She scoffed at my gloves and mask as I walked through the door and when I was forced to check out of her line I prepared myself for her scolding.
“You know this is all a hoax right? They’re trying to turn this place into a fucking police state”
I continued unloading my things off my cart, “Yea who knows right?”
“What do you mean who knows? That’s the damn truth.” Her fury building, her exhaustion showing.
“Well, I guess we’ll just have to see what happens right? Not much we can do at this point.”
She slammed my groceries into bags, “Yea let’s all sit back and let our rights be stripped out from under us like those fucking Chinese while you monkeys run around scared in masks and gloves.”
I sighed, “Can you take it easy with my fucking bread, you got it all smashed and I’m looking forward to a sandwich tonight. Also, I’m not interested in arguing with you lady, we are all wondering what the fuck is going on and none of us have the answers.”
She grabbed my bread and started punching her fist into it. Not surprised at all I watched her assault the one ingredient I needed to make the sandwich that was going to make this week feel seemingly easier. I felt the customers behind me becoming even more unsettled and ready to pounce at the blind opportunity to defend something so much bigger than my shitty bread.
The manager walked over horrified at the sight apologizing profusely and all I could think was how much we need to make mental health a priority in this shit country. All I could think about is how sad it is that we continue to point our fingers in the wrong directions. All I could think about was how I still needed to buy some damn bread for my delicious sandwich.
Taking a break from social media. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and finally decided it was the right thing to do. I’ve taken small breaks here and there over the years but had convinced myself that I NEEDED it to further my writing career and stay up to date with friends and social/political causes. I’m not going to lie, it’s going to take some adjusting. As much as I love connecting with others from afar especially during these times, I was starting to notice how much more addictive it was becoming. I caught myself scrolling on Instagram one day while I wasn’t even looking at my phone, just my finger moving. It was fucking weird. After watching The Social Dilemma it reaffirmed my suspicions and made it clear that I need to put this HUGELY TIME-CONSUMING part of my life on pause. I don’t want to participate in any type of technology that can predict and control my emotions and actions. Fuck no.
Being an Empath also makes the social media experience extremely intense for me most times. It makes me irritable. I get submerged into everything and everyone and I have a hard time deciphering my own feelings. Watching friends post material opposite of what I know is going on internally got me feeling particularly turned off by the platforms. It’s too damn distracting and confusing for self-identity and self-assurance. The whole pretending to be someone you aren’t or that you wish you were for the likes of others can’t be healthy. Having our online identity be the main source of our dopamine rushes throughout the day is, of course, a major setup for disappointment, insecurity, addiction, and depression.
So much of what I see on social media is thriving off emotional triggers of an already emotionally exhausted and traumatized people and I just can’t get down with that. I can’t get down with watching people I know become more and more cynical and divided because they think their truth is more superior. Who the fuck are we to be battling others on something they have to discover themselves? Unfortunately, many people only care about social justice and human rights when it becomes personal to them. You can only do so much, people have to be curious, they have to WANT to change their views. The truth is, everyone is living in what they believe to be true to themselves, even if it seems crazy to someone else, it’s still true for them. It’s also worth mentioning that most people’s views have become radicalized by the way social media’s algorithms work anyway so it’s not as black and white as it seems when it comes to good vs evil, mask vs no mask, democrat vs republican.
If feels as though social media is slowly turning us into inflexible, intolerable, and impatient people. Where’s the room for growth in that? Exploring, accepting other views, ways, cultures is what’s supposed to make this experience more successful, colorful, and exciting. I refuse to put myself up against others any longer in this setting and I refuse to passively ingest this mess with very little outlets of real action. I figured it’s better to take it the fuck down a notch and center myself on what’s in front me. My community, my healing, my writing, my relationships, my empath writing workshops and retreats, too much to even state. I have to remember that what I bring to this life, my influence, my type of magic, is not meant to be wasted on social media. It’s also important to remember we can still be social and political activists and participants without having our every move be tracked, stored, manipulated, and controlled through an app.
So how many sunrises and sunsets have you missed while staring at your phone?
I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on your relationship with social media.
Hands raised, No fight left in this particular battle, Because you hide beneath the surface. I’ve dulled knives digging, Skinning myself like a rabbit, Only to find flesh sensitive to wind and touch, Still, you rear your vile head, Poisoning me and others. I shun, I beg, I curse and rip your rotten roots but it’s too late and back you go into your secret hiding place. I have to reconcile, This time, all strategies exhausted, I invited you to the dinner. I let you take over and take me, Smashing plates, Spitting food and flipping tables. Hijacked and to the edge of breathless peace in death, You bored as a tired child does, Curling into my loving arms as I whispered, “Now get some rest you relentless fuck.”
Juneteenth. No more fucking around. It’s time for TOTAL LIBERATION of our Black brothers and sisters, including the Black LGBTQIA community. It’s time to change what the American flag represents. There are layers to systematic oppression that affect some MUCH worse than others and to fight the supervillain of this experimental government, we must go ALL THE WAY back to our constitution. We must fight against all forms of oppression. We must recognize that no “political party” is going to save us. We must shake out every sheet. We must challenge our process of thought. We must use our endurance, love, and intelligence to fight for one another and to ensure that we never let another oppressed community go unheard. Suffering does not stop and start with each individual, It travels, it jumps, it burrows, it resurfaces, We’re ALL connected and in this fight together. Where do you stand?
They came to visit last night, Not the first and never the last. Uninvited, Frantic with stillness. Living in between worlds, And demanding I do the same. “Wake up.” They whisper. “I’m fucking tired, leave me alone.” I command. And as always, they retreat back into the walls waiting for their next opportunity to share a story that I couldn’t care less about, At least not at that hour.
I see you, Your probity beaming bright on my lack thereof. Slapping the lies I’ve ingested and built as my own. I’ve temporarily pleased off the pain of others, Only to be left starving and alone. Don’t be distracted by those who mistake your presence for impairment, Because we need you and I see you. And although at my most weak moments I continue to mistreat and misjudge the traces of your decency, I needn’t feed the same poison to others simply because it was fed to me.