One of the things about social media is that whereas in the past we complained to our friends on the phone or over the fence, these days we complain to the immediate world. What used to be unfortunate and inconvenient … and sometimes “Wow, what a bummer!” has become “OMG the sky is falling.” It’s not that personal disaster is gone from our lives, but everything is now a disaster. Nothing is merely annoying, inconvenient, or frustrating. Everything is terrible, catastrophic. Mind-blowing. Calamitous.

I know people who are online every single day telling the world which fresh disaster has afflicted them. It is “the boy who cried wolf” writ huge and sometimes with international implications.

The result is exactly the same. At some point, “the world” just stops paying attention to the latest calamity because you can’t tell the difference between this calamity and the previous calamity. When everything is a disaster, ultimately nothing is.

I think maybe we should all tone it down. Try to determine which of our messes is a genuine killer … and which ones are just unfortunate, inconvenient, annoying, aggravating, frustrating. Which ones need the SWAT, the police and fire department … and which need a good friend, some excellent coffee and maybe top-quality cookies.

If we could tone down the note of hysteria that seems to accompany so many posts on social media, I think it would help calm us down. It doesn’t mean we won’t have some serious problems. We have plenty of really serious problem — personally, nationally, internationally Β — but wouldn’t it be easier to sort them out if we weren’t hysterical all the time? I think the U.S. has been in a state of national hysteria since last November. I get it — really, really get it — but I have come to recognize that the frenzy isn’t fixing anything.

Nobody is thinking anymore. It’s all railing at the heavens.


  1. Silas July 19, 2017 / 9:20 am

    “When everything is a disaster, ultimately nothing is.”
    Love this line. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong July 19, 2017 / 11:31 am

      I have online friends to whom I never respond because they seem to be in constant crisis. I’m sure some of the crises ARE bad, but all of them? Every day?

      Liked by 2 people

      • swo8 July 19, 2017 / 1:33 pm

        There’s just too much drama.


        • Marilyn Armstrong July 19, 2017 / 1:45 pm

          And it isn’t MY drama. I got enough of my own. I’m just trying to keep sane through my life. I can’t do it for the rest of the world. The other nuts will have to deal with their own crazies.

          Liked by 2 people

          • swo8 July 19, 2017 / 1:50 pm

            We have to remember that.


      • omniclassic July 20, 2017 / 4:08 pm

        One, of several, crises may well be the choice of underwear for the day. This is why I do very, very little, if anything, on Facebook. I found it way too personal for general “ether” distribution. Email is bad enough but more directed and gives a sense of a modicum of privacy, which is mostly false.., but, IMO, better than social media.


        • Marilyn Armstrong July 20, 2017 / 4:17 pm

          I’m always amazed at the shit people write on Facebook and other stuff like that. They seem to think it’s their “private” stream … and really, it’s NOT.

          Liked by 1 person

          • omniclassic July 20, 2017 / 4:33 pm

            Working at a major university, I was always amazed at how much importance being in constant contact with your friends and peers seemed to be. How many times some student nearly bowled me over walking along with their face buried in their cell phone, oblivious to everything around them.


    • Fandango July 19, 2017 / 12:27 pm

      I think that line is how Donald Trump runs his presidency, which is, in my opinion, disastrous. Uh oh. I sound like the people Marilyn is writing about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Garry Armstrong July 19, 2017 / 2:11 pm

        Fandango, Orange Head runs his show like a B-movie drama. Wait, make that an Ed Wood B-movie Drama.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. idlebrain July 19, 2017 / 9:38 am

    a good observation and thought beautifully captured through apt analogies and words!


  3. judyt54 July 19, 2017 / 10:11 am

    Yep. I play on Worlds of Warcraft and they have public forums. It’s amazing how many people start their first post of the day with, “OMG I just had my 25th birthday and it’s awful im OLD now…” or, “I just got kicked out of a group and i think Im gonna qiut the gam.” yep.

    I think people love to be upset online. it’s an attention grabber, it gets people agreeing or disagreeing at top volume, and they all have a wonderful time with it.

    A friend of mine just sent me a funny email about this: (to paraphrase). “I decided to treat my real time friends exactly the way we treat each other in twitter, Twitch, and Facebook. When I see them, I tell them in detail about what Im eating, how many times the dog went out, how sick I was last week, what I bought at the store and how expensive it was, and a day to day weather report. I always have pictures to document all of this. When I leave them, I give them a thumb’s up sign. It seems to be working. I’ve gained six followers: four cops, a psychiatrist, and a social worker.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong July 19, 2017 / 11:26 am

      I like your friend already.

      Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I just got hit with a (are you ready?) — $2400 replacement bill for the hot water heater. Here’s the fun part of this: LIFETIME replacement (more than 8 years) is $2400. The EIGHT YEAR warranty is $2000. So I’m trying to figure out if we will be alive in eight years. I mean, if we are both dead, than we won’t care about the hot water heater, right?

      I go into the bills and I try to figure out the lowest possible payment I can make on everything for the rest of the month — and I manage to get the bills down by — FIFTY dollars. I can skip next month’s oil-payment bill, but that’s NEXT month. I looked at it and realized I can run, but I can’t hide. So, I took a deep breath, took half of all the money we have remaining in the world because it’s there for an emergency and this is an emergency. We are too old to live without hot water.

      I could turn this into the end of the world, but I would still need to buy the tank and I would still have to decide if we are going to live long enough to need that lifetime warranty.

      But six years and two months? There’s a conspiracy. This cannot be an accident.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Covert Novelist July 19, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    OMG truer words! Social media has allowed EVERYONE instant 15 minutes of fame! So hysteria rules! You are so right. What was an inconvenience, troublesome, worrisome, has become hysteria. Everyone wants everyone else to take a side, their side, if they can get their side of the story out there first, their “insta-friends” will surely take their side and they won’t be so alone in the dilemma now facing them. which could be no more than a bloody stubbed toe! Awesome post!


    • Marilyn Armstrong July 19, 2017 / 1:47 pm

      That’s kind of how I feel about it. If you save the emergency for actual emergencies, not only would everyone’s life be easier, but you might actually get help when you need it — really.


  5. Covert Novelist July 19, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    I’d forward this Marylin if I could. It’s a message many need to hear, probably not so much the writers here, as this phenomenal group of people seem more mature intuitive and wise than those you find on other areas of the net. but still, Brava, I can’t agree more!


  6. queenofdanile July 20, 2017 / 8:06 am

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!!


    • Marilyn Armstrong July 20, 2017 / 10:01 am

      I think maybe it is. The dogs are barking, a sure symptom of something … right?


  7. lwbut July 22, 2017 / 4:57 am

    Sorry for not noticing your wonderful post earlier. You are indeed spot on! πŸ™‚

    I place a large portion of the blame on reality TV (combined with social media where you can now not only annoy your close friends, but also thousands of people you will likely never meet half the world away from you just by hitting ‘SEND’). People these days think because they see ‘real’ people on TV who are trying to be as dramatic as possible to increase the ratings that Drama is something ‘real’ people do, or should be doing.
    “OMG it’s like that is how MY life is/should be… i simply have to tell everybody!”

    Puh-leeeze. 😦

    The world has become over dramatised, as you said we should all take a step back and tone it down a notch or twenty.

    Can someone tell that to The Great Pumpkin in the White House?



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