Not long ago, I took a Facebreak: I left Facebook and just stayed away (other than automatic Twitter and blog reposts) for two or three weeks. I loved it. I slept better, my mind was more clear for work, and I regained much of my emotional equilibrium (not to mention my blood pressure).
Social media has created and encouraged a devolved method of communication, which isn’t really communication at all; it’s more like millions of people yelling ALL THE TIME. Facebook is the worst offender, it and Twitter run neck and neck. Comment threads everywhere are a cesspool of vile, violent, horrible language. “Don’t read the comments if you value your sanity” has become A Thing. Threats of violence, rape, death, have become so frequent that we’re becoming desensitized to the underlying problem — if we were ever aware of it in the first place.
Dominator culture has taken over — that’s its nature.
We have lost our grasp on civility; we no longer actually listen to each other, but shout past each other. We don’t seek connections; instead we deepen the rifts between us. And I’ve been just as guilty. It’s time to remember that it’s not us vs. them; we’re all in this shit — and it’s deep — together.
So, no more. I will no longer engage in useless, fruitless “debates” whose inertia has carved deep grooves in our hearts, going down the same inevitable paths every single time; we argue points but lose the context, lose friends, lose touch with what is really important in our egotistical, mad scramble to BE RIGHT ALL THE TIME!
Instead, I will concentrate on the arts: music, literature, visual arts, and the technology that supports them. We need to write new stories, create new truths for ourselves, weave new mythologies that allow us to respect, love, and care for one another instead of rejecting and dividing. Like the spider’s web, we are all inextricably interconnected; pain caused to one causes pain to all. Love shown to one shows love to all.
The only way through this mess we’re in is if we work together to fix it.
The arts are always where change happens.