When did everyone become so angry?
Okay, so maybe ‘everyone’ is a bit of an overstatement but it does seem to be a bit of a trend. A trend, which I believe Social Media does not seem to help.
Articles are written about it all the time; the study of human psychology and how one might feel more powerful behind a keyboard versus expression of their thoughts in person.
We see it all the time on our Oakdale Leader Facebook page. Be it a fire, arrest or yes, even a photo of the rain, has prompted cause for negative feedback.
Not to be confused, as a media source, the expectation is that we will not make everyone happy with what we cover and or place in print. As a community member, a mom, and friend, I do however find it interesting to see the recurrence of certain persons as the ones who quickly weigh in first with something negative or angry.
One specific instance I recall was a story of a group of kids traveling to the Celtic Faire for a field trip. Seemed harmless to me and for the most part it was. Several shared (in comments) plans they had of attending in the future, fond memories from past years and then, of course, the glass half empty reader chose to weigh in.
These moments always make me a bit sad. Not because it was my work that the comment was left on, or the fact that one of my children was in attendance. The sadness comes from recognizing that this person was bothered so much by something which brought others joy, that they felt the need to make that public.
Maybe I’m just different or perhaps I just tend to hold too tight to my ‘old school’ upbringing. Whatever happened to “live and let live?”
Suddenly we have this tool that places real life happenings in front of us on an hourly basis and in return some feel empowered to place their anger blanket around the good.
Of course there is the very valid argument of ‘I’m entitled to share my opinion,’ which we all are. But I have to wonder how many who offer their negative views or angry comments actually put something in motion to enable change? To turn the perceived ‘bad’ to ‘good’ or be proactive in their life?
As individuals we are each empowered to forge our own path. Granted life offers its fair share of lemons, this I know firsthand. What I also know is … we choose. We choose if we prefer to sit and suck on the lemon and become bitter or crush them with a bit of sugar and add some water. We also choose to let simple things like a Social Media post affect us, another thing I know firsthand.
What I’ve recently come to realize is the beauty of the ‘old school’ upbringing helps keep us grounded and clear as life and all the static alters that. The lesson of “live and let live” is one I am grateful for.
Not to be mistaken, I disagree with a lot I see on Social Media (especially in an election year). My choice however is to use that as a spring board for conversation, yes, real life conversation with those I know.
In the meantime, I limit my exposure to our company page, as well as my personal page, recognizing yet again … I choose. I love to see the kids in tutus, families on the river or even a great meal made from the Crockpot. Some might say my Social Media game is Pixie Dust and Fairy Tales and you know what … they’d be absolutely right.
Happy scrolling, be kind to one another and remember we get what we give to this world. Make karma your friend. Namaste.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.