[Disclaimer: Angry post. Sorry.]
Once in a while, I do a “spring cleaning” of social media by unfollowing a ton of stuff. Not things I disagree with (we need disagreeing points of view) and not because I’m better than anyone (my insecurity would immediately banish the thought), but because it’s simply better for my mental state. It’s never a hasty decision. But where I’m going, I can’t take every voice with me. If you must, please discern wisely to unfollow me, too.
Here are eleven kinds of blogs or social media I’ll be leaving behind.
1) Random pornographic images. I know that art can be made out of the body (most work by Michelangelo and da Vinci are floppy beige sketches of the human form), but maybe we can draw the line at exploitative objectification. Not to be prude-ish, but I’m also a recovering porn addict, and a relapse would have me missing work. And yes, most pornography supports violent cycles of human trafficking, and I can’t endorse that.
2) Hypocrisy. If you market yourself as an “inspirational blogger” but do nothing but preach online and get into passive-aggressive religious arguments all day, bye. There’s a whole world outside that’s starving.
3) Suicide culture. Look, I’ve wrestled with depression my whole life. No one wants depression. If you glorify that stuff with memes and moody movie scenes (from movies you’ve never seen), you’re both diminishing a very real illness and feeding into it, and I have to question if you’re really suffering depression or you’re just trying to go viral.
4) Shaming your parents. I know there are some really awful parents, but “Screw them because they didn’t get me the iPhone I wanted last Christmas” surpasses my tolerance for privilege. Unless you’re a parent, you have little clue how much they’ve sacrificed for your best (and yes, they’re people too, and they’re going to mess up sometimes). My family grew up with nothing; I know how hard they struggled.
5) Entitled fandoms. You’re strangling creativity. You’re why screenplay writers won’t take risks. They don’t owe you anything. Let them finish their story, and then complain.
6) Reactionary bitterness. If your blog is obviously acting out of unresolved anger all the time, bye. Go solve that stuff in real life, not with your thumbs. (And I recognize the irony of posting an angry post about angry posts: except it’s more out of grief than anything.)
7) Contrarian. If you’re constantly the guy who says “Well what about—” you’re actually an important voice, as we need critical thinkers, but at some point the edgy backlash of finding microscopic flaws that starts with “Am I the only one who doesn’t—” gets desperately exhausting.
8) Hyper-religious overbearing inspirational Instagram preachers. Seriously, bye. Why should anyone listen to you? What makes you a credible authority on anything? And why are you yelling “lukewarm” all the time? Please join any number of charities at the ground level.
9) Anti-religious atheist-fundamentalists. Seriously, blocked. I get the whole not-believing-in-God thing (I was an atheist for a very long time), but yelling at Christians in shrill snarky videos is just petty. You’re basically Westboro Baptist Church but replaced the “God hates you” signs with “I hate everyone who disagrees.”
10) Anyone who emotionally blackmails me to get money. I get at least one message a month that says something like, “You owe me, I made you who you are, don’t try to think you’re too big for me now.” Like this one: http://jspark3000.tumblr.com/post/152224898828/ (who by the way is still writing a bunch of “inspirational” stuff).
11) Dichotomous “Us vs. Them” rhetoric. If you can’t possibly make room and dialogue with the “other side,” politically or religiously or philosophically, you’re probably not mature enough to have a blog. If you can’t admit when you’ve been wrong or you only offer non-apologies, you have zero credibility for a platform. Go live a little, experience foreign cultures, admit where you need to grow, talk with people you’d normally never agree with, read different opinions. Please come back wiser.