I have decided that a fundamental state of the union has disappeared. The happy medium. Not the smiley face or Duck Dynasty happy, happy, happy. I'm talking about the "I don't give a sh*t, straddle the fence, Jack Nicholson grinning, Bob Marley's "Everything Gonna Be Alright" happy, but without the munchies." The real get away, tuning out with the flip of a switch.
Did social media kill the happy medium? I am turned off by the haters today AND the ridiculously happy. Crap happens to the best and worst of us, and it doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen. I have great days, average days, and really sucky days. Although it's futile and naive, I try to reserve my bad ones to one day, f'ing Friday.
However, my favorite coping mechanism was the happy medium. A state of mind, an oasis if you will, somewhere between Fargo and Colorado.
For myself, Facebook has opened doors to new friendships, and provided fresh prospective and broader understanding to other views and cultures. But, do it's fleeting opinions require me to form mine faster, and quickly pick a side? And if I don't, doesn't my silence speak it anyway?
If in the old days, if I was confronted with something that didn’t interest me while on my happy medium oasis, I was just that...disinterested. Now, my disinterest has morphed into curiosity, and I click on that pic of Selene, who is once again taking selfies in the bathroom mirror at work.
Why? Just so I can say, "I can't believe how self important she is," (to myself.) I thought of how shallow that relationship was, if all I expected from her was the worst. I no longer follow Selene to the bathroom.
I do stupid little rituals to try to keep social media real. But, most importantly, I don't look for elation or rejection in the number of how many people agree or disagree with me. My page is personal, it's me, it's my out, my diary, my message in a bottle, my time capsule.
Ok, imagine this. There's this chic sitting at a motherboard of some sort in Charleston hoping the thunder and lightning will create enough frenetic energy that her CB radio will reach out to another planet, and even though she knows it won't, she sings Elvis's "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Drops of Jupiter" by Train into the mic until she falls asleep at her desk. Just because it felt good to get it out .
How man Pinterest followers do I have? That is ludicrous. Do you know why people pin me? Because I copied a bunch of someone else’s sh*t! How many Facebook friends do I have? I have the ones that I like. Do you want to find out how many of your Facebook friends are real? Post that you are moving next weekend and need some movers. All of a sudden, that 900 friends list narrowed, didn't it?
I think the best of the world, and have lived on the happy medium oasis for a long, long, time. But now, social media insist that I take offense or defense of positions. Everyone is just so angry; angst and bitterness abound.
There was a time when we could point a finger at the ills of society (by the way, they all started with opinions.) Opinions became people who wore white sheets with the eyes cut out, who previously enslaved and then burned crosses in yards of African Americans, opinions of self supremacy killed hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women, and children, opinions made families choose to lose sons because of the color they chose, blue or grey.........
Democrat, republican, black, white, gay, straight, mexican, indian, peace, or war, the majority is actually hate. Social media is the hidden cache of weapons of mass destruction. It allows the ability to hide behind a desk or kiosk and quietly fire missiles. It's powered by the "Likes" posted by the bottom feeders. The "yes" people.
I've seen Christians called ignorant, Buddhist called belly rubbers, Republicans and Democrats idiots, naturalist tree huggers, meat eaters carnivores, vegans salad shooters, people with tattoo... gays...bikers... You get it the picture. It's easy to be the villian.
And now with a click of the mouse, we can add graphic pictures to support our beliefs, many of which use extremes to pontificate their radical views.
I had a African-American friend challenge my stance on equality. "Renae, would you go downtown in "any city, USA" (the hood) for a party if I asked you? By the way, he didn't live anywhere near the hood.
I answered, "No, would you go to a Hell's Angels party twenty miles out on a "Davie County farm" (way the hell out in the boonies) if I asked you? I have never been to a Hell's Angels party except for the mistaken charity benefit dinner I took Don to for "a man's brother killed" flyer I saw at the grocery store. Now that's naive, and true.
Ludicrous beliefs are considered the dogma of society. Only ignorant people believe in Jesus? This comment headlined a copied story of the church snake handler from an extremely small religious sect that died.
Still yet, I love opinions other than mine. They make me ponder and explore. They intrigue me and I decide. Hey, opinions can change. Who's to say that when the doctor says my time is drawing near, grandma books a flight to Colorado with an overhead bag of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts to cover her munchies. In the mean time, I try to remember that hate makes majorities, that create minorities, which creates divide. There is a cure. It is peaceful resolve and acceptance that there are different opinions and cultures other than ours, coupled with a trip to the happy medium oasis, where you will lay out, and absorb a chameleon coating that will leave you neutral and un-bothered.