Social Media Brought Us Together But I’m Now Conscientiously Unplugging From Your Feed

I have been the child of a parent who has unraveled publicly.

I am going to say something and I already know I am going to get my butt handed to me, but yes you CAN use social media wrong.

Let me explain why I think I can be so bold to declare this. I read what you write and as a fellow human someone needs to tell you.

Can you tell I am defensive before I even put my thoughts down? It is because these folks have many followers and people who genuinely care about them. Those people will probably want to skin me alive but I have sat on this post thinking about what is more important to me and I decided I am still going to share it.

This is as Judgy Judy as you will ever see me and it is not about your proper language skills even though that is what we bloggers often shame each other about.

FYI Bloggers, I don’t care if you have poor grammar and punctuation. I just don’t. I myself “suffer” from lack of giving a crap when I am plunking something out on my phone with my thumbs in a school parking lot.

Some of you are like characters in my daily feed and it is like asking Mark Twain to correct Huck Finn ‘s vernacular.

I see people complaining about grammar and spelling errors all the stinkin’ time.

There is something people rarely comment about in our circles and I am tired of being a blogger and lumped into this pot of crazy that no one seems to want to talk about.

I call myself a blogger and a writer and a little bit of a social media personality, on a very small scale.

I am about ready to stop calling myself a blogger though if my fellow bloggers don’t stop posting crazy arsed nonsense and giving those of us that are here to share stories, entertain, share insight and even make a small change in the world a BAD name.

I am un-friending and unfollowing and eliminating anyone that post “crazy” into my feed that causes folks to flock to your wackadoodle posts about sneak attacks, amnesia, your underage child being molested by another family member and then sharing THOSE things with the whole wide world, and other such nonsense.

Bad things happen to everyone and sharing is our first step in getting help.

I GET IT.

I am not heartless.

I am judging you because there are children around and if there are indeed attacks happening in and around your home and inappropriate behavior happening to your children and you are talking about it. You are telling the world that little person’s story...to everyone.

I have shared stories myself.  I have shared stories and talked about my family members, my dead adult family members.  No, they aren’t here any longer to defend themselves but NO ONE would ever say I was lying who actually knew the parties involved.  There was never a doubt.

It is also my story to tell.  It is another way FOR ME to heal what happened to me as a child.

My. Story. To. Tell.

I no longer need help. I got help. I have shared my stories in my space I have been told I have helped others feel less alone.

You are unraveling publicly.

I have been the child of a parent who has unraveled publicly.  

Sure, it was before social media.

My parent liked to unravel on the front page of the local newspaper because she too needed the attention.

She didn’t just unravel at home. One time she walked into the Mayor’s house and unraveled there. The newspaper was her Facebook wall.

I was one of the children people talked about. I know you may be thinking I am exaggerating my feelings when I say I could feel people talking around me. When I was an adult I found out someone told my future father-in-law he should try and stop his son from marrying into my family. This was almost a relief. After having people telling me for years that I was not judged by my mother’s actions I found out I was. Validated. And heartbroken.

My parent knew how to get your name in lights in a small town where everyone knows who you are.  I know most of what she did was done for the attention it would draw.  I knew it just as much as I knew she was having a mental break and that attention need was part of her illness.  I knew she probably couldn’t help it.  I feel sorry for her because it was before we had sympathy and empathy for mental illness.  Back then she was just the “crazy lady” and back then they didn’t have SSRIs and support systems like we do now.  I feel sorry for her because she was my own mother.  I was her first born and when she ruined her marriages I was the only adult left when she finally died.

I clearly still feel sorry for me.

Don’t make your children spend a lifetime mourning you.

My mother didn’t have people posting messages of love and support and offering her help.  People didn’t answer her phone calls and they crossed the street when they saw her coming.

YOU HAVE PEOPLE.

I learned some things by fire. 

So I am just saying this…

STOP IT.

Joy of Social Media

Here is my advice, and I earned the right to tell you this by my own parent’s transgressions.

I would say this.

“You reached out in a weak moment.  That is awesome.  That is what your friends are here for.  They posted public messages and I am sure many more sent you private messages.

I read the public ones and they said they are here for you and asked you to get help.

Maybe you did or maybe you didn’t get help but you kept posting, for weeks.
Initial sharing is a good start if that is your cry for help.  That had people commenting and asking you to get some help.  They offered help.  They suggested places to go for help.  They raised money to help you.

What do you do instead?

You keep going on, out here, where we all are and where your children may see it someday.

Your children may be in your shoes when they are an adult and you need to show them how to reach out and get the help you they need, and it is NOT a Facebook comment.

I am not going to name each of the acts that continue to lead back to EXACTLY WHERE YOU BEGAN.

I am not going to name the fundraisers that look a little like “Ok, so prove it” to me.

I am just going to say what you would say to me, “Get help outside of Facebook.”

Commenters,

you aren’t helping anymore. Stop commenting.

You can drop this stuff from your feeds too.

We are enabling this. We are giving them an audience and by commenting we are validating they are doing the right thing.

Sometimes there is an ACTUAL right and wrong thing to do.

It’s ok to tell your story but when it is teetering beyond a cry for help and it is now weeks of what should be police reports or therapy sessions you clearly need to stop.

Think of your kids.

Think of your kids before you share their story or before you accuse a family member of a crime before they have been found guilty in a court of law.

I am thinking of your kids when you are talking about getting an attack dog to live in your home with your children when you cannot even figure out how to take care of yourself.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Your kids need you. They need you more than the people on Facebook need you.

People have been telling you for months how to get help after you asked for it by sharing the most intimate details about your life and your children all over the internet.

Please stop bleeding these stories out.

You are clearly loved and clearly have the aptitude to share these stories to the masses.

This tells me you have the fortitude to know better or at least be able to get the help you need. You will get through whatever is causing you to think it is OK to share details of your families’ life that your 30 year-old child would not approve of.

You are fooling yourself if you think your kids would approve of you posting intimate details about a family tragedy with your name attached because it is their name too.

YOU NEED HELP.

IT’S OK.

MOST OF US DO AT SOME POINT.

I have shared things with people out here that are deeply personal and I have listened as well but when I see such crazy dangerous talk about buying attack dogs and I see a young child being talked about openly without concern whether in 20 years she would want strangers to know about what might or might not have happened to her I start thinking, is this what I want to be lumped together as?

You know when you tell someone you blog and they look at you like you are unstable?

This is why.

We need to stop repeatedly giving an audience to things we know we cannot fix and need something bigger than a Facebook comment.

It is part of the human condition.  We all think we will be the one person that gets through to someone.  This feeds our fantasy and in turn it feeds theirs.

I don’t want to feel a cringe because my eyes happened down a feed and you are talking crazy talk, again.

The people that are “supporting” you with comments are only supporting your fantasy and inhibiting the help you really need.

I would probably love these folks in person but if I knew them in person I would private message them and say,

“Duuuuude you need some private conversations and love and probably some professional help but that is ok, we have all been there.  Let me help you get help.”

Guess what?

I see comments saying just about exactly THAT (because most people want to help and are kind) and the offer of help seems to be ignored in the public space it is placed, which tells me it is probably getting ignored in the private space as well.

I will continue to stop following the folks that no longer make me laugh, smile, think, and feel something that is moving or brings about positive change in this world.  I will leave that.

Flying Away

I cannot change or help someone that ignores weeks and months of offers of help and watch pictures of their children pass between those feeds.   It is sad because I really do like you.

I just can’t anymore.

Social media brought us together but I’m now conscientiously unplugging from your feed.

Abbie Gale

allthatmakesyou.com

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Comments

  1. says

    As always Abbie your blog is spot on. I myself have over shared as a way to relieve the pain I was feeling and have felt the consequences of other’s judging me for it. We all need help sometimes and social media makes it easy to put a bandaid on our hurts, however it is not a substitute for doing the work to heal ourselves. That we must do privately with the proper healthcare professionals.

    Thank you for voicing what many of us feel. It is a hard thing to watch someone go off the rails. It feel like you are watching a train wreck on a constant loop.

    Also, thank you for not publicly judging me for my horrid grammar. I am well aware of my short comings when it comes to mastering the “rules” of proper writing, however I am far more concerned with sharing thoughts and lessons I have learned than I am about commas and such. I am always going to be the one dangling participles and sprinkling colons and semi colons indiscriminately.

    Hugs to you sunshine and don’t let judgey people get you down.

    • Profile photo of Abbie Gale says

      I never judge a misspelled word or misplaced comma! How many brilliant ideas were lost to grammar gatekeepers?!!!!
      You know I understand what purpose blogging is for some people.
      I say openly that my blog, my social media presence is part of my own psychosis (we all have one) and it is my need to say, “Look! I turned out normal! I am ok! Aren’t I normal?!”
      Ha ha!!!! I am not kidding!
      It is when the activities that caused me to have this psychosis are being played before my eyes those children that sprinkle their feeds break my heart.
      I remember when I first started blogging. Everyone was talking relentlessly about what photos could be shared on your website from other websites. I mean this was a huge deal! You couldn’t just name the source. You needed permission to use someone else’s photos.
      Why aren’t we jumping up and down over why we shouldn’t be sharing minor children’s tragedies?

  2. says

    Yes, watching this disturbing dance from afar …
    At first you are drawn in, but as weeks go by and the unhinged nature of it all keeps showing up, time after time … you stop reading the comments, you pass it by … but then every now and again, it occurs to you how you will feel should the other shoe drop. It is a messy beast, but there are people closer in both heart and distance – I hope someone gets to the bottom of it … before rock bottom is where it ends.
    And you, much much love to you xxx
    sisters from another mister recently posted…Frugal Blogging or perspectiveMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Abbie Gale says

      Thanks Nicole for commenting. You know exactly what I am talking about. I am here to support you or anyone that is having a hard time. Having a marriage crises can put you in a position to need to know people are here for you. If you kept going back into an abusive relationship, and with children, and kept sharing that then I would have to leave. It’s ok to share what has happened to you. That is how stories and books are written but to keep stepping in front of the train for weeks and months and to have children involved, I decided to look away.

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