Not long after its inception I became an avid Facebook user. Since then I have checked it religiously, enjoying the daily updates from friends near and far. I’ve revelled in their adventures and felt their heartbreak. I’ve enjoyed reconnecting with childhood friends and getting to know family members I hadn’t grown up with. Largely, my interactions and experiences have been positive, entertaining and often up-lifting. I have felt good about my role in this circle of interactions…until now. Last night someone called me on my condescension and it really hit home. You see, I am the type of person who is constantly assessing and trying to improve myself, or more honestly – judging and criticizing myself. So, when I feel good about one aspect of my person it’s a thrill. To be specific, I love vocabulary. I’m good with words and expressing myself. (My punctuation is a wreck but that’s something I’m working on. ) I enjoy learning about the ins and outs of the English language and I hope to learn 3 new languages in the next decade. It’s something I felt pretty good about…until now. Last night I was confronted on a comment I made on a post and while this person, and then subsequently her family, missed my point entirely and interpreted it somehow as I was disagreeing( in this instance I wasn’t), one of them brought up the point that I use my words as weapons and that I come across as someone who feels superior to others. It was a direct hit to my heart. Simply because I knew she was right. I had allowed my pride in my way-with-words to turn into a way to feel good about myself but sadly at the expense of others. I was judging others on their flaws as a way to feel better about myself. I also realized, in this particular incident, I was using a very passive aggressive method to lash out at someone I am still very angry at over past incidences. Anger I wasn’t even aware that I still carried about issues that were never resolved. Social media is a perfect venue for this type of interaction. You may rant and rave or passive-aggressively take aim at the person you feel has wronged you and then paste a happy face on when you meet in person and act like everything is fine. This is not a healthy way to be and it is definitely not the person I want to become.
My Facebook posts have recently been over-run with political rants and griping about companies. My Twitter, which I use sporadically, became a tool to shame companies I’ve interacted with on poor customer services. I was unleashing negativity by the boatload onto social media and I wasn’t even aware of it…well, not fully. I knew I was doing it but not to the extent that I was. I was allowing my mounting frustrations to spill out in an unhealthy and ugly way. So today I start my cleanse – my social media cleanse. I’m putting down the iPad, clearing my mind of all the negativity, assessing my role in all of it and making changes. I know who I want to be and I know how to get there. I never want to have to face my own words or actions and realize I had caused anyone any self doubt or pain. It isn’t who I am or who I want to become and if going back to simpler times (pre-social media times), is what I need to do than so be it.