Sorry that I haven’t had a lot of things to post lately. I’m just feeling really tired, and apparently having some sort of late-arriving quarter life crisis. (What? 26 is still quarter-life-ish, right?)
Part of it has to do with work–I love my job, and I’m incredibly blessed and lucky to do what I do, but sometimes it can be rough. The Internet is an interesting place, and unfortunately, I find that I get to spend less time with the happy, inspiring parts than I do with the negativity, fighting, and general jerkiness that comes from anonymity.
The thing that gets me is that so much of it seems pointless. I’m not talking about the truly horrible stuff (like the recent news story, which I am not linking to for my own sanity, about the people posting some extremely graphic accident photos of a dead young woman and even emailing those photos to her family–the family’s legal battle is in Newsweek and on Jezebel, if you care to find it) because I think there has to be something truly wrong with people who do that. It’s just–the constant cynicism, fighting, and us-vs-them battles. The dehumanization.
The internet offers some amazing opportunities to connect with people from so many different backgrounds. But instead of taking the opportunity to ask real questions, to look for similarities, to find common ground, it seems like all anyone does is accuse the other side of lying, of being deluded, brainwashed, evil. And some of it is backlash from groups who haven’t had a voice–but really, it only perpetuates the problem.
I think it affects me more now, because I’m also working in other areas of my life on things that are so positive. That are about growth, and change, and community. And I go from that to–the polar opposite. The thing is, positive community is what the Internet needs to be building, but how to get there? The prevailing culture is already the wild west where anything goes. Even with standards, everything that crosses the line is met with howls of protest, and even gentle suggestions are received with stubborn refusal to believe that anything else is possible, or accusations ranging from censorship to idealism. (Idealism is, apparently, something to be pitied, not revered.)
But really–is it just the internet? I’ve seen this on every site I’ve been on, from large-scale communities to niche knitting sites. But it’s also in real life. Think about it; anyone who has a new idea is not greeted with enthusiasm, but with negativity. It’s too expensive/hard/ridiculous/no one will go for it. Well, not if you don’t try! Government, rather than being a force of inspiration, operates more like a battle-wearied front line, fighting at each group of insurgents as they appear but unable to view the entire battlefield. And every attempt to do so is immediately sniped to pieces by the opposition–and this holds true regardless of which party is in power, and which is the opposition.
It’s gotten to the point where I, TV junkie, don’t even watch TV anymore. I don’t read the news anymore, unless I have to check it for work. (Well, the weather. I do need the weather.) My personal blog reading is limited to crafts, domestic, and pagan blogs–things that actually make me feel better about the world instead of worse. (Though, they do make me a bit ashamed about the state of my kitchen.)
Some days I dream of something that seems impossible. I dream of a having a community with my friends around me, close by, where we can support each other. Where artists get to make their living making art, and people actually have time at the end of the day to SEE their friends and family. Where you don’t have to fear getting bankrupted if you get sick, and where a house is actually an affordable dream for those who want it. Where there is food–real food, not processed things masquerading as such–and where laws and regulations actually protect the consumer rather than aiding large corporations in their attempts to earn a profit at the expense of consumers. Where we don’t have to live with a constant undercurrent of fear–fear that children are getting abducted/women are getting murdered/war is happening/the economy is crashing/the pandemic is coming/someone somewhere is doing something you don’t personally agree with so we must OUTLAW IT IMMEDIATELY.
It seems impossible.
But I really don’t want it to be.