How to Deal with a Crappy Twitter Feed in the Morning
“Bad news is bad news because it drops your willingness to carry on.” — Meir Ezra
I promised myself a few days ago that the only reason why I would reach for my phone in the morning was to solve the Wordle for the day. I’ve been killing it lately with an average score of 3/6 this week and this useless, non-bearing ego boost gives a nice jumpstart to my mood.
But today I relapsed against my own better judgement and clicked the blue app icon on my home screen. Literally the one with the bird laughing at me for being so naive.
How bad could the world be, right? I mean, we’ve generally been surviving through a pandemic for the past 2 years, how much worse could it get?
This doesn’t even take into account the natural disasters or COVID-19’s worldwide collateral damage that is simultaneously happening alongside manmade political divide. Then you deep dive into the comments section and you’ve officially been sucked into social media’s toxic troll pit before the clock even strikes 8:00AM.
Acceptance. Discernment. Contribution.
Unfortunately, this is not some passing fad.
Grim Twitter feeds have been the norm ever since its meteoric rise during the 2016 US Presidential Campaign election period and, while I don’t directly blame Jack Dorsey or the actual app per se, the first and best solution would be to simply delete it and live your life free from its antagonism. Ignorance is truly bliss.
So why haven’t I done so? Human nature has always had a penchant for tragedy. It’s the same reason why we can’t seem to look away while driving past an accident. And if you’re anything like me, as I assume most of you are, our curiosity outweighs our aversion to emotional disruption.
But after I shut off my phone and I feel the need to suppress that familiar tide of hopelessness which often follows — ultimately, ruining my productivity for the rest of the day — I think about this timeless adage:
“Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” — Reinhold Niebuhr
Life has more than enough for everyone to deal with. You don’t have to actively look for something to worry about so we have to segregate and choose where to focus our limited efforts each day.
Do I spent my morning wasting my comprehensively-dealt sarcasm responding to online anti-vax trolls that I’ve never met — or should I get up and try to prepare a decent, nourishing, SPAM-less breakfast for my two children instead?
Should I stress about the political divide in the country or focus on how to improve operational procedures in our office to build a more efficient working environment for our staff?
Is it better to add to the rapidly escalating angry voice against social inequality on the Internet or to spare a kind word and share some generosity to the Grab rider who brought me my meal last night?
Some people would call it apathetic or deliberately turning a blind eye to humanity’s injustices, but in reality — to effect true change — you have to start with what you can control. I can’t stop a war nor can I convert a lifelong bigot into a sincere humanitarian within 280 characters or less. Politicians will do what they want to do and a bigot will say what he wants to say because they believe they suffer no consequences from their actions. And you may think my suggestions above are insignificant but I beg to differ. Sustainable transformation doesn’t happen in one grand sweeping gesture. The personal choices we make to be better people and to positively empower those around us gives society that collective power to challenge a broken system.
A tip to the gentleman who delivers your food makes a world of difference to the dinner he’ll be bringing home to his family.
Care and consideration for your colleagues encourages them to appreciate and respect the values and principles that you wish to uphold in the workplace.
And, fingers-crossed — if I do my best and spend enough time loving my kids — I might have a fighting chance to at least contribute my share and deliver two morally upright and decent individuals to the universe. Together, those tiny ripples of goodwill are the best chance we have of drowning out the vitriol we subject ourselves to online.
No, it doesn’t solve the world’s problems. But it might give you a healthier and more hopeful reason to get out of bed. We all need a little peace of mind to function properly and a good mental state is always beneficial to everyone you plan on engaging with for the day. An emboldened spirit is just as infectious as the Omicron variant. And one day, they will occupy the seats that matter and show their strength in numbers.
So the next time your newsfeed douses your morning with harsh reality, remember that you are looking at the situation of the world in its entirety. Narrow down your focus to what is within your reach.
What can we do today that is meaningful enough to spark a little bit of joy to the people around us?
Let’s be better than Twitter.