"A man does not show his greatness by being at one extremity, but rather by touching both at once." Pascal
For various reasons I don't use Facebook or Instagram.
They OBVIOUSLY work for some people - many people - but they don't work for me. They are too distracting from actual life for me.
Recently, I got the bright idea to promote my writing; get it out into the world more,
That's not an unreasonable goal, is it?
I decided to try my hand at Twitter.
For the fifth time.
I was on it for about a week and a half, maybe a little bit longer. I acquired about 175 followers in that time frame.
Sans reluctance, I deleted my account.
It felt like another social media obsession that I don't need.
Admittedly, I don’t feel that way about LinkedIn or Google+.
Both seem gentler and kinder - to me.
I found I was getting swept up in politics, partisanship, religion...
...and hatred. Not my hatred but how others' hatred affected me. (AND DANG, there is a lot of hatred and divisiveness on Twitter, Facebook and now, unfortunately, Instagram. I will also add that it is not from just one group, it is groups across the board.)
"You’re right." (So I'm in your corner and part of your tribe.)
"I’m right and you’re wrong."
"Join the resistance."
"Be a part of the blue wave,"
"You're a deplorable."
"Velcro shoe." (That one is totally new to me.)
There is certainly a lot of name-calling going on out there.
"F* this person, and f* that person, and f* this and f* that and...."
STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF!!
Somewhere down the line we missed the course on non-violent communication.
Or we need a refresher.
What the heck IS non-violent communication?
According to Wikipedia:
"Nonviolent Communication (abbreviated NVC, also called Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication) is an approach to nonviolent living developed by Marshall Rosenberg beginning in the 1960s.
It is based on the idea that all human beings have the capacity for compassion and only resort to violence or behavior that harms themselves and others when they do not recognize more effective strategies for meeting needs. Habits of thinking and speaking that lead to the use of violence (social, psychological and physical) are learned through culture. NVC theory supposes all human behavior stems from attempts to meet universal human needs and that these needs are never in conflict. Rather, conflict arises when strategies for meeting needs clash. NVC proposes that people identify shared needs, revealed by the thoughts and feelings that surround these needs, and collaborate to develop strategies that meet them. This creates both harmony and learning for future cooperation."
Sounds pretty daunting in today's world, does it not?
Maybe it is and maybe it isn't.
NVC takes intention, getting out of one's ego, and execution (i.e. effort).
Ok, slightly daunting.
We can quote non-violent activists but can we follow their examples?
I can't recall Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, The Dalai Lama or Nelson Mandela (to name just a few) ever using any of the aforementioned types of phraseology - at least not in public.
I found myself wanting to be on Twitter several times a day. I found myself wanting to be part of a community, part of a movement.
I did my best to bolster other people and support them.
It COMPLETELY distracted me from my writing.
Writing that IS part of a community, part of a movement.
It just so happens that I have created the community and movement with my words.
I initially got on Twitter to increase my readership. and I discovered that your chances of making inroads with your work are marginal at best.
Nil at worst.
UNLESS you are an additional voice in a movement - then you make connections quickly.
But if that movement or group causes you anxiety, frustration, or you are swept up in their behavior, language, and tactics just to feel heard, seen or accepted is it really worth it?
It wasn't for me.
I don't mind being a bit of a lone wolf.
There is NOTHING wrong with being original and not following the leader.
Someone recently said to me:
"Being a loving person on some social media is like going to an orgy with people who are (already) promiscuous then asking them to practice safe sex out of love and mutual respect.
It just doesn’t work. (Quite the analogy, isn't it.)
Is it easier to create an emotional reaction to words that are attached to hate than it is to create an emotional reaction to words attached to love?
I don't believe it is. As a writer I love the written word and KNOW words have immense power of love.
I also love the spoken word and believe the same for spoken words.
I've read that poems aren't as popular as they need to be because very few people connect words with love except those who enjoy poetry.
Is it easier to create hate than love through words?
If we don't want to utilize the word love because it's platitudinous, Pollyanna, over-employed or misinterpreted how about:
I say we need to be much more judicious with our words.
Don't give up on expressing love, humor and compassion.
Some days the love needs to be really firm, but it's still love.
Love - who needs it?
We ALL do.
We all want to have love in our lives. Psychologically, emotionally and physically we all need love in some form.
Those who say they don't are dealing with pain that is preventing them from having, or being the love.
I have never met a single person, no matter how hardened, who did not at some point, bring love into the conversation, or allude to it.
Needless to say, the brain is prewired for negativity, and positivity takes work.
But like RuPaul says “ You better work!”
DO THE WORK.
Reprogram your brain to be more positive, realistic, solution oriented, problem-solving, trouble-shooting and less knee-jerk, confrontational, easily offended, and reactionary.
Use social media, don't use social media, or use a little bit of social media. That is up to you and the lifestyle you lead.
If it's your daily focus and you can't wait to "share" with the world, then perhaps it's time to re-examine your relationships with social media and yourself.
It’s not self-righteous to stop using social media; in many instances it’s self-preservation.
As always thanks for reading.
See you again next week.
In the meantime, take a look at the work of a friend and colleague:
Love Your Life Healthy
KaZ has been in many facets of entertainment, plus the co-owner of two restaurants, a fitness center, a television production company and the owner of a cinema. She did a stint in politics (she won't be doing that again anytime soon), and in veterinary medicine, She now focuses on writing.
In addition to the above, KaZ is an award-winning vocalist, a former dancer, stunt actor, circus artist, & professional water skier. She has worked as a theater artistic director & writer.
KaZ has been a published writer in magazines & books since the age of 15. She has written plays that have been produced in New York, Florida & New Orleans. She has a featured chapter in the book How To Survive A Move. (Up-to-date she has moved 45 times!) KaZ wrote an article for Organic Wine Journal, and also an article featured at the Ground Zero Memorial.
KaZ co-wrote 2 television informational series & 3 television pilots.
One of the pilots, a sit-com, was produced as a reality pilot. KaZ has revisited it and it's now a one season cable series.
“(And ) Then This Happened.” is based on life, love, and everything in between in the mid-life years. Loosely based on her life and the life of two of her best girlfriends.
KaZ's many high pressure pursuits led her to meditation.
She began studying meditation in '91. Her initial training focused on Kundalini Yoga with Yogi Bhajan and his teachers. She is a certified Master Meditation and Qigong Instructor.
Most recently KaZ taught in a juvenile justice facility, and lectured on mental health in juvenile justice.
With writing being her first love, look for KaZ's upcoming children's books
from the mind of two grandmothers.
Plus, a play based on letters from her two great uncles during WWII.