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Food for Thought: Online Fatigue

From a person who spends much of their time trying to understand the world in as many directions as possible.

It has become easier to reach larger audiences online across the many platforms out there, and we are frequently being told about the many wrongs in the world and how we could be part of them. It isn't uncommon to experience a sense of fatigue in an environment such as this when there are no solutions given, or they aren't something we can realistically achieve, not to mention that they could also be terrible solutions. We are often left feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with this high level of expectation that everyone holds us to, that we can't have a say in, or we are considered enemies.

Here are a few points of interest to think on.

Opinions and Expectations

When it comes down to issues, everyone has their opinion on them, and it's often going to be controversial or differ from our own. Sometimes we can find useful bits of information in their views, but we might end up taking their word as the truth and shunning those who disagree with us. It's never easy acknowledging when we might be wrong or when we don't know enough about something to have a well-informed opinion on it.

With how connected we've become, it's easier than ever for people who have vastly different upbringings to share their views and opinions with us. Navigating through all of these opinions can be tricky, and it demands a thick skin as we are very likely going to meet resistance to our views. Determining which of these feels genuine and serves to better our lives over the opinions that might be less informed can be a difficult thing to do.

Knowing what is considered right or wrong is something we all struggle with, so applying it to views that affect the rest of the world isn't something we should do lightly. There are layers of complexity that we don't always fully understand surrounding issues, so the best approach would be to remain open to change should we find better solutions. However, we are expected to know about all of these issues and their intricacies but staying open to change or improvement is considered taking the opposing side rather than not being confident in the current approach.

Blaming and Shaming

A serious issue with being online is that there is a culture of blaming and shaming. The internet is a vast and continuously expanding place, where we share thoughts and opinions regarding virtually everything we can imagine. So it isn't uncommon to find that there are endless amounts of people who have faced challenges in life that either gave up or let it consume them. These people are often the ones who would cast blame on everything instead of focusing on getting themselves out of their situation or learning from it.

The world is a tough place, and every single person faces challenges regularly. We can't demand anything from anyone, and it would serve us better to focus on overcoming these challenges rather than letting them consume us. Casting blame might make others aware of some issues we might not notice otherwise, but it won't solve the immediate problem, and it may even push some people away. It's not unlike shooting first and asking questions later.

Shaming the people who have made our lives challenging in some way or who may have made a poor decision in life is no better. With there being billions of people on the planet with different cultures, there will inevitably be some clashing views and beliefs. It shouldn't come as a surprise that we might find some things as offensive while it's trivial for others. It might be ignorance, sure, but it could be that this way of thinking works in their community. It is difficult to judge people without getting a deeper understanding of where they come from and why they are the way they are.

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Vengeance and Perfection

Hunting people down and fighting with them is only going to amplify the issues we face, causing more division. Making a spectacle of people who have made poor decisions and exacting revenge on them for any reason is an awful way to treat each other. It promotes calling people out rather than giving them the tools to avoid doing so again. However, if they were to commit a crime, it is much more reasonable to bring this to people's attention if they were not held accountable.

We will always have people who don't like us, no matter what we do or say. And rallying people against them is an incredibly evil and selfish way of dealing with it. We have the potential to destroy an entire person's livelihood over something incredibly minor. You have to wonder if the person doing that is as good of a person as they claim to be because no good person knowingly destroys another person's life.

No one in this world is perfect, and we should stop treating our own opinions as the solution to all problems. There are very likely going to be flaws in many of our opinions, and when you realize that they could be flawed, you learn to keep them open to change. Being stubborn, ignorant, or hostile toward change is likely going to set us back in life, as life is a journey where we are needed to adapt and improve on ourselves regularly if we want to be successful.

Taking a Break

If we keep hounding people, they will eventually snap and take their opinions to extremes to prove a point. We often see people acting irresponsibly or out of emotion in these situations, which they later regret as they weren't in control of themselves. It might be better to avoid these incidents altogether by keeping a balance of time spent online and in real life. Otherwise, we may end up at the mercy of thousands or even millions of people online, who could potentially ruin the rest of our lives over a mistake.

We need to remember to take a break from the heaviness of being online every day. It isn't uncommon to feel stressed and unable to cope with the level of issues we are needed and expected to face with no room for error. Sometimes we need to take a step away from all of it and refresh ourselves by focusing on the things that matter to us on a personal level. Think stuff that we've dreamt of doing or have been meaning to do but haven't gotten around to doing because of the time we've invested online.

My Thoughts

The internet is a treasure trove of knowledge, but there are limits to what a person can realistically achieve in their lifetime. We are overwhelmed with news, issues, and information that often conflicts with each other, our morality, and our beliefs. It's easy to get lost in a spiral of resentment, confusion, and disbelief when we spend a lot of our time online, especially when it feels like we don't have a way of fighting against all of the problems the world faces.

My advice would be to focus on bettering yourself first. Do the things that matter to you, focus on becoming a good role model for your community and workplace, and never stop learning or being versatile. When you are a pillar of strength, those around you can learn from you and trust in you. Spending time online is a great way to become aware of issues, but it's an easy way to fall into a spiral of resentment when you negatively interact with people for whatever reason.


erikmama on March 08, 2021:

I try to live my life diversely and use every moment as a learning opportunity. Some things I refuse to accept or 'okay' but I move on from that and in my life and do not allow that to distract from my happiness or what I want to do.

Good points.

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