I haven’t been socializing much lately outside of family and close friends. I don’t post on facebook much anymore because I have better uses of my time than debate and defend myself against negative and toxic people. It seems to me that the negativity on social media tends to ebb and flow, almost like the tides. And sometimes I have runs where I’m the only one I know (it seems) who even tries to stay optimistic and positive. In cases like this, a vacation from the social media circus is in order. I’ve been doing this for several days now. I still go on once or twice a day just to see if my friends, family, and chat groups are up to anything new. And in cases when everything is going negative and irritable, I limit my responses and posts to bare minimum. I try not to philosophize and ask deep questions anymore, even on friends sites. It’s kind of tough as I am a bit of a philosopher and researcher by nature. Have been my entire life. Joe Rogan put it well when he said to the effect ‘do high achievers spend their time answering critics on twitter?’ Of course not. I doubt most high achievers and celebrities spend much time on social media. I imagine most of their posts are really done by a public relations worker.
I used to live on social media. It could be fun and it could also be stressful. But like any new tech advances, there is a a learning curve to social media. I try not to post things I know will start unneeded arguments. And let’s be honest, most arguments on social media are not needed and aren’t productive. I doubt scientists trying to accomplish things like making safe AI, trying to crack nuclear fusion, trying to cure cancer, or develop treatments to slow aging, etc. are getting into twitter arguments or trolling scientists working for rival companies or universities. But I guess I don’t see as nasty and personal of insults online as I did even a couple years ago. It still happens, but I think an unwritten code of ethics and conduct is starting to develop when it comes to social media.
But I still make a point of avoiding people when they are being negative. I certainly avoid toxic people who run down other people, especially those trying to do something constructive with their lives. I guess I really don’t have the patience to put up with negative people. I don’t want to be bothered with them. Let them stay away until they stop being so negative and irritable. My mental illness makes it easier to sink into negativity than it would for most other people. That’s why I force myself to read optimistic literature and search for good news stories. I am not a natural optimist. But I do look at data and trends.
I avoid negative and toxic people but not out of spite. I avoid these people because I don’t want to be toxic and negative myself. I have had many bouts of negativity and depression over the years. I’ll probably be more prone to fall into negativity and toxic behavior for the rest of my life, barring some major breakthroughs in medical and psychological treatments. I avoid toxic and negative people for my own health and well being. It’s nothing personal.