In my Children and Mass Media class, my professor asked the class if any of us have voluntarily left facebook. Multiple people raised their hands. One student was called on to explain why she left facebook, and she replied “I couldn’t deal with the political posts. I just could feel the energy leave me as I watched and read all these negative posts and comments.”
Has our news feeds become so inundated with politics that it actually is creating an emotional strain on our friends and family? I know that I have not shied away from sharing political content or inputting my two cents on a hot issue. In fact, I don’t think I have spent a day the past year without seeing at least 5-10 political posts scrolling through my twitter and facebook feed.
Facebook today is not complete without a share of a Tomi Lahren video, some hastily created visual graphic explaining hypocrisy, and your high school biology lab partner explaining the new health care system to you through a 5 paragraph post.
There has been a popular sentiment recently of “missing the old facebook” that consisted of cute videos of puppies and the occasional whimsical status about a night out or recent accomplishment. Today, it seems that facebook and twitter have become the new soapbox for anyone with an agenda. Many applaud this uprising in political dissidence while others wish that everyone mind their own business and go back to only talking about the good stuff.
I personally am excited to see the change in political involvement among my peers. I hope that the new found awareness that people are expressing in their social media translates to an actual change in our government later on. Although I’m excited, it still is exhausting to see so much pain and agony from those around the country and around the world. I am filled with uncertainty about what is to come in the future. With every new post I see that describes a new law that will be passed or the ignorance of a politician, I lose more and more faith in the great progress I was promised.
It may seem selfish to leave social media because of politics. It might come off as uninterested in our future and the pain of others.We all didn’t sign up to a politician. Everyone is not trained and able to handle so much drastic change and emotionally charged material that comes from global politics. But leaving this all behind for a bit, to take a break from facebook, could improve your daily happiness and overall quality of life.
Stay informed, now your rights, speak out against injustice, but please, make sure you are taking care of yourself first.