Social media, while feeling like it’s forever been a part of our lives, is something that’s still a relatively new part of the human experience. On the surface it seems like a benign past time where you share a thought, hit post, and then go about your life never to think about said topic again. And lot of times, thankfully, that’s all social media is give or take a brief comment back and forth from a few interested onlookers.
But we all know that the social media experience goes beyond sharing thoughts and consuming them. Sure, it’s an excellent way to keep up with friends and family, but social media (and the internet in general) is weighed down by the densest element the world has ever known. No, I’m not talking about Osmium. I’m talking about Negativity.
I hate that stuff. I can’t stand reading it. I loathe feeling it and I’m ashamed I’ve spread it. But I’m also a realist and understand that it’s not as simple as saying “don’t be negative” and expecting to never be so again. It’s hard. You’re online reading, already in a bad mood from something that had nothing to do with social media, when a status or story rubs you the wrong way and boom you’re either online arguing with someone in a comment thread or you’re creating a status update yourself aimed at pissing off others. Negativity breeding more negativity like rabid Fibonacci rabbits.
But think about this. What if your next status update were you last? What if you hit the post button, grabbed your coat to run outside to catch the bus and were met there by Mechagodzilla. And what if Mechagodzilla killed you because you ruined his twitter feed when you bragged one too many times about the superiority of Godzilla in battle. And no, my point isn’t that your negative online status might lead to your death by monster. I’m getting after something much less violent than that. How would you feel (living you, not dead you) if the last thing you ever posted, the status that will show up on top of your page for the rest of eternity was full of hateful, vile, negative talk? Is that the lasting image you want left behind representing you for all time?
It’s something to consider. And beyond your eternal online memory, we all have a choice when it comes to deciding what type of energy we want to put out in the world, be it IRL (in real life) or online. The stuff we say and do affects people both positively and negatively. It’s hard enough getting through a day in a neutral state without dealing with the massive pile of crap we experience through our screens. Sure, we can all do a little better and ignore these types of things but why put that responsibility on others. Why make them work harder to get through their day when all you have to do is take two seconds and realize that the whim that only mattered to you for a moment can ruin the rest of someone’s day?