I’m Angry – Screaming into the Void
I’m struggling to come to terms with what, deep down, I know to be true: me posting my opinions on social media isn’t going to change your mind.
I know this.
My wife has repeatedly told me this.
And yet try as I may, I’m having a really hard time acting on what I know to be true. I just have the need to shout to the world how I feel. To scream my mind in a public forum and articulate my rage to the masses. Like it’s going to do anything but make me feel better.
And inevitably it doesn’t make me feel better. I get a few “likes” and I start to think all is right in the world. People agree with me and feel the same as I do. We’re on the same page. And then suddenly someone comments in disagreement. And the stress returns.
Or no one comments and no one “likes” and I’m left feeling that no one cares. Or maybe the dumb Facebook news feed algorithm isn’t showing my post. Either way, again the stress returns.
I was reading something about how psychiatrists and therapists are seeing a huge increase in patients coming in because of anxiety since the 2016 election. And buddy, I am right there with them. Unfortunately I can’t afford a therapist so my wife has to take the brunt of my angry convictions, and that’s not healthy.
The amount of political posts I’ve made has skyrocketed in the last six months. I’m not sure why. Maybe I think people need to know what’s going on (like they don’t already). Maybe I need the world to know I’m not okay with our current situation. Maybe I want to feel some kind of vindication; to know there’s other people in the ether that feel the same way as I do and that I’m not alone in my convictions.
I know I’m angry and for some reason I feel like my anger needs to be heard. And it does, but not on social media. There’s too much hate and anger bubbling there as it is.
So here is my promise to myself, to my wife, and to you, whoever is reading this. I will not make another social media post out of anger and frustration that only points out problems instead of giving possible solutions.
I’m not changing any minds. I’m either garnering “likes” from people who already think along the same lines as I, or I’m getting into internet debates (the absolute worst kind) with people who disagree with me. Either way, nothing productive is getting done.
And yet, despite knowing all of this and writing all of this, this concept is still having a hard time resolving itself in my head. I make up dumb excuses like “I should be able to say what I want – free speech!”. And that’s true, but is it helpful? Oftentimes the answer is no. At least, not the way in which I’m posting.
And so I will do what family and loved ones have begun to encourage: I will stop ranting on social media (no matter how good it feels). It’s in my nature to be critical and the world certainly seems bleak, so I can’t promise everything will be happy-go-lucky with so much injustice and malice in the world.
But I will stop posting for the sake of posting. I will focus on solutions instead of just the issues. On things that actually will make a tangible difference. And maybe, just maybe, I will see some of the anxiety and stress in my life decrease.