High horses: Lets talk about pride

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I did a post on gluttony a while back about how it often felt like the forgotten sin. I still think that, but I’m starting to think there might be one even more overlooked..

Pride.

Pride comes in a lot of forms, but the one I mainly want to talk about is the view of moral superiority. It’s rampant and we’re all guilty of it at sometimes, but I feel like it’s taking over the internet by storm.

People can talk about Instagram and envy till the cows come home, but I want to talk about people shaming others, blasting others, and pushing themselves up by pushing others down. It’s a school yard trick that’s gotten a much bigger audience with social media. It’s the constant “Actually you’re wrong and I can tell you why, because I’m right” not about one topic or two topics, but every topic all the time. Our views are firm, unmoving, and only the people who agree with us are worth listening too.

And for the record, I’m not just talking about politics. I’m talking about everything from people arguing the best way to feed a baby to the best way to teach a English class. Our views are viewed as the supreme in all subjects, and we’re willing to fight to the death about it. It’s not necessarily a new cultural shift, but it’s something we need to talk about because it’s starting to seep into every aspect of our lives.

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Over a year without politics on my social media: Where I stand now.

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I made a few posts about cutting out the toxin that is social media politics. (x, x) People get bitter, mean, and downright nasty when it comes to politics, and when you take away the face to face aspect they get much, much worse. I went down a rabbit hole at the beginning of my Lyme Disease sickness and learned everything there was to know about the political situations of that time. I knew everything and I was always… mad, angry, hurt, judgmental. I was getting emotions that I didn’t like, and they weren’t all from the actual politics, but mostly the people talking about them, and how they were doing it.

So I blocked it all. I took out the trash. I don’t follow most my Facebook friends. I muted almost every political word on Twitter. At first it felt a little empty, because I had gotten so used to all the yelling, but then, it became wonderful. I started following people who had the same hobbies as me. I started branching out. Then suddenly the places that were filled with anger were suddenly filled with joy.

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Hypocrites calling each other hypocrites:

 

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I’ve started this post at least ten times and every time it ends up being deleted and the title alone sits in my drafts folder. Why? Because it’s something everyone already knows. Of course you’re a hypocrite. Of course I am. We all are.

It’s a fact we call people out on a lot. We like to tell people when they are being hypocritical, and most of the time it’s friendly. It’s just calling out when the pot is calling¬† the kettle black. It’s easy to laugh about. We all have small moments between friends that makes everyone roll their eyes and laugh. But sometimes the topics are more sensitive and hypocritical moments are met with hard backlash and shame. I’m not saying that that’s wrong. People need to be told when they are doing things they say others shouldn’t. We shouldn’t be the exceptions to our own rules. But with the rise of people digging into old social media posts to call us out on our hypocritical moments, it leads one to wonder, where’s the line?

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Keeping things in mind: Everything online is dramatized.

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The internet is a intense place, I don’t think anyone would argue that. You get the perfectly curated views of life and you get anger and intense viewpoints.

There hardly seems to be anything else.

Mid-way views, deep rational thinking, and realistic images are hard to find, but we’ve become numb to the fact that they’re missing. We’re feeding on that content and nothing else. It seems to go over our head that the internet is completely dramatized. The politics are more intense. The tragedies are expanded upon.¬†Conspiracy theories are fed. And perfect lives are staged for praise.

We fall down rabbit holes and don’t realize that the internet is changing our views, but even more so, we don’t seem to realize that the rabbit holes we’re in don’t reflect real life. The internet will make you believe that the world is falling apart, but it’s not. If we go outside we can see that opposite sides come together in hard times and are polite to each other in the grocery store check out. We can also see that those who have perfectly frames lives are still chasing their screaming kids around and getting frizzy hair in the rain. We realize that the front we’ve been seeing, both the good and the bad, are completely overblown.

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Anger and outrage and crying wolf:

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Anger and outrage are really strong emotions, anyone who has ever scrolled down their Facebook feed would probably agree. People have a lot of feelings and emotions and they want them heard. There is nothing wrong with sharing your opinions or emotions, but what is the key to having them be heard?

It’s not overusing anger and outrage as tools. If you’re angry all the time people don’t take your anger seriously. If you’re outraged all the time people don’t take your outrage seriously. It’s the emotional version of “the boy who cried wolf”.

That’s not to say that there isn’t enough terrible things happening in the world for you to be outraged or angry about. The world is full of terrible things, that’s not in question, but how much you choose to focus on them and how much you get upset about the not so important things really sets you up for screaming into the void.

The void doesn’t care what you think, nor does anyone else who is also screaming into the void.

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On social media and stalking people from our past:

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I have a friend that checks her ex-boyfriend’s social media feeds semi-regularly. I check an ex-friend’s feed even more often.

We’re in a digital world, most of our generation shares their lives on social media, it’s easy to cyber stalk. It’s easy to learn details that you wouldn’t ever learn in person. It’s easy to dismiss your need to hash up the past on ‘oh I just thought about them and I was curious.’ But did you check their feed because you were curious or were you curious because you check their feed so often?

The longer you linger on a topic the more likely it is to circle back around later. The more frequently you indulge in a curiosity, the more likely you are to do it again. Somebody doesn’t have to be standing on the other side of the door to make their way in when you open it. Whether you are talking to these people or not, whether they are thinking of you or not, you’re asking them to come live in your head rent free.

It’s not good for you, not only because it makes you linger in the past, or in your anger, or in your broken heart, but also because you’re now in a relationship for one. No one-sided relationship is healthy simply because relationships are never meant to be one sided. It’s not a new phenomenon, people have lingered on those they shouldn’t for years, but social media is making it easier, and it’s giving us a front row seat to someones life we aren’t supposed to be a part of any longer.

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Hate is addicting

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I think we have a skewed perception about what is addicting and what isn’t. There are a lot of substances that aren’t addictive physically but can be mentally. It’s very easy to get hooked on a feeling, hooked on emotions. We can crave the endorphins that something releases or the power we feel when we do a certain act. Are emotions technically addictive? No. Do you get emotional withdraws from them all the same? Yes. That makes them addictive enough in my book.

But it isn’t just the good emotions we get hooked on, it isn’t just things that numb our pain, sometimes we can get addicted to the things that fuel it. It’s an interesting thing really, but more and more people are becoming addicted to outrage, addicted to anger, addicted to hate.

Maybe it’s the way we take in our news, maybe it’s that the most outrageous, enraging headlines are the ones to grab our attention. Maybe it’s that social media has acted as a barrier from other people emotions, so we don’t realize when we are treading to far, maybe then we become desensitized to it to the point that we no longer care when we do. Maybe its the fact that we’re taking in so much hate all the time that we start to think of it as normal, and therefore needlessly dish it back out into the world.

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