. I’ve got enough stress in my life and I don’t need to add to it by sharing or seeing it on my newsfeed. I’m going to stick to posting cat videos and maybe some Cthulhu artwork.