Hey, it’s me, Cherron. Maybe you noticed I disappeared from Facebook, maybe you didn’t. Either way, I decided to take a break for my own mental clarity.
What started out as an idea to repair a very dear personal relationship, I was forced to realize that yes, I may be addicted to Facebook. That addiction was exhausting me and I hadn’t even noticed.
Since I was a little girl, keeping up with social and political issues was something I learned from my Grandma Helen. We would fight over who would get the news section of the Martinsville Bulletin first and I would always get angry with her if she didn’t fold her section back together properly. We sat on her porch and read the daily paper from front to back. Most days, grandma was more concerned with the community section as well as scrolling the obituaries to see which church member had passed away. Me, I carefully read every section, learning something new everyday.
With every political season, I get so amped up and find myself participating in the process as a social media “insider.” Politics are fun for me. I still read newspapers as if I’m sitting with grandma but these days, I find myself staying up late to catch every news cycle on television. I wake up to repeats and breaking news of the day. I follow top social activists social media pages. I follow politicians and most days get involved in lengthy, time consuming debates.
I find myself posting article after article, while many times inserting my own opinions. Over the years, those opinions (usually followed up with facts) have gotten me deleted, blocked, or sometimes cursed out. Just last week, some random person came onto my page and called me a b*tch for a very personal opinion on our amazing President. While I am a big girl and can handle most smears, I realized I was exhausted.
While most people constantly tell me they appreciate my posts because I help them stay informed, I’m quite aware of the small number that find me offensive. As I have said over and over, I am not here for anyone’s comfort. Sometimes the truth makes people very uncomfortable and I have no problem ruffling feathers to give them the truth.
There have been times when someone messaged me regarding racism to tell me that there was no way it existed at home because blacks and whites had recently all sat in a local barbershop just laughing and talking. It is this type naivety and ignorance that caused me lots of exhaustion. There was another hometown girl who noticed that I pointed out her mother’s blatant racism and she deleted and blocked me after telling me she thought I was her friend. Friend? Yeahhhhhh….no we weren’t. I hadn’t seen her in 20 years.
This political cycle is filled with so much frustration because of the two candidates we have. While I didn’t initially support Hillary Clinton and could understand some of the corporate hesitancy, it is beyond anything imaginable how anyone could support a candidate like Donald Trump. To see former teachers, coaches, and people I once respected throw out their support completely feels like disrespect. I take those endorsements extremely personal and I just needed to step back. A racist, sexist, Islamaphobic demagogue this close to the Presidency just sickens me to my core. His supporters sicken me even more.
Politics aside, sometimes I try to bring humor to my Facebook page. That humor often misses and while I laugh hysterically, there’s always that one person who takes it personal though they were the least of my thoughts. I find humor in your carefree grammatical errors. I find humor in your weird praises. I find humor in your “share this for $1m postings.” Seriously, I find YOU humorous. You don’t even realize the silly stuff you do so I find myself laughing daily. In fact, I’m laughing right now just thinking of how you probably just posted about going too the store, then “liked” it immediately. 😂😂
Whether I have posted about the news, social issues, my life, or politics, even family members have been quick to delete and block because of something they either don’t understand or have assumed. I am the most honest, forthcoming person there is. Through Facebook, family members have told me “you think you’re better than…” I have been criticized for not attending family functions. I have been called out of my name so much that I have gotten to the point where even that has exhausted the life of me. When people don’t understand that you have your own shit to deal with, then use social media to judge and assume who you are, it can really wear you out.
So here I am, on a break. It may be a few days, until the election is over or I may try to make it through the holidays. Either way, taking a step back was needed.
Two things we should remember about Facebook: 1. Every Facebook friend is not actually your friend. and 2. Don’t assume you know everything about a person by what you see them post.
When I return, I hope Donald Trump has lost the election. I hope the national climate has cooled from the intensity of this political season. I hope we remember who our “friends” were who defended the rhetoric of the Donald Trump campaign. Most importantly, I hope that friendship I wanted to repair is solid.
I hope YOU have grown more on everything you have done as well.