The Elephant on Social Media: Deciding what to post about in 2017

So here’s the thing. I’ve spent the past few weeks struggling to wrap my head around what’s happening in the world #Resistright now. I’ve been remembering how I learned about all those wars during my school years. I’ve been thinking about how many times I’ve heard the phrase “Never again.” I’ve been wondering how in freaking hell history seems to repeat itself over and over and over again. And I’ve never felt so helpless or paralyzed in all my life.

For the most part, I haven’t shared any of this on social media. In part because I’m not sure I know how to express the heartache, shock, and yes, terror that reside in my core like a churning black pit filled with horrors I’m not sure I’m strong enough to face. In part because I don’t think my voice is strong enough to make much of an impact. And in great part because I’ve struggled with what my responsibility is to the social media community I’ve worked so hard to build.

If you’ve followed me for any length of time here, on Twitter, or on Facebook, you may have noticed that things are generally pretty positive. There’s a goodly dose of humour, a sprinkle of what I hope others find as inspiring as I do, some pet-inspired posts, and a great deal of sharing of the lighter moments in life. Oh, and an occasional self-promo thing, too…but I keep forgetting to post those! 😉

So here’s my dilemma:  stuff is happening. A lot of stuff. Every time I go online, it seems there’s something new. Something more. Something that people need to know about and fight against. So…do I post about it? Share it on my Facebook page? Help get the message out? Or do I maintain a lower profile on the social media activist front? Keep the tone light? Pretend I don’t see the elephant in the room?

It seems to me that both choices hold equal importance. Yes, I want to be a part of the resistance and to signal-boost to get the messages out there to as many people as possible, but I also want to be a bit of an oasis for those who need respite from the constant barrage. I want to fight the ugliness that appears ready to swallow humanity, but I also want to notice that there is still beauty in the world. I want to acknowledge the darkness, but I want to be a light in that darkness, because heaven knows the world can use more of that right now.

 

So after much angsting (much, much angsting 😛 ), here’s what I’ve decided. For the most part, my social media community is going to remain a safe place.  On Twitter, where the nature of the beast is such that it makes for great signal-boosting, I’ll post and repost all that I can on behalf of the resistance. But here on the blog, you’ll still get mostly random posts that mirror my equally random thought-process (because frankly, others are much more articulate than I am when it comes to expressing outrage anyway), and my Facebook page will remain mostly light and fun, because if your newsfeed is anything like mine these days, you need something to make you smile once in a while. And there are still so many things to smile about.

In short, I want you to know that I know the elephant is in the social media room with me. I can feel it sitting on my chest every minute of every day. But I refuse to let it squash the life out of me, or to throw such a shadow that I can no longer see or be a light. I can’t fix the world, but I will do what I can to help (such as donate to the ACLU), and I will continue to spread kindness every chance I get, and I will put boots on the ground to make a difference in my community…and I will continue to entertain and distract you as best I can.

Sound good? I’d like to know what you think, so please do leave me a comment below (or on Twitter or Facebook, if you’d prefer).

And on that note, I’m going to get back to work, because I have a novel to edit for you!

Much love,

Linda


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14 responses to “The Elephant on Social Media: Deciding what to post about in 2017”

  1. miki Avatar

    sadly i’m not on twitter but i do think people needs to speak…yes it’s a lot , yes it’s more often than not depressive but keeping silent is a bit like approving adnd that’s worse so i’m glad that you want to help all of us by keeping thing seperated but i’m proud that would also stand up so….THANK YOU

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      I think the time has come for all of us to stand up, Miki — I just think we need to do it (as much as possible) in a way that doesn’t swallow us whole. It’s a tough balance to find. I’m glad you liked my post!

  2. Karla Brandenburg Avatar

    Very well spoken, Linda, and I’m right there with you. All of this controversy is very distracting (to put it mildly) and it is certainly affecting my mental health, let alone those who aren’t as “well strung” as I might be. There comes a point when you have to turn off the noise, and yet as your meme says, we also need to be well informed. It’s a tightrope walk the whole country is on, I believe.

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      I’m glad you liked the post, Karla. And as a Canadian, I can assure you that it’s not just the States walking this particular tightrope. This is definitely a group effort! 😉

  3. Wendy Jeglum Avatar
    Wendy Jeglum

    Hi Linda,
    I hear what you are saying. We are bombarded with those elephants everyday. Social media, news sites everywhere. We know where to go if we need a cold shower of reality. Your Facebook blog and posts are an oasis in the desert. I look forward to them every day .Dont change a thing!

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      Deciding on a balance will be an ongoing process for me, I think, Wendy…but I’ll definitely try to remain an oasis as much as I can. 😉

  4. Dani Harper, Author of Paranormal Fantasy Avatar

    Thanks Linda for putting into words what I’ve been wrestling with too. It’s a tough call, and with rapid-fire daily crises in the news, it feels like I’m having to make that call a dozen times a day — “Should I share this or not?” “Should I say something or not?” and sometimes even “Should I hit Like or not?” I know how I feel about things, but should how far should I step into the political maelstrom? What do my readers need? What are my responsibilities as a citizen and a human being? Facebook alone has become exhausting.

    Really really glad you wrote this. It’s given me food for thought.

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      SUCH a tough call, Dani, and yes, it’s the ‘what are my responsibilities’ question that keeps me up at night, too. I hope my post helped a little. Thanks for reading! <3

  5. Paul Anthony Shortt Avatar

    There is more than one way to resist, Linda. At times like this, we need the demonstrators holding up signs. We need the warriors throwing bricks and punching Nazis. We need the moderators preaching peace and making sure we don’t lose ourselves. We need healers to make us whole. We need artists to remind us that there’s life beyond this ugliness.

    Whatever you do, you’re the resistance, along with the rest of us.

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      Wise words, Paul. I’ll remember them. Thank you! <3

  6. bluesnowkat Avatar
    bluesnowkat

    I think we all need to be reminded of the positives in the world. That despite all the negative happenings, the great uncertainties, the dark and the ugliness, there is light and hope and love and joy in the world. We need to spread these positive messages, and especially the light-hearted, the silly, the humorous, the beautiful, to show the world that there are many reasons to persevere, to resist, and most importantly, to show that we are not really all that different. I mean, who can resist good cat video? I, for one, love seeing a fluffy Itty doing cute and/or silly things. It brings smiles and cheer, and at least for a moment, makes me to remember the important simple things in life.

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      “…remember the important simple things in life…” Yes, I think that’s definitely the secret to staying sane in this mess, @bluesnowkat! Thanks for speaking up! <3

  7. Madelle Morgan Avatar

    It’s a conundrum for us Canadian writers. We have a social media “voice” and are deeply affected (emotionally and economically) by what is going on in the world in 2017, yet our Canadian voices are not nearly as effective as American voices. So I plan to follow a similar strategy. People need an escape, and our books provide that! I hope people realize that this approach is not because we don’t care. We care!

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      I think it’s a conundrum for all writers, to be honest. Our job is to entertain, but we also want to be good world citizens (and decent humans) as well…it’s a tough line to draw sometimes. 🙁

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