Social media is making me an angrier person, but I want to fix it

Trev wants to take a break from social media but can’t.

I need to take a break from social media.

The one thing I dislike about my profession is how intertwined it is with things like Facebook and Twitter.

In reality though it’s a love/hate relationship: I love when I can mine stories from social media. I hate the person it turns me into when I get distracted by it.

Last week: Telkwa’s recent water woes a reminder of infrastructure deficit

Let me just preface all this by saying I have never really done the whole New Year’s resolution thing because I think it’s cliché and you should practice self-improvement when you want to, not on some arbitrary date.

But this year I’ve decided I want to try to find some way to limit my use of social media for non-work purposes.

This is really tough, because I’m essentially always on the lookout for events, story ideas, etc. on Facebook, so perhaps a more accurate way to phrase the above would be my resolution is not to get bogged down in the comment section.

If you use Facebook you probably know what I’m talking about.

The nastiness.

The “I’m right, you’re wrong, no matter what” attitude.

The never-ending back and forth of two people typing over each other in a futile attempt to convince the other of a belief they are not open to being convinced of.

One of the things that frustrates me most is when I’m at home on a day off and I’m browsing Facebook, reading comment sections and arguments between people. Why am I wasting my time reading a 60-comment post on WTF Smithers? What does it accomplish?

Rhetorical question, but you get the point.

MORE TREV THOUGHTS: We can’t acknowledge our failures without conceding our successes

Something happens to people when they argue on social media. We don’t say things to people like we would in real life. Sure, this is partly because a lot of the time on the internet you don’t know who is on the other keyboard.

But I also see it in local groups where there is a lot more interconnectedness (and where I get the sense many people know each other, even if only by some degree of reputation), so I get the feeling it is not purely based on the anonymity factor.

If you’re familiar with Marshall McLuhan and the concept of how “the medium is the message” then you can appreciate how this relates to social media and how it transforms how we conduct ourselves on the platform. It changes us, and not always for the better.

And while I hate to bring him into it, whether you love him or hate him it’s hard to deny that Donald Trump could not have done what he did in 2016 before the age of social media.

In any event, I want out for a while. A social media reset, if you will.

In all honesty, the real resolution is becoming calmer, the social media aspect is just the means to the goal.

It’s like that Snickers ad — I’m not myself when I’m spending my free time reading some argument chain between a flat earther and a liberal arts major.

Maybe you aren’t either.

Despite this being an opinion piece, I don’t think it’s my place to tell people what to do. But I will say this: if any of this resonates with you, seriously consider trying to take a break from social media.

Part of me wishes I could just turn it off for a month. Perhaps that’s what I will do when I go home for a vacation eventually.

Even just over the last few weeks I’ve found myself much happier using social media more responsibly.

It’s not easy and I still catch myself messing up and realizing I’m reading too much into something —literally — but isn’t that the point of New Year’s resolutions?

Again, it’s a cliché, but there are so many incredible experiences to be had and (non-wireless) connections to be made out there in the WWW (the whole wide world).

Why spend your holidays getting mad when you could spend it creating incredible memories with your family?

Merry Christmas to all, and best of luck on any of your respective goals for the new decade (you know, since I won’t be reading as many of your statuses in 2020).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Witset in lockdown following three confirmed COVID-19 cases

Band office, health centre and KWES facilities closed until further notice

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

UPDATE: Search continues for Thomas (Tommy) Dennis missing from near Kitwanga

Tommy Dennis was last seen Sept 16 wearing blue jeans, black cap, rubber boots, grey checked sweater

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Most Read