Dramatic “I’m Leaving Facebook” posts are so cliché, especially during a Presidential campaign. The whole, “I’m taking a break from Facebook because the internet is upsetting me,” status always makes me feel very mixed feelings. First? Extreme eyeroll because I’ve seen so many ugly sides of the internet in my decade and a half producing online content, Facebook is nothing. Second? BUT FACEBOOK IS AMAZING. It’s how I find amazing articles and hilarious memes. It’s how I keep up with my friends and family. It allows me to be social without anxieties. I LOVE FACEBOOK.
But the third thing I feel? Is always jealousy. Because y’all? For every 10 wonderful things I see on Facebook, I see one terrible thing that changes the way I look at someone I previously liked or respected. And I hate that.
Last week someone I would hug if I saw in person posted something basically saying that there’s nothing scarier in the world than someone who is openly voting for Hillary Clinton. ME. I’m the scariest thing in their world right now? ME? REALLY? And then this weekend I saw someone sharing out a story another Military Mom wrote slamming Ghazala Khan and included a comment about ignorant people who saw her husband’s DNC speech and “FELL FOR THE PROPAGANDA.” And so, you know, since I shared out his speech and posted 2-3 different statuses about it, then I guess I’m that person who is ignorant and fell for the propaganda.
And I just can’t.
The last few weeks have been tough on my kids. They both have needs that fall about 180 degrees separate from each other. My parenting life is like having one child deathly afraid of the dark, and another allergic to the light. Helping one seems to constantly hurt the other. My house still hasn’t sold but I’m trying to keep it show ready constantly. My husband worked 14 hours yesterday. I’m going to therapy once a week in an attempt to get my oxygen mask on before helping those around me.
Even without the election season and the ugliness Facebook dishes out at me, I’m having a tough time keeping my own mental health well enough to give my family what they need. But Facebook lately has been hacking away at my sanity one Hillary Bashing Meme at a time.
So, I’m going to be all melodramatic and take a break from Facebook. I’m going to roll my eyes at myself. Right now my mental illness is in remission but if I don’t make sure to stay healthy, it’s going to falter and so I’m recognizing the triggers and I’m removing them where I can. My kids and my husband need me to be at my 100% best for them and I can’t do that if I’m falling into these downwards spirals of anxiety and fear and sadness from stupid crap people post on Facebook. I take it all too personally. I have to walk away.
But I need you to do something for me. I need you keep an eye out for those things I love on the internet. Great articles about politics and empathy that help me keep faith in humanity. Funny crafts incorporating Harry Potter and Pokémon. Cute videos of pugs. News about my favorite TV shows. If I don’t get a steady flow of that stuff via email/twitter/my blog, I may find myself tapping that Facebook vein again and I need to stay away until I no longer scroll through my feed with fear.
“But just unfollow them!”
“Just unfriend them!”
I’ve done that for the first time – SEVERAL TIMES – this election cycle. But that feels shitty. I want to STAND UP for myself and for the people I support in politics and in government. But we all know how pointless that is. And sometimes relationships are tricky but also important. Sometimes the ripple that conflict starts can damage other relationships. And unfollowing someone gives me a false sense of safety which also makes me feel yucky. I’ve unfollowed several people recently and I kinda feel worse not knowing what they’re saying about people like me than I did when I saw the insults to begin with.
I just need a break. My kids, man. They’re so fragile right now and I wish I could write more about it because you all always give me the best advice, but I can’t. They’re getting too old and it’s too personal. Just know that some days (like yesterday) can be beautiful and painful and enlightening and terrorizing and I need to be as close to the top of my game as possible. And if I’m too fragile myself from the hateful atmosphere I’m seeing on Facebook, then I do them no good. And they didn’t ask for it to be an election year when they needed me the most, so I can’t punish them for that.
Keep an eye out for the good stuff for me, okay? If it weren’t for Facebook I would have missed out on Stranger Things which I adored so I need you all to keep me in the loop.
Much love. See you on Twitter and Instagram and – as always – here on my silly little blog.