Yes, I'm back to talking about Facebook. It's sort of all pervasive, and I have quite a few friends that I care about who I am not able to see regularly, and it is how I keep in touch with them.
There is so much talk about how toxic Facebook can be, especially after a big tragedy (or string of tragedies). Whatever is the hot topic of the moment will be plastered all over. It is an easy way for people to express their horror, frustration and fear.
And yet, when I go to Facebook, it isn't to be inundated with that kind of negative energy. I've seen a lot of studies about how Facebook can be emotionally undermining.
But it kind of reminds me of Pandora's box...the box has been opened, and we have been flooded with all this bad stuff. There really isn't a good way to put it all back in the box...so what do we do about it?
First, I definitely understand the need to have our opinions heard. Stuff happens, and we have strong feelings about it. We want to express those feelings so they don't remain bottled up inside. That is all fine and good, but think about how often we are sharing the same frustrations and anger.
The problem isn't that we are talking about this stuff. In my eyes, the problem is that we never go from talking to doing. And even our talk doesn't transmute into discussion. It is like the internet has us all stuck in troll-mode: never-ending rant's!
It's like we get stuck in a complaining loop. Someone will post a link and their thoughts on it, and people will comment, and everyone just goes around agreeing that it is horrible and that something should be done. This kind of negative energy feeds itself: the more you focus on it, the more it clings to you.
The good news is that there are lots of ways to transform this energy into something that makes things better.
One of the simplest ways I think is to find non-verbal ways to express our feelings and reactions to a thing. Images and music are both readily available (and sharable!). I know that both sometimes have words, but I feel that the words are almost secondary in these cases. Try finding an image or a song that embodies how the event makes you feel, and share that!
But I am Pagan, so I have another whole world of things I can do! First and foremost, when I encounter something that really upsets me deeply, I consider my need to do inner work on the subject. I think that when we rant or complain about something, we are often just venting what is on the surface without really delving into the deeper roots of what is wrong. By going inward, by really searching out the tendrils that are supporting our reaction, we can start to unravel our own true responses...and that is the first step to healing!
From there, we can start to work towards creating change. I definitely feel that change starts with me, so whatever I uncovered in my inner work, I can now work to heal it. It may mean that I do work with associated emotions or memories. Or it may mean that I work with my own failings to fight off the fear that I may be a victim (or that I may share some blame...)
Once we have done the personal work, we can start to reach out. So many times we stop before this point, but we have an amazing global connection through Facebook, and that means that we can organize people towards making actual change! I think the first step is to turn the conversation from what is wrong to how things can improve. The more people we can get involved in this conversation, the more that ideas will start to shift. Until ideas shift, people will continue to act from the flawed concepts that society has taught us.
Connection is a HUGE key. We toss around so many catch phrases about this issue or that cause, but what really moves people, what really makes them stop, listen and start to change, is when we make the people real. Words and ideas come later....feelings come first! If you have a story, a personal story, that is relevant...be brave and share! That is one thing that I absolutely love reading in my feed: stories about people helping other people. Or people connecting to people and finding out they weren't what they thought they were (stereotypes).
It is so very easy to judge by a first impression. But that is only a split second of time..and from your perspective! Often, when we look deeper and longer, we find that the other side is full of people too. People who feel very deeply about things. Sometimes, when we look we find that we misunderstood their motivations entirely. And sometimes that makes us wonder if perhaps they are misunderstanding us as well.
Of course, there will always be situations where even after you look and see what is behind the hype, you can not stand by and support a situation. And we must stand up for what we believe in! Again, we start at home, start within, and do what we can.
But let's start talking about what we are doing! Share the magic you are making to create a new and better world! Band together and weave your workings into bigger things! Imagine a world where social media becomes a tool to bring people into harmony...all resonating on the same frequency and all shining that light out into the world where it can lighten someone else's life!
The hatemongers are already spreading their filth everywhere. They are posting and yelling and talking and ranting and that is what we see in our feed when we check in. That is what the people who are struggling with these issues in their personal lives see: all that hate and anger. When we share our frustrations, we are feeding that feeling of helplessness!
Instead, let's share the love! Let's create a new way of doing things...where when bad stuff happens we start looking for ways to make it better. To show the victims that they are not alone, and their issues are being heard, and there are people who are willing to do something about it. Just imagine, if your words, if your telling your story, about how you met a person, or lit a candle, or did a spell or said a prayer, what if those words were enough to keep just one person looking forward. Now imagine if everyone you know on Facebook did the same....what would the internet be like then?