Social media can be a very depressing place. It seems each time I open Facebook I see people engaging in behavior that is unbecoming at best and often downright hurtful and mean. Scattered amongst the cats doing hilarious things, the images of celebrities in beautiful clothes, puppies, ads for things I can't afford and cute babies are some thinly veiled displays of anger, hatred and bitterness. It pains me that I have come to expect them.
I understand the desire to express a personal opinion on hot button topics and the need to have your voice validated by that little blue "thumbs up" symbol. It is important to be liked. I feel the pressure of that desire as keenly as anyone. It's difficult to be as witty, cool, and awesome as our peers and it is easy to get carried away. That's where the buts start to creep in.
You know the buts I'm talking about.
I read at least ten posts a day that start with a but on display.
Here's a few examples...
"People are free to think whatever they want BUT...."
"This doesn't effect me in any way BUT..."
"I know many of my friends won't appreciate this BUT..."
"I'm not a racist BUT..."
"I don't hate gay people and I think everyone should be treated equal BUT..."
"I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings BUT..."
"Women are just as important as men BUT..."
"I'm not saying I'm better than you BUT..."
"It's sad that people died BUT..."
"I'm not telling you how to raise your child BUT..."
"I'm not saying all fat people are lazy BUT..."
My Facebook news feed has become but ugly. When those buts find their way in they are all too often followed by a remark that negates the statement that precedes it. I spend a good chunk of my day feeling depressed and angry that there are people out there who will display their buts proudly and carelessly. It is getting the best of me.
I like playing devil's advocate. I enjoy a good debate and I respect that people hold opinions that differ from my own. I recognize that my beliefs may be crazy to others. The only person who knows what's in my heart and mind is me. I can try my best to explain myself. I can also try not to put my own but on the line by keeping my thoughts and opinions away from the public. The fights and name calling are tiresome, and my passion and energy is better spent elsewhere. There are no buts about it.
I'm going to be positive. I'm going to be happy. I'm going to be thankful that I have a family and friends who are diverse and opinionated. To do that, I think it is time for me to step away. I don't feel the need to witness the buts on display.
I will miss the photos of your children and your pets, and I hope you keep me in the loop when something lovely happens to you. I might (read: probably will) miss your birthday because I have a hard time keeping track of the date as it is and often can't figure out if it is Tuesday or Thursday. I wish you all much love, much joy and much less drama.