Social Media Grief
I’m not writing about tragedies any more on my social media.
Last week, we had a terrorist attack in Nice, France, an attempted coup in Turkey and police officers gunned down in Baton Rouge. All three events are heartbreaking, senseless and have lit up social media with people discussing them, mourning the losses, and asking what can we do.
I didn’t write about any of them.
I was upset as each one happened. I was crushed to see the loss of life, the heartbreak of those who lost loved ones, the hate that drives these events, but I didn’t write about them. I have written about previous things in the past, expressing condolences, support, and the like. However, in the end, none of that matters.
Je suis Charlie, remember the fallen, black lives matter, blue lives matter, all lives matter, and on and on and on.
It feels as if these things are happening with more regularity. I don’t know if that’s true or if it is because we have the 24 hour cable news monster to be fed, and politicians who are using and exploiting these tragedies for their own purposes. They’ve become political. If you express sadness for one tragedy and not their other, it makes you part of one group, so you must not like the other group. Why didn’t you comment on these deaths? Are some people’s lives worth more than others? Do you not care about the people with the brown skins or the black skins or the yellow skins or the white skins?
I don’t want my social media experience to be that of endlessly talking about the tragedies in the world. It’s not that I don’t care, or they don’t touch me, but that I add nothing to the discussion, my comments on it are beneath negligible and help no one.
When I see people using these events to attack other people, to call into question their beliefs and demand a kind of emotional consistency, it actually makes it all that much worse.
These things are horrible enough. We need to stop being horrible about them.
Instead, if you can do something, do it. And that is what I will do from now on.