It seems like eons ago when we would hear people say, “can’t we all just get along” which matched up nicely with “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.
Today, it seems people who believe in neither saying are in charge. When was the last time you had anyone say to you, after coming across a subject you didn’t agree upon, that the subject should be changed and continued politely with something else?
If it did occur, that is a strong relationship!
The last few years have proven how horrible some human beings truly are and how much they don’t give a crap about anyone other than themselves. It’s not that this is new, no indeed. It’s that society has given these individuals the thumbs up to be as nasty as ever and still gain praise.
In today’s world of social media and the ever-popular trolling and bashing of anyone who dares to speak out of turn, it seems the act of “getting along” has become incredibly out of fashion. It’s no longer cool to be nice to someone else unless the person in question can be checked off in the original person’s play book.
In order to be popular, one must check off certain boxes based on the requirements of social media and other social aspects (politics, movies watched, clothes, etc). It’s not that this is incredibly different than 20 or 40 years ago, it’s that everyone can see everything a person does or does not do within seconds of it.
Not only do you have your own boxes to check to prove you are worthy of the praise of others doing the exact same thing, you must also check the boxes of others.
Jane: Hi Sue, isn’t it horrible what Anna said the other day about throw rugs?
Sue: What did she say?
Jane: I don’t know how you can’t know since she posted it loudly on Social Media yesterday at exactly 4:52pm but she literally said that a throw rug is necessary to make sure dirt isn’t drug through the house. Outrageous right!?
Sue: Oh, man I did miss that. Hmm, so what’s outrageous about it?
Jane: What!! Is there something wrong with you? It’s outrageous because we shouldn’t keep nature out of our house even if it’s dirt or mud. I mean, that’s just so, you know, dirt-icist. Unbelievable!
Sue: Wow, that is something there. Well, I need to get to work.
Jane: Wait… that’s it? You don’t have anything to say about it other than it’s something?
Sue: No, I mean, yes. I mean, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I use a throw rug to.
Jane: Unbelievable! You now what, you can just lose my number because clearly we don’t agree on anything. I can’t believe you are one of those people.
Sue: What? That’s silly. We go to movies together because we love the same actors and we have BBQs because we love the same people and food. We are best friends! This is silly, we can disagree on something and still talk about other stuff.
Jane: No, no we can’t! I am baffled how horrible you are and somehow, I didn’t know it. I literally never want to talk to you again. I’m going to make sure all of our friends know this about you. Oh, and you can bet I’ll make them choose between us because I can’t hang out with anyone who thinks like you and Anna. I’ll make sure every post shows just how disgusted I am with this.
Did that seem over the top? Did it seem excessive? Well, I agree that it is, but I also believe it is very common and happening all the time. Perhaps not about throw rugs, but about many subjects, some silly and some serious.
These types of dramatic occurrences have happened for decades but it’s different now. It used to be found primarily in Junior High or High School. It seems the days of telling your teenager that things will be different once they get out into the real world is less and less true. The snarky, backstabbing influences of immaturity follows us far beyond our teen years.
Before the internet and social media, things that happened in school remained in school once a person graduated. Today, people are on social media early on and it follows them into the future. The only escape is if they remove themselves like that final walk through the schoolhouse doors.
It’s hard to leave social media once you are there. I know because I’ve tried and have only been partially successful. I still check it once or twice a week and have removed anyone who is not a true friend or family member. But I don’t follow anyone, so I don’t see anything they post. For the most part, I am not there but my account is.
But… it was much easier for me to leave social media than it is for those who grew up there. It becomes a person’s world and it’s hard to walk away from something that consumes your mind.
I encourage anyone who is overwhelmed or abused online to leave it without delay. Why a person leaves is less important than taking care of yourself. What others think, in the long run, means absolutely nothing!
This post was originally seen on Alexandria (aleksandreia.com).