I can’t remember the last time I made a political post on my personal Facebook page. Maybe after the election, when I was so overwhelmed by sadness and fear I had to pour it somewhere. But lately, when that overwhelmed feeling starts to sink in, I turn to local outlets. I talk to my family, my partners, and work things out on my own. I realized recently that I simply don’t like getting political on Facebook anymore. But why?
Part of it is that it feels sort of unnecessary at this point in my relationships. I’ve cultivated friendships with like-minded individuals, so largely, Facebook can just be an echo chamber. I don’t need back-pats for caring about equality, so why post something that everyone already agrees with, that someone else could likely state far more eloquently? I’ll still comment on the statuses of friends, and can sometimes enter debate there–that seems healthy. It feels like I might accomplish something, maybe change a mind. But whose mind am I going to change on my own page? Whose horizons am I going to broaden? Likely no one’s, unless my friends are keeping some very ugly secrets. And social justice isn’t about people praising you for caring about equality, so while I might get some solid thumbs-ups for my thoughts, I don’t need nor want that. I want to change minds. And that isn’t necessary there.
Another reason is that I’m just not as present online as I used to be, and my personal Facebooking is now eaten up posting baby photos. I don’t really do that much online anymore, and all the updates I do make are primarily geared around informing my out-of-state family of how things are going for my newest little one. I know “I had a kid and life got busy” sounds like a lazy excuse, but it’s a very real one, one that accounts for my lack of presence here, as well. Life has simply swallowed me as of late, and it’s hard even keeping up on the news, let alone forming coherent posts about what I’m witnessing.
There’s also the very real fact that most of what’s on everyone’s radar these days is not affecting me. That probably sounds callous, but it’s not what you think. It’s not that I don’t care because I’m not affected, it’s that I know my voice is not the one that matters. Not my oppression, not my place to make it all about me and my soapbox. Admittedly, most of my friends are white, and I think an ugly thing happens when white liberals preach to other white liberals about the evils of racism. By clicking “like” and feeling indignant, we pass off our responsibility in the mechanisms that are making racism a continued threat in our world. I don’t want to be another white person getting congratulated for being “one of the good ones” by a bunch of other white people who simply don’t understand the realities of what’s happening.
So I post baby photos and talk about my eldest going back to school. I share the occasional meme or silly cat video, and I do what I can behind the scenes to support those whose words do need to be heard. And hopefully when life isn’t kicking my ass so hard, I can follow bloggers who do have a stake in the game, and I can share their words instead of cobbling together my own.
Maybe it’s cowardly. Maybe it’s lazy. But in the last several months I’ve gotten two new serious diagnoses that are messing with my world so hard, that sometimes I feel like there is no way I can even crawl out of bed in the morning. But I do it, I get up. I try my hardest to stay informed, to stay invested in a better world. And right now, that has to be enough.