Moodwise, today was somewhat better than the last few days. I didn’t think about Ashley so much, although I’m glad I still have therapy booked for tomorrow, as I think I will still have things to say. There is still grief when I think about her, but grief is the price we pay for caring about people.
I went to volunteering. I overslept a little, but got there on time. I felt a bit faint when we were having coffee at the end and ate a biscuit, even though I usually don’t. The diet still hasn’t recovered from Yom Tov: I ate chocolate last night and cheese for lunch today. I did finally take my blood pressure with my parents’ gauge (? Whatever it’s called). My pulse was OK, but my blood pressure was “high normal” (according to the NHS website), which surprised me a bit as it’s usually a bit low. Possibly the process of taking it was stressing me out. I should exercise more, I know, and probably drink less caffeine.
Aside from that, I did some work on my novel, re-formatting it in line with the submission guidelines I got a while back, re-reading the last chapter I wrote (this all took about an hour) and writing new material for half an hour or so. However, I do feel torn between writing this novel; researching this novel; re-formatting and pitching my first novel (probably not a priority, as I think it really needs a drastic rewrite, but it seems wrong to just leave it sitting there for now); and, on a completely different track, moving forward with setting myself up as a freelance proof-reader. On the other hand, because of all this, I did not have time to cook dinner or help Dad with something he wanted help with, so I felt a bit bad about that.
I’m in “social media anxiety” mode again (or AGAIN). I won’t go into the whole thing, but between feeling obliged to help people in distress on the autism forum, but not knowing how; people having a bizarre and rapidly personal argument about Halloween (of all things) on a Jewish FB group; and trying to work out whether to follow a person who posts some Jewish, autistic and Doctor Who stuff that is potentially interesting, but also has rather different politics and just seems to use social media in a way that doesn’t really work for me.
I feel like I’ve never got the hang of social media, that I would like to connect with people, but struggle with the aggression social media brings out in some people and also struggle to connect with all aspects of some people when I only connect with a part of them. There are people who I probably would get on with in real life who seem overwhelming on social media, either because of the volume of posts or the stridency of their views in writing, probably more so than in person. I find this frustrating, as usually I think of text and online communication as being easier for me than in person.
I also probably over-think political differences. The reality is that, over the years, I’ve been friendly with people with different political views to me, but I fear being stigmatised for my views, which pushes me to be silent, which does not always work out well. I don’t identify with any conservative political party (far from it, I hate most of the ones I’m aware of), but my temperament (not exactly what I mean, but I don’t know a better word) is somewhat conservative, at the very least with a small ‘c’. Still, I am used to hearing (from family, friends, acquaintances, the media, social media, etc.) that conservatives are rich, privileged, cruel, uncaring, even evil… I feel uncomfortable with this, but because I am conflict-averse, I just keep quiet. But this probably does not do my mental health any good.
These days I do pretty much assume that anyone with strong progressive views would hate me if they “really” knew me, so I say nothing. The irony is that, as I said, I dislike all the conservative political parties I know; I refuse to vote according to a party line and always try to think critically about parties and issues before coming to a decision about anything; I try to be open-minded and think for myself; and I think it’s a bad idea for any party to be in power for more than two terms, that sometimes we need more conservative policies and sometimes more progressive ones and that it’s bad to be too doctrinaire about parties and policies, but that we need to be willing to be pragmatic and flexible.
I also feel that when people present their political views in a very dogmatic way, they can become incredibly pompous and it’s hard not to laugh, which isn’t polite. Watching a lot of Monty Python lately has given me heightened awareness of how silly so much of life is and how ridiculous it is that so many people take themselves so seriously when they are so silly. I guess I find a lot of what I think of as “performative wokeness” very funny and that makes it hard for me to take people seriously sometimes, even if I agree with what they’re saying. I actually agree with people with very different political views more often than you might think, but the “packaging” can get in the way.
7 thoughts on “Social Media and Politics”
I hear you on politics, as my own political opinions don’t fit neatly into the traditionally labeled boxes (I don’t vote along party line either), and I often find myself in circles where I don’t have the same opinions as everyone else. I usually stay quiet, less because I feel I can’t speak up and more because it doesn’t feel like there’s much benefit to doing so,. Honestly, I feel like most political conversations are tiresome, boring, and no one ever says anything enlightening. Also, no one ever listens to anyone else; they just want to hear themselves talk.
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Yes. It’s definitely true that no one listens, although I often find that in non-political conversations too!
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I have been voting straight Dem since Trump because I don’t want anyone anywhere in public office who might support him, not even the dogcatcher! Otherwise though, my views do not align with any platform. And like JYP says, the discussions are boring at best and stressful at worst. Luckily, my Republican friends and coworkers do not say nasty things like internet people do, or at least not where I can see/hear them! I have no desire to ever get in another pointless, endless political argument online 🤮
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That makes sense about Trump supporters.
Not that this is an original observation, but people definitely feel less inhibited to argue and abuse online than in person.
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I agree with Paula. I used to vote a mixed ticket but not since Trump took over the GOP. We used to have moderate Republicans in my state, not any more though. 😦 Glad you had a better day.
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I understand about the Trump supporters. It’s a shame the moderates have vanished.