Apparently, that’s a thing. And it’s not funny.
Social Media Stress, not to be confused with Social Media Phobia, is what happens when you live your real life on social media. It causes some to compare their lives unfavorably to the glowing images streaming through the feed.
But there is a darker more noxious aspect to this stress-- The Take Down.
And so I watched one Facebook friend whom I know in real life disappear from the virtual space because of a barrage of attack-comments, something I later learned is called a “take down” campaign. This particular friendly acquaintance shared many family events and relatives' successful milestones on social media. Something in the life of one of her nearest has rubbed someone wrong, very wrong. Then came the attack dogs, mostly under pseudonyms, and now none of us can see her anymore.
The stress was too much.
The Scarlet Letter, a book taught in English lit classes to the young as a cautionary tale of a society gone hysterically wrong, has had the opposite effect. Young’uns have taken to social media to shame and hang a label when politics or social stance or even a less than thoughtful comment somewhere don’t align with their own. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1850’s novel lives on, not as a record of what we don’t do anymore, but as blueprint of how it was done back then before we had better tools.
I’m sad. Especially when the shamers carry the flag of diversity and inclusion. I guess tolerance does not apply to people who don’t think like them. I once knew a vegetarian who said he was ready to kill people who ate meat. No kidding. Totalitarian Liberals fall under the same flag, and with them, we’re all taken down.
This is my plea for real diversity: race, religion, identity, sexual preference, and varied political affiliation. All are welcome in my life.
And if I ever am called on such on social media, I hope I can manage the stress. Probably not. But then, you wouldn’t know because I will cease to be here.