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I'm not really an early adopter

I (fairly) recently got (relatively) psyched about Pinterest. Here are my boards!

I feel a bit sheepish about liking the site so much, and I totally get why this is so funny. It is a lot of "lifestyle" content, which I guess is insipid. I don't know. By being positive it feels aspirational and by being aspirational it feels constructive. What I think I mean is that the thing I like about it though is that so far I've only seen people posting things that they LIKE on there.

Which makes it basically an oasis from Facebook.

I do a lot of being infuriated about things Facebook for sure, but I think I also post a lot of things that I think are awesome and want to share. I've begun to unsubscribe from friends who only ever post about how stupid everything is. I am really burnt out on anger lately. I don't feel like it's a badge of honour to be flailing around in rage. I feel like I've been collateral damage to that kind of anger in my life and I'm just done with it.

HOWEVER. While I for sure have big time outrage fatigue, I'm also feeling exasperated with the whole "self care" mindset or whatever. Like you can sort of blow off responsibilities or even being a considerate person and everyone is like "Good boundaries. Good self care". And that ALSO drives me crazy. I see a LOT of bullying and selfishness rebranded as self-care, and I'm feeling pretty done with THAT, too.

I guess what I am saying is that I'm finding balance really hard lately. I don't know what it is reasonable to expect of people, and I don't know how to be strategic about taking stuff on that needs fixing. I don't know what is productive. And I want to be productive. That's what I am trying to expect of myself.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 10th, 2012 10:30 am (UTC)
I actually have been meaning to ask Jesse if he doesn't ever get tired and worn out from ALL THE RAGE he appears to have, all the time. I haven't noticed that you're OUTRAGED all the time; I think you do a pretty good balance of stuff you're excited about and stuff that makes you crazy.

Apr. 10th, 2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
that question makes me really sad
(and not at all angry)
and so does the answer
which is yes.
Apr. 10th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
I want to hug you all the time!

I think we're both at opposite ends of the spectrum. I no longer have room in my soul for the outrage so I ignore all of it as much as I can, while you react viscerally and at length to many things, at least in your public persona.

I do feel Audra has a pretty good balance, (again, in her public life), of being somewhere between YAY HAPPY and GRR ANGRY.

She should teach us about moderation!
Apr. 10th, 2012 08:51 pm (UTC)
I used to feel bewildered and sad that people were talking about me (mostly to one another and not me) about how angry I always seem, because I didn't feel like I was angry.

People would express concern and pity to and about Audra with regard to my demeanour. I was so confused and it hurt me so much!

But then I started to feel sometimes like it's true.
But awareness of that comes and goes and I feel like I have such a reputation for it now that I don't trust anyone's estimation of it. But I do think that sometimes I'm experiencing or demonstrating anger while totally unaware of it.

And that scares the hell out of me. It can't just be all about the things that rile me up in the world at large.

For example - I had no idea that you might view me as being full of rage all the time. That made me genuinely gasp. I know that you read my tumblr, which is the main place I express any feelings or thoughts online anymore, and I wouldn't have guessed that I would be giving that impression in that space.

It really worries me. And punches a hole in my self-esteem... I mean I don't sound like someone that is really great to be around.
Apr. 10th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
Hm. I don't feel that you're all angry all the time. I think "angry" might even be the wrong word completely.

I totally feel like you're a hilarious dude to be around, and I get that from your tumblr. But also from your tumblr, and in tune with Audra's post, I mostly get the feeling that injustices make you wild. This is a SUPER DUPER GOOD THING and I think you've got one of the best hearts in the world. But I also think that if you spend so much (articulate) time thinking and writing about what is awful, that you must have less room for what is good. And speaking from my own perspective (the only one I have a right to!), that would be exhausting, for me.

But I'm ultra glad that you do it because SOMEONE needs to speak out against the things you speak out against. And I'm not strong enough to do it. So I'm glad that you do. But take care of that heart.
Apr. 10th, 2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
Hey you're super sweet Gayle, please don't think that you're the source or origin of my concern about seeming or being angry all the time! I know you're not trying to be unkind or anything. I'm just trying to learn things I can't always perceive about myself.

Thanks for saying nice things about me.
Apr. 10th, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
The people in my life are able to take care of themselves without blowing off their responsibilities or being crude to people. I shake my head and stay far away from people who won't do that.

I haven't yet used Pinterest. I am avoiding another 'net time sink. :-)
Apr. 10th, 2012 01:37 pm (UTC)
Oh wow, I agree so hard. I get so tired of people engaging in the same behaviours they purport to hate. I am also tired of people using all sorts of lame excuses to not be decent human beings.

I have lots of additions to your rant but unfortunately I have a buttload of things to do at work followed by such exciting adventures as: commuting, spending quality time with my kids, making dinner, bathing the kids and putting them to bed, doing chores and then collapsing into bed with a book and reading until exhaustion overtakes me and I pass out. So essentially what I am saying is: arguing with people online who I don't give two shits about is definitely not on the list nor is spending a ton of time reading things that make me feel angry and helpless. If the people I do give two shits about start wasting my time with their excuses and justifications than I have to start making decisions such as: is it worth it to have this person in my life despite the fact that the amount of work it takes to have them here means I can't give to other parts of my life? Are they worth, say, the only hour or so I get to spend with Nick every night? Are they worth the two hours I have to spend quality time with my kids? The Friday night I spend having drinks and conversation with friends? Obviously in the ebb and flow of friendships people are going to take a lot sometimes and give a lot another but if you find yourself having to ask if the person is worth it due to a lot of take and a lot of energy expenditure, sometimes that is all the answer you need.
Apr. 10th, 2012 02:00 pm (UTC)
(hell, maybe all of the above falls under "self-care" but I think there is a real difference between "self-care" as a public announcement somewhere to justify your shitty-ass behaviour vs. self-care as a way of disengaging quietly from the things that suck your energy and your time. I may be wrong, but that is how I see it.)
Apr. 10th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
"self-care" as a public announcement somewhere to justify your shitty-ass behaviour

Is this really self-care, or just passive-agressive expressions of anger?
Apr. 10th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
I think a certain amount of selfishness is necessary. I strive to be content...and when helping other people fix their problems, or arguing, or dwelling on apocalyptic news stories starts getting in the way of contentment, I start to pull back. You can't fix people, you can't change minds that don't want to be changed, you can't solve human greed and cruelty. But you can focus on doing things that make you happy. I don't mean to follow a life of self-absorption...being compassionate can bring happiness! But I have to set limits on it. And sometimes, as you are describing, it may involve limiting your exposure to negative people. Even though I have been guilty of posting negative shit too. I hope I don't become one of those angry people!
Apr. 10th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
For some reason, I've found Pinterest a bit difficult to get into, mostly because I can't install the toolbar button at work that would facilitate pinning things I like while surfing, but it intrigues me. I'm finding some media coverage of it sexist, which makes me want to use a bit more, just to be contrarian those folk.

I've dropped out of a lot of real-life obligations on the basis of "self-care" (although I didn't have that vocabulary) and I don't regret doing so, but I also see your point re: the possibility of it becoming a philosophy of self-interest. I'm not sure where I should land on that.
Apr. 10th, 2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
I have the sort of judgemental perspective on the term "self-care" that it is like prescription medication (in an ideal sense): it is really great and effective for remedying lots of things that ail many people, but it can also be abused by people for whom no particular indication for its use exists, and they wind up with side effects but none of the intended benefits.
Apr. 11th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
That's a really good way of putting it. I may want to use that again. :-)
Apr. 10th, 2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
Good questions, Audra. It makes me think of the word "conviction" - like in a very positive sense. Like when I read an essay by Audre Lorde and I feel convinced and convicted and altogether deeply moved. It's different from FB raging which seems to me to be like, "Hey wake up and smell the coffee you dumb sheep masses." I want to think about it more.

Oh, it also reminds me of something I heard Byron Katie say... and here I am paraphrasing terribly... it was something about how when you are in the habit of examining and diffusing your own mental shit storm and therefore have a lot of clarity, you are then able to let a lot of things go and it doesn't affect you negatively, and when action is needed you know it and do it without hesitation, without baggage, without a lot of stress... you just do it and there is power (conviction!) in your action.

Apr. 11th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC)
I'm also feeling exasperated with the whole "self care" mindset or whatever. Like you can sort of blow off responsibilities or even being a considerate person and everyone is like "Good boundaries. Good self care". And that ALSO drives me crazy. I see a LOT of bullying and selfishness rebranded as self-care, and I'm feeling pretty done with THAT, too.

I see this a lot with people I know, especially those who also have anxiety disorders. (I stopped hanging out with a few people because it seemed like they were usually trying to come up with reasons they couldn't do things because of anxiety, but they expected me to come through for them even though I had the same type of anxiety.)

I think some of it is that "selfishness" is a hard line to draw sometimes, when is it okay to say you don't want to do something that makes you undeniably uncomfortable if it would make someone else happy? When is it okay to draw a line with family stuff? Or even chores? Because if you make yourself do too much because you "should", it's not healthy and you end up being resentful to the people you're trying to help, but if you do too little, it's jerky. But there are still so many hours in a day.

It's sort of a thing where you do have to move the line a little back and forth every day. Sometimes, the line's a bit toward the "hospitals make me panic but I really need to visit a sick friend" and some days it's more like "screw the dishes, it's time to read. I used to make a little tally in my head, but after awhile you learn to read the signs of approaching emotional meltdown and head it off at the pass.
Apr. 11th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
Oh this is funny because my therapist assigned me the task of coming up with, like, a hundred different big and little self-care things I can/should do. And every time I sit down to think of anything I just end up thinking "Bullshit! Self-indulgent! Work harder! What makes me think I need pampering! If I don't, who will? Work work work!" I don't even know where the hell that comes from, but there you go.

Also, all the ideas I come up with seem somehow self-destructive or dangerous in the way they would make me soft.
Apr. 12th, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
if you were really gonna be self-indulgent, I presume you'd hang out with me!

true pampering = Jesse D time
Apr. 11th, 2012 06:50 am (UTC)
Oh man, I love love LOVE Pinterest. I have been waiting years for something just like that. Literally. Years.

I am afraid for it, though. When I first came across it, I was on it as a stranger to all these folks. Now, I keep hearing about it being a new social networking thing and I'm sad. I know a lot of folks on Pinterest, but I've actually gone out of my way to not follow everybody. I mean, I follow the same group of people on lj and facebook, a lesser degree on twitter. I'm keeping the amount of real life friends to a minimum, on Pinterest, if only because I'm already all up in peoples' stuff, and my frequented places are already suffering severe echo.

As for fb . . . it doesn't get much time anymore. I've nick named it 'Daily Doom and Gloom'. To be honest, I'm happier. I think most folks are happier with less fb.
Apr. 12th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC)
I just read a good piece on designsponge of all places on being a businesswoman and escaping the 'comparison' trap. But you could replace 'comparison' with 'anger' and it would be relevant (I think):

It's about limiting distracting noise that's taking away from your purpose/convictions. I know you curate the internet but it might be worth investigating what kinds of noise you can limit with the goal of increasing both your happiness and productivity.

On the other hand, I go too far (and for some reason I typed that 'to fart') in limiting things I don't want to hear. I have a hard time not confining myself SOLELY to sweetness, light, escapism in my off hours, because job and stuff is hard, winter is depressing, I want to feel better, blah blah blah million excuses. Too much self care and now my commitment to social justice is weak and my brain is going mushy from inactivity. Thank God I get to do some social justice stuff at work so I don't feel like a complete drain on society.

Finally, I strongly feel that anger is absolutely nothing without action. Being angry is only a first step, it's strictly an "awareness" level thing. It can be really poisonous and draining in excess and actually inhibit action. Being angry about something feels like doing something and replaces genuine work for change. If someone is always angry AGAINST and never working FOR, it's so counterproductive in my view. For me personally, anger feels threatening and paralyzing. So I think limiting your exposure to anger is not a bad thing.

I don't have a lot of weird self care stuff going on on my facebook flist. Personally I find it hard to ask for things and so if I am not careful I put what should be open and honest requests as weird passive aggressive statements. So I can relate to a lot of passive aggression/strangeness on facebook, coming from that place. Also I think a lot of it on my friendslist at least comes from people who just aren't that great at the internet, so I try not to be too down on it.
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