Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Mood Swing

When I heard that Facebook had been manipulating feeds in an attempt to mess with our moods I smiled. On any given day my feed is filled with pictures of cats and dogs. So many of my friends are passionate about animals. Not that pictures of cats and dogs can't be depressing. I have learned shocking things about what happens to animals on Facebook. More than once I've heard about a pet being dropped off at a shelter when they are too old or infirmed. Concentrically, the number of stories I read about pet rescues are heart warming. Sometimes there are ducks. Chickens. All manner of animals being adorable.
My feed is also full of platitudes. These actually often have an impact on my mood but not the one they're intended to have. Obviously a good attitude makes life easier but being able to feel all the possible emotions is a good thing. Platitudes often feel like scolding. We are being taught to focus on personal responsibility too often in stead of questioning institutions.
I read a really interesting rant on disability, which stimulated much thinking. I love when that happens.

"We are learning strength and endurance, not against our bodies and our diagnoses, but against a world that exceptionalizes and objectifies us. I really think that this lie that we’ve been sold about disability is the greatest injustice. It makes life, it makes life hard for us. And that quote, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude” the reason that that’s bullshit is because it’s just not true, because in the social model of disability. No amount of smiling at a flight of stairs has ever made it into a ramp. Never. You know, smiling at a television screen is not going to make closed captions appear for people who are deaf. No amount of standing in the middle of a bookshelf and radiating a positive attitude is going to turn all those books into braille. It’s just not going to happen.It’s just not going to happen."

Exactly. Sometimes it's not about you. Sometimes it's about us. Sometimes it's about how we decide to be as a community.
And then there is politics. Oh politics. I follow a lot of political people and political news so my feed is full of stuff much of which is just not useful. Almost every day I see a post from the left followed by a post from the right both of which are saying things in an inflammatory way. Much of which is slamming the other side. I lean left. Lean far enough that I am close to submerged. And even when I agree with things that are being said I recoil at some of the posts on Facebook. I feel out rage and there are times when it feels satisfying to read someone being extreme but I'm not interested in that as a daily ritual. I'm interested in understanding.
I find it hard to take a public political stand these days for that reason. Things feel complicated to me. Most of my friends lean left but I have a few friends who are far more to the right than I knew. If I could sit face to face with them I'd engage in debate but I see things in comment boxes that make me cringe. And I want to jump in. Then I'm in a conversation with my friend and their friends. And I feel manic. I feel like I can't type fast enough.  
My mood is impacted in the moment that I read some things. My mood is impacted by what's going on in the world. But that isn't about Facebook.
My ... um ...mood has always been slippery. I can fall down a tunnel of gloom for no obvious reason and slip into near bliss at the oddest times. I've worked on being flexible enough to ride these waves. Facebook can experiment on me. I doubt they can keep up.
Oh. And the food. My feed has pictures of food. How PoMo is that?


Fat Bastardo said...

As the defacto leader of fat acceptance I, Fat Bastardo have been advocating for meat facebook a fat friendly version of facebook.

Tish said...

Uh.... I think that sounds cool. If I understand correctly. My feed is pretty fat friendly but there are moments ...