Saturday, August 26, 2017

Anger Has Us All By the Balls

Is it just me, or is everyone angry about something? I’m not talking about being slightly offended by everything. I’m talking about full-blown, almost manic, anger. Obviously, United States politics is the most common source of this universal fury, but it also exists on less serious platforms.

Take blogging, for instance. Recently, I’ve read numerous opinion pieces on dress codes and the costs of back to school supply lists. Some of these posts generated some doozies in the comments sections. And in turn, those comments elicited snarky comebacks by those in support of the author, branding the “trolls” for having a difference in opinion. The comments sections of these blogs have almost become a fun sort of entertainment for onlookers…except…it’s not.

As I sit here angrily writing a blog post about anger, I have to grudgingly admit that anger seems to have us all by the balls. As a society, we are using it as a platform for hate, rather than a platform for action. There have been plenty of protests, yet little to no progress. So I have to ask-is anger enough?

Now, don’t get me wrong. I completely understand where you all are coming from when you boldly shout (in all caps), “IT’S IMPORTANT TO HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS” or “WE NEED TO SHOW OUR CHILDREN THAT THEY CAN CHALLENGE WHAT THEY DON’T AGREE WITH” or “WE SHOULD ALL BE ANGRY AT THE STATE OF THE WORLD”!

YES! We all should be angry at the state of the world! YES! We do need to show our children that they can challenge what they don’t agree with! YES! We should be having tough conversations! But unfortunately, we’re not. As a blogger, I know that writing a blog or an opinion piece is usually just a form of preaching to the choir, as many of my readers feel the same way as I do. And, as previously explained, those who feel “attacked” by a blog go into “troll” mode. And these online “conversations” are really just one side arguing with the other about why their idea of what is right needs to be heard louder (and also, why the other person with the differing opinion is a dickhead). But even if the well-intended post, comments included, gets shared a thousand times, by next week, it will be forgotten. And guess what? Nothing changes.

The same thing goes for writing your opinion as your Facebook status and hoping others will “like” it, or changing your profile picture to support a various hot topic, or sharing a news article about our government, or signing an online petition. It’s important to acknowledge that social media does allow people to stay informed, but it also invites laziness into our lives by allowing us to read, feel something, comment, and then quickly move on to something else, like that hysterical meme that needs to be shared.

I’m not trying to pretend that I am not guilty of this and that I have the answers. I don’t. But I think the instant gratification movement is limiting our potential to act, at least in a civil manner. We are letting anger strangle us. And I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of it. I am tired of being a mom raising two young girls who will eventually feel all of the negativity that social media or media in general is seducing us with. I’m tired of this anger being catapulted into our news stories and fueled further by our government, causing a further divide among the people of this country. I am tired of seeing comments on social media that begin with, “you’re an asshole if you believe xyz”. I’m tired of the lack of these “conversations” that we all seem to agree that we should be having. I am tired of seeing comfortable resolutions like protests and online petitions, on repeat. These things aren’t working. And like all of you, I don’t see a clear way forward through this haze.

But I’m willing to try.

I’m willing to throw out everything I know and start fresh. I’m willing to start communicating on new platforms so that I can start actually progressing, instead of just having a “conversation” about progressing. I am willing to stop relying on old methods for new results. I’m willing to put anger into my vice grip and squeeze back. Not to produce more anger, but to deflate it.
Now the only question left is-who’s with me?

*This piece was published on BLUNTmoms on August 26, 2017.