The internet is sucking the life out of me right now. And no matter how jaded I think I've become, I so far continue to find myself reaching new and formerly unimaginable heights of cynicism. Even when that tiny voice inside me insists that at heart we are all good and human and we need people to give us an inch to breathe, I think to myself "Bullshit. We're all just a bunch of attention-seeking whores." And then the little voice and the other voice start knocking the shit out of each other because no one can agree who's right and I refuse to put an end to the fighting by declaring a winner. Its going to have to end in a TKO, ladies, sorry.
The extremes just get to me from time to time. Its as if people ignore the wide gap between hatred and sycophancy. You can't tell me there are only two categories of people. The bell curve between hater and fan is long and wide. Sadly, the reasonable voices in the middle are drowned out by the shrill screams coming from either end.
I don't want to jump on anyone's bandwagon. I have my own opinions, they may or may not fit anyone's notion of what's wrong and right, good and bad. And for every person I've judged for the way they shared their opinion, for the things they said or the way they behaved, I realize I've done most all of those things too at one time or another.
I'm not being intentionally vague here, I'm not writing about any particular current internet drama or situation. I'm writing about all of it - from a friend on FB having a fight with her mother's cousin about gays in the military to a two friends on a forum disagreeing about whether one person was being mean and hurtful to someone to the latest mommyblogger drama to the rampant and feverish rush of folks crucifying other folks over their politics and religious beliefs.
It just wears me the fuck out.
Facebook, Twitter, news sites and blogs - I find myself exhausted within minutes upon visiting most any of them. Something in me says that we have lost our collective way, that we are chasing rabbits and catching air. That we have forgotten some really important truths about ourselves and our world. That we are focusing - or being directed to focus on - things that are unimaginably inconsequential. Is it because someone or something is deliberately trying to distract us, or are we just trying to distract ourselves? Or is this just the way it always is and I'm only noticing it right now, and what is it that I need to ferret out in my conscious mind that's causing me to notice and react?
There are times when I find the general online discourse - most of it, anyway - to be energizing. And even now, there are pearls strewn amongst the pebbles. You give me respite, you nameless writers, when I need something, some thought or word to give me reassurance that I don't need to cancel my Facebook account, delete my blog and unplug my wireless router.
Maybe its the changing nature of things that has gotten to me. Despite knowing better, despite the dogged determination to really accept facts as they are - that everything changes and ends - perhaps I am fatigued by the constant evidence that so few of our lives are static. Perhaps I loved reading a particular person's writing, frequently checking their pages for updates and adding my comments here. And then their lives changed, dramatically. Either they stopped writing or had a life-change after which I could no longer relate to them, or even worse, they became terribly ill or died. And so someone I felt unreasonably close to, someone I felt I knew and had some insight to, they changed and they left me behind. Or perhaps someone hit a rough and ugly patch and their voice changed from one of joy and compassion to one of ugliness and hate. Or I simply had to stop reading the headlines on the news outlets because I could so rarely find anything positive or life-affirming.
Surely this will pass. But will it be that the wheel turns outside of me and things circle back around, or will it be that the change I need is really just inside me, and as my mind changes I see through a different, a better filter that highlights the good and obscures the difficult?