By: Jana Greene
It’s a fine line, if you have anxiety.
You want to keep up in world events and current news, but everything you watch or read pulls you into a spiral of panic. When you’re sensitive, it’s hard to know how much of a boundary needs to go up, because you care deeply about what’s going on and the suffering of others. But you are also learning to monitor your own suffering, and you sometimes have to avoid the subject matter, because it’s plain old self-care not to obsess over what you cannot control.
I don’t know what’s more upsetting – having anxiety over the state of the world, or having anxiety over the nastiness that comes in response to a Facebook thread.
Because people are not very nice sometimes. I mean … they go out of their way to be ugly.
Add to this state our world today, where social media enables every single person in your sphere to be an “expert,” and every other person who doesn’t agree with you wrong, wrong, wrong.
The stakes are high – peace, equality, protecting the innocent, keeping our rights under the Constitution- and because they are so high, passions run high.
We are doing too much fighting.
And not enough KIND-ing.
We ALL think we know what’s best for our nation, our world. Once more than one person reads any geopolitical or controversial post, fingers start flying. We forget that we are first and foremost human beings.
And then R.I.P. civil discourse at that point. If I feel strongly enough that you’re wrong about it, all Whatever “it” is. It reduces us to graceless, angry, self-righteous (dare I say) trolls.
So much contention, and I get sucked into it in the regular. As a person straddling being “woke” enough to know what’s happening and prone to panic attacks and generalized anxiety, it’s a slippery slope.
So much division. It is getting us NOWHERE, and we are hurting each other. That’s a problem because we NEED each other, ya’ll.
A compassionate governance would be such a blessing about now. And honestly, it’s not gonna happen. It will never be compassionate. That’s why WE have to so the kind-ing.
I’m talking to myself here, too.
You guys, when I am tangry (“typing while angry,”) I become a maven of the poison pen. I don’t like myself when my anger seeps up from God-knows-where, and I don’t like the “courage” that being online affords me to say whatever the hell I want to that little person in a round icon on a computer screen.
The world is on fire – literally. It’s a mess. But can we please try to be gentler in our online communities? I’m really going to try.
The world has never needed it more.