Whew. I have just about had it with the human race – AGAIN. We don’t seem to learn that hate, in all its various forms, and however ridiculously justified in people’s minds, is NOT conducive to our continuation as a species. I’m not about to suggest we join hands, do the “kumbaya” deal and all, but I am saying that I, for one, am opting out of the twenty-four- seven, three-sixty-five reporting of mankind’s dedication to self-destruction.
I stopped watching the news YEARS ago when I realized how badly it was affecting my ability to sleep, to function without fear. My mom would have the news on from the time she got home until well after I went to bed as a kid. I don’t know if the stories of the kidnappings, murders, and all fueled her being so overly protective but I’m positive they played a part. By the time I got to college, I lived with this underlying fear that setting foot outside my dorm room meant certain doom. I was hyper sensitive to potential mayhem; crowds began to fill me with dread, and as I already wrote, I had to be drunk in order to function in any new social situation.
I’m worn out as it is – being a Black female in this country is a mixed bag of all kinds of daily battles and cautionary living. But over the last eight years, it’s gotten worse, and worse. Toss in the inhumane ways humans find themselves being manipulated by social media, advertising, etc.; the lies that are sold every day in order to keep certain people and ideals in power, and you have, what feels to me, to be an impenetrable wall blocking the joy from getting through. And I’m sorry, but as I’ve written, I already find joy an elusive state. I work damn hard to get enough of it as it is. The last thing I need is an obstacle of this size.
Alright, so first things first, I’m done with social media. I’ve closed my Twitter and Facebook accounts. Neither of them earned me any money – in fact, the only time an announcement or status about my books garnered any attention was when I announced the free digital downloads – which, if I may, never sparked any reviews, word of mouth recommendations, or cash sales. Maybe, once I’ve signed a contract and am backed by a big name publisher, if my agent says an FB or Twitter account is a must, then I’ll be back. But I bet’cha I’ll hire some tech savvy college kid to run both. I’m through.
Next up, real human interaction with my circle of joy-bringers – a circle of friends I can turn to on a regular basis who light up any dark corners I find myself in. They do it without fanfare, sometimes without direct knowledge that they’re saving me at all. I’ve been remiss in my interaction as my time has been spent scrolling through my news or Twitter feeds with the obsessive focus of twenty-year old (I know this because I live with one who can’t seem to turn away from her *Tumblr / Instagram / FB…etc* feeds unless she’s asleep or eating – minor exaggeration). I’m going to have lunches, play dates, hikes, phone calls, email exchanges up the wazoo with these angels, all in an effort to find my way back to my happy place.
Some will argue that this is the equivalent of burying my head in the sand; that avoiding the news won’t make the ugly go away. I get that. But short of becoming a martyr, a terrorist, or some other sort of wildly news worthy tragedy, I don’t know how to stop the humans from continuing down this self-destructive path. I do know that if I am strong of heart and joy, I will be better able to spread those “happy feelings” (thank you Frankie Beverly and Maze, and whoever wrote those lyrics) and we are certainly in an age and time when we need more of both in the world.