Want to Have a Social Media Meltdown? Then Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!
Since Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election, we’ve been besieged by celebrity meltdowns from people who think that any woman who voted for Donald Trump must not really value their freedom or rights as women. Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham took over Instagram to write their election post mortems. Chelsea Handler took an entire episode of her show to blubber through the election results. And just recently she wrote an online article on Thrive Global telling us that women needed to come together and stop putting each other down. In 2017, Handler’s going to contribute to the “issue” by hugging it out and getting to know the alien types that voted for Trump. Then she went on to put down all the women who voted for Donald Trump. Amy Schumer went so far as to shame the women who voted for Trump telling them that she and other celebrities had paved the way to HRC’s victory and all we had to do was cast our vote the right way. Lena Dunham still hasn’t gotten over the election results and like her cohorts, she’s taking the results personally — playing the victim. After all, she campaigned for HRC, right? So didn’t we all owe her the vote?
Here’s the thing. If you’re going to have a meltdown on social media a la the women mentioned above, have a big whine fest posted to the masses, it’s no longer acceptable to do that without putting your money where your mouth is. And if Donald Trump’s thin-skinned Twitter posts have shown us anything, now, more than ever, it’s tasteless and unacceptabe to get on social media and bitch and moan about current events without doing a damn thing about it. And no, hugging it out isn’t good enough. Blaming other people doesn’t cut it. Playing the “poor me” card gets us nowhere.
I voted for HRC and still think she was the best choice to lead our country, but instead of getting online and lashing out about her loss and blaming all the women who voted for Trump (because women have to vote for other women and blacks have to vote for other blacks …), I made a donation to Planned Parenthood. And every time I get on social media in the next four years to criticize something Trump and Co. has done, I’ll put my money where my mouth is. I don’t want to be the asshole that whines, blames everyone else, tells people they aren’t entitled to their opinions, then does nothing to fix the problem.
I had someone do that to me this summer when I posted about my dismay with the police and the officers who had killed unarmed men on a particularly deadly and bloody weekend. Instead of joining the conversation with his unique and personal perspective on the issue, he told me and a black friend who was also on the thread that those of us who sit behind the safety of our computers don’t have the right to post our opinions and that since he disagreed with us, he was going to … wait for it … unfriend us. I’m sure he was out in the field dodging bullets when he posted and not behind the safety of his computer. He played victim, made the comments I posted all about him, and did nothing to contribute to the larger issue of police-community relations. He revealed himself as the schoolyard bully nobody wants to play with. But I decided right then and there that I never wanted to sound like him. I never wanted to have a meltdown on social media about something so important without contributing to the solution. His tantrum was so Trump-esque that I had to laugh at first. After all, if you’re an adult and you threaten to unfriend people, it’s just laughable. But then his post just became offensive because it was so, well, Trump-esque and lazy. My daughter is from China and if I decided to attack everyone who posts their opinions about the Chinese behind the safety of their Chinese-made computers, I would be an angry and exhausted person. Because all opinions about the Chinese are obviously personal attacks on me and my daughter, blah, blah, blah … see how stupid that sounds?
In the past I’ve paid it forward by chipping in for a cop’s meal when I’ve seen them out at one of the local haunts I also frequent. But after I made that post, I decided to pay and not do it anonymously for once. I took the time to talk to the two cops and got a tip from one of them about a new initiative that was being funded to study and support police-community relations. And I also got to share my concerns directly with an officer. Five officers had just been murdered that past week and the atmosphere was so charged. It was a wonderful conversation that lead me to do some research about the issue and find out ways I could help. Now, months later, my opinion hasn’t really changed, but I’ve made myself part of the cure and not the festering disease.
So in 2017, I’m going to continue that trend every time I get online to post about the issues affecting our country. I vow to post intelligently (mostly, I’m only human) about these issues and will pay for my right to have my opinion made public. I may whine and cry at home about something, especially if it’s something that I don’t think I can help change (think Aleppo), but I will never go online and tell anyone that they aren’t allowed to share their opinions, no matter how much I may disagree with them. I may gently nudge you to find a way to make a difference like I did with the poster who bullied me, but my page will be a safe haven for anyone who wants to have intelligent conversation. Now I’m off to make a donation to Planned Parenthood again, but I think I’ll do it in Donald Trump’s name.