by Matt Mattson
Let me start this way. You are loved. You are appreciated. I can tell that you're trying your hardest. I know we may not agree on everything, and on some things we strongly disagree, but that's what makes life wonderful. Also, if you need to hear this... you're forgiven. It's o.k.
I feel like most of us haven't heard those messages that start this post for a while. Because... we're all getting so mean.
Social media is certainly only one iteration of our social selves, but it's the most amplified iteration and therefore one might conclude that it is becoming the most accurate iteration. And we're all getting so mean on social media.
I know this isn't exactly breaking news. We've been mean for a while. But it's just getting unbearable. If your life goal is snark, I feel like you might be doing life wrong. Don't get me wrong. I'm no saint. I like a good laugh -- occassionally at the expense of some buffoonery from celebrities or politicians -- but that's become the national zeitgeist driving a shift in our cultural values. And that's dangerous.
Listen, I know it's a weird time. It's a dangerous time for many. It's a scary time for entire segments of the population on both sides of the aisle. But we're in a downward spiral right now. Our anger is fueling our rage and our rage is altering our communication and the way we communicate in large part determines who we are as a nation. And who we are as a nation is not real pretty right now. We've all gotten so mean.
I can certainly join in on the blame game. Talk radio, commercialized news, gerrymandering, institutional isms, and you know... Russia. Those are important problems to discuss, but the heart of who we are as a people begins with whether or not we choose to communicate from our heart.
Let's make the next half of this year different. Let's let Kathy Griffin be our collective breaking point. Let's just all take a deep breath and tell people they're loved, they matter, they're forgiven, and we appreciate them trying.
Start on social media. Don't share that article with the negative headline about the person or group that makes you and your group angry. Seriously. Don't. Post a picture of you having fun. Post a recipe. Talk about something you love, not something you hate. Celebrate someone in your community -- a teacher, a public servant, a person who has influenced you.
Let's just be a little less mean this second half of the year. Please.