HOLY SMOKES, ENOUGH ALREADY. Stop it, just stop it. No one (and I mean no one) wants to listen to it anymore. Grow a pair and man up, or woman up. Life’s a Bitch and Then You Die, its always been that way. Think you’ve got it tough? Someone out there always has it tougher. Our American society has made us a bunch of pathetic pussies. Be forewarned, I am seriously contemplating another Facebook friends purge—the last time I did it over forty friends bit the dust never to be heard from again.
The word friend is dubious at best where Facebook is concerned. It’s more like theater or bad melodrama. A real friend would tell you to shut the fu*k up and get on with your life. You’re too self-indulgent by half, and even that might be okay except for all the whining. I’m not even opposed to hearing about your problems, but by God I expect you to do something about them other than just complaining. And complaining to virtual strangers no less. Take some positive action instead.
Sadly its become a part of the new American culture to get a rung up on the victimization ladder, and then to celebrate the accomplishment to the world with a public pity-party. The more sympathy you can generate the more special you become. Bullshit, you’re only special to yourself and a royal pain-in-the-ass to everyone else. There was a time, not so very long ago, when public displays of emotion and airing of dirty laundry were seen as indecent and inappropriate.
Oh, how I long for the good old days when adults behaved like adults and not like angst-ridden teenagers. And today everyone enables everyone else to behave this way. Let a woman share that she picked the wrong guy again (for the fifth or sixth time) and all the girlfriends swarm to her side to give aid and comfort. How many will take the time to grab her by the shoulders, shake her hard and tell her the truth. You’re doing this to yourself and you do it over-and-over again.
How many men (and I use the term loosely) have adopted this same practice? Way too many. If it seems pathetic when a woman does it, then think how pathetic it looks when you do it. Truth be known you were probably a jerk anyway and got what you deserved. Do you really expect all of your male friends to swarm to your side and give you a group hug? Maybe you do, but I certainly won’t be in the group. This national psychosis is seen and experienced everywhere, and it’s really making me physically sick to my stomach.
Everyone suffers from something dickheads. No one is immune to life’s struggles. Do you really think all this Facebook sympathy is love and support? It’s simply a quid pro quo, you do it for me and I’ll do it for you, and then everyone will think we’re really special, and by implication better or more entitled than everyone else. I hurt more than you, I suffer more than you, I’ve been abused more than you—no, you just talk about it more, and do less of what’s necessary to fix your life. YOUR LIFE. You are responsible for it.
People want things to be different from what they are (we’re rarely satisfied). This is suffering in Buddhist jargon. Pain is inevitable in life, suffering is optional. Read that again my friends, SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL. You can do something about it, you and only you. Compassion, empathy and even sympathy are noble human emotions, and shouldn’t be squandered on trivialities. This pap we’re dealing with now on social media is just self-indulgent, manmade psycho-babble. And it’s not benign, it’s creating millions of needy namby-pambys.
Why do we insist on doing this? My opinion is that it has to do with the increasing lack of physical social interaction, what once took place face-to-face now happens primarily in cyberspace. Where we once embraced our fellow beings with a physical hug, that hug has been replaced by a cyber-hug. And where we once listened and offered sage advice we now judge and offer up hollow aphorisms. I’m sending prayers your way, end of involvement. I hate this new way of doing things.
Do you want to feel better about yourself? Then do something for someone else. Do something real and concrete, not this phoney-baloney, television soap opera stuff. Get out of your head, turn off your cell phone, disconnect from Facebook and shun your television for a while and DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER (and maybe help someone else along the way). Be positive and quit complaining in public. Suffer in silence, or at least with your family and very best friends, take it out of the public forum.
Do I have any real hope this will change attitudes? Not the slightest. The only solution (and it’s no solution beyond a personal solution for me) is to remove the negative from my life. The needy, the insecure, the depressed, the narcissists, the neurotic and the psychotic. Fix the problems in your own life and quit expecting family, friends, government and society to fix them for you. I feel the Facebook purge coming on, and it’s going to be a real bloodletting this time around. Grow up and quit acting like babies.
Stephen F. Dennstedt
Photographer, Writer and World Traveler
. . . and sometimes social commentator