| LOCATION: Tulie ~ French Bakery off of 9th, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA |
How will you feel in 30 years about the stuff you’re posting/commenting now? 🙂
Have any of you suffered from Fake Outrage*?
Years ago in my 20s I had an epiphany one night as I came home from work, made dinner and sat down in front of the TV to watch my favorite shows.
I had absolutely nothing that I valued to show for the time I sat there each night.
I thought, “This is my life! But there’s no ‘fun’ or creativity or true inspiration happening for this time I’m spending.
And I stopped watching.
Just like that. And I started figuring out each night what I wanted to do with this time that was my life.
I had conversations–good ones. I spent time with people. I read. I headed out the door. I took my dog out to run more. I saw sunsets. I got rid of cable, eventually got rid of my TV, and in this… I felt my life return to me.
I tell this story to illustrate a new point. Not so many years back, I found a new addiction that gave me nothing I valued in place of the time I spent. And worse, I was pulling myself into arguments that hinged on my being right or being agreed with rather than on real connection, understanding and personal enrichment.
This addiction was Fake Outrage*. My drug?
The comment threads on social media.
And it was bad.
I started on MySpace (remember that?) and moved to FB. And before long, I realized how awful I felt every time I chose to be sucked into a No-Win debate that devoured hours and hours of my life that I would never get back and left me feeling empty, angry, vindicated (that’s the ego right there, that is…), or self-righteous.
What a waste.
You see, Fake Outrage is where we choose to upset ourselves in a forum in which nothing we do can have actual impact. We invest our energy and time for no real return. We relinquish accountability to instead feed our egos (even our well-intentioned egos 😉
I immediately disentangled. I pulled my fingers out of the sticky, messy, addicting dough and cleaned up. I would catch myself getting hooked by a thread or a comment.
Sometimes I still begin typing a reply and realize where it’s heading for me. I delete it. Or I change what I say to reflect my truth of common human dignity and respect for people. And before I hit “Post” …..
I LET GO.
It is amazing that my social media experience is so positive when I hear so many bemoaning how negative theirs can be. But it’s also not surprising.
There are two sayings that have been especially crucial and necessary for me:
“We receive according to what we Allow, what we Stop, and what we Encourage.”
“Small minds talk about others.
Mediocre minds talk about events.
Great minds talk about ideas.”
Let’s raise the bar for ourselves, and consequently for those we influence by engaging in positive support and ideas. Let’s put all that energy into actual service to the causes that work for what we value, and not dead-end negative entertainment online.
Would we rather go to bed at night feeling right––or wronged? Or would we rather go to bed feeling Connected, expressing the best inside of us, lifting others and believing and expecting the best from all of us?
Would we rather feel like we’ve made a real difference?
*Fake Outrage, the term, comes from The Minimalists on this blog that I HIGHLY recommend 🙂