Toxic Social Media December 06 2017
I have come to the realization that some of my social media spaces are rather toxic for me. Actually, I must admit, I realized this quite a bit of time ago. A while back, I made my rounds through Facebook and started to unfollow various groups and/or friends. I didn't want to leave groups or unfriend people, but I didn't want any notifications or posts on my timeline anymore due to the negativity certain people or groups were causing me.
Roughly a year ago, I joined a handful of childfree Facebook groups. In case you don't know me all too well, I am childfree. I have chosen a life that does not include having children. Sometimes I feel a little bombarded by parental posts on social media and as a person who has opted to not have children, I wanted a space to share with like-minded individuals. By joining these groups, I felt like I didn't have to explain a part of my life that is important to me. There are more parents than people who are childfree/childless and I enjoyed knowing there were people who understood a choice of mine! I think everyone wants to feel like they belong somewhere. And for those who are childfree, we get tired of answering probing questions or judgments regarding our choices to not have children.
I'm not anti-kid and I don't go around calling parents mombies, breeders, etc. Umm. That's mean, right? I don't think it's okay to tear people down, regardless of what their beliefs or lifestyles are. In fact, especially if their beliefs and/or lifestyle choices are different from mine.
After being in these groups for some time and learning that their tone towards parents was negative, judgmental, and rude, I decided I had enough. In the past, I would shrug off what I deemed judgment and borderline bullying by members of these groups. I have been trying to channel a "live and let live" mentality. But I had to draw the line when a member had posted an article about a woman who had experienced 4 live births and 6 miscarriages and was expressing her pride of her body after the toll of childbearing. Here was a mom who carved out time in her day to help boost the self esteem of other moms. And when it was posted on the childfree groups, the members swooped in to state how ugly they thought her body was and that she should not feel any pride or confidence in herself. Um, excuse me?! I DO NOT stand for body shaming. For anyone! Typically, I stay low-key in practically all of the groups that I am a member of, but I could not stay silent on this post. I made a comment claiming it's not right for anyone to drag someone else down. It's not right to make anyone feel bad about their body. EVER. After another member responded that this mom was just looking for sympathy and her body was nothing to take pride in, I knew these spaces were no longer a good fit for me. I will not stick around for that sort of bullying. I will not be surrounded in such toxic thoughts. I won't be having any of that.
I went through all the groups that I belong to and started leaving. I left each and every group that didn't serve me. I left News groups from back home. Most of them stir up rumors and some even include undertones of bullying and bigotry. I had only maintained my membership of those groups to keep in the know of what was going on. But really, most of them serve as maintaining the status of a nosy Nancy. I also left groups related to fitness or personal training that I did not see eye-to-eye with and who's foundation was only conforming to the 'take up less space' and 'there are no excuses' rhetoric. The groups that claim weight loss is the only way for fitness to pave and fat people just need structure, less excuses, and a good program to kick their ass into skinny jeans. I will not stick around for that.
I encourage you to go through your social media accounts and notice which people, organizations, groups, etc. are serving you or would be better off without. I guarantee you will feel relieved to not see bullying, drama, gossip, and overall negative vibes in your feeds.
Carry on with confidence