A few months ago I wrote a column explaining how I was fed up with the negativity on social media. How I was done with it. How it was addictive and how time could be better spent elsewhere. So I did quit. For about three months.
Reluctantly, I came back. I missed complaining about politics. I missed the jokes, the pictures of friends and family in celebration, and I missed the interaction with old friends I had just reconnected with. In short, I was addicted, and it was not good.
Since I have been back, I decided to have a few unwritten rules to deal with the nonsense and frustration of social media. And unwritten rules really should be written down. These rules are guidelines for me, please use your own judgment.
• Never try to change someone’s political affiliation, religion or belief system. People are proud of their beliefs, even the stupid ones. They’re not changing because you gave them a “mad” emoji.
• Facts don’t matter. At all. You could go up to a Trump supporter with the president’s tax forms in hand, showing loans from the Russian mafia, and you wouldn’t even get a chuckle. It’s all fake out here on Internet Island.
• If you post a chocolate chip recipe or a joke, be prepared for it to be politicized by a drunk uncle.
• Don’t take it personally. It’s just your belief system, people you barely know ridiculing.
I tried to convince people with facts, statistics and history. It never worked. People need their convictions to be true, especially in times like these when you turn on whatever media source you like, you have no idea who or what to believe. Maybe one day we can trust institutions again.
I’m going to be better at ignoring the negativity. No one will be unfriended by disagreeing with me. I’m going to be better about engaging with the idiots, including my family. Call it an early New Year’s resolution not to take social media so seriously. Or broadcast media, or even print media.
Call it a reload of values of thinking for myself and not believing it all.
But tell me again, about this “War on Christmas?”
Todd Nuttman is a Kent resident and contributor to the Kent Reporter.