The world’s a hard place to navigate and seems to be getting harder.
A space like Twitter — that I once described as the best place I’ve never worked at — has become a place of grandstanding, virtue-signalling, toxicity, naivety, danger, over-marketing and more.
I find myself more and more withdrawn from posting there.
It doesn’t mean I don’t care about injustices. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to see the erasure of the dangerous fringes that have developed in people and the cults they are part of it.
I choose not to enter that fray, deliberately, as an act of self-love.
Since 2016 (and even sometime before that) this playground and other social networks have been hard work. Psychologically tough. I’ve never really let on that this is the case. I keep my own counsel about what to reveal, share and let the world know.
Pressed or criticised by some for “the lack of use of influence” or “not taking a stance” hits hard. I care deeply about just, goodness and fairness.
The Dr King quote about good people standing by means evil prevails (paraphrased) picks at my psyche.
And yet there are things in my life that are invisible to others and yet critical to me that need my attention even more than the justice crusades of some.
So my commitment to the world is to continue to post, infrequently, and be positive. Intentionally positive. Not toxic positivity (as I’ve seen the meme doing the rounds).
Looking after grieving and unwell family members, running an enterprise, expanding prior to a pandemic, having others livelihoods in your hands, living up to expectations and the needs of those close to you, meeting the demands of clients and partners, collaborators and peers.
Caring about a damaged planet and the lives of other sentient beings.
Wanting to see a society that is inclusive, kind and helps people thrive.
Wishing to see education that enlightens and encourages people to be articulate, understanding, good citizens.
Wanting to see Governments that are fair, open and for the people.
Just because we don’t jump on every hashtag, repost every meme, or join in with every debate doesn’t mean we’re not thinking about it. It doesn’t mean we’re not activists in some way to shift the way the world operates and how people behave within it.
I’ve made and lost some great friends in the online spaces I used to be more obvious on. Those losses aren’t easy no matter what others may think. The gains are great and I’m blessed with lots of very supportive, generous, appreciative, caring, open and smart people.
I’m a flawed individual with misdirected deeds, thoughts and words. I’ve done things I’m now wishing I hadn’t. I’ve affiliated with people who’ve lifted me and left me.
I guess I’m merely reflecting on a year of a different way to look at our social bonds. Bonds as in investment and bonds as in connections between people.
As we emerge, I think I’m changed and I suspect many others are too.
I still stand for things that I want to make a difference about. I may not post prolifically on them. I may even be invisible about them. My sense of virtue is that often the truest form of virtue is where no one really knows about them. It’s the sincerest form perhaps. Seeking no plaudits, coverage or attribution for. I applaud people like Marcus Rashford for his stance. He’s in the limelight anyway and wants to do good with it.
I will be very deliberate and occasionally random about what I do post on. But I’ve been on some of these platforms for over a decade and I’m tired of a lot of the elements of them.
With thanks to Helena Clayton for helping me realise this.