"Where can I recycle Nespresso cups?"
Oh my God, who can use single-serving plastic daily and still sleep at night? Don't people know recycling is hardly beneficial at all?
"85,000 Children in Yemen May Have Died of Starvation."
F*ck. What a terrible world. Humanity is awful. I'm awful. Why am I not doing more to help people?
"Heavy rain and strong winds expected for Howe Sound beginning Sunday."
Well, there goes my weekend. Not that I'll have much of a weekend; I'm going to have to work the whole time anyway.
"Until pipelines are built, we need to move oil by rail."
Truly, utterly FRO. We are on the brink of climate disaster and all Alberta can talk about is this f*cking pipeline—all so they can buy monster houses and a second ATV. Selfish pr*cks.
This is your brain on Facebook—or my brain anyway.
To be fair, I omitted the adorable animal posts, soothing stories on winter adventures from Outside magazine and, yeah, some cute dresses target advertised to me that I secretly don't mind browsing. But overall, Facebook enrages me on a daily basis—especially this time of year when it's raining, the snow hasn't really arrived, and it's harder to get out of cell service on weekends for reprieve.
However, I don't want to waste anyone's time decrying social media; it's boring, overdone and, frankly, kind of dates me.
What I want to ask is this: do you feel like you've become an angrier person in recent years? Do you have a burning ball of rage simmering in your belly, waiting at the ready to bubble up and explode out your mouth at any time? Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media, embarrassed by the bitchy, critical thoughts that pop up?
Or am I alone in this?
We like to imagine that the polarizing views south of the border don't make it past the 49th parallel, but I'm starting to wonder if the barrage of anger that surrounds us in this day and age isn't seeping, subconsciously, into our blood, too.
Don't get me wrong—I'm far from a curmudgeon who's plastered with a permanent scowl, throwing double freedom rockets (Urban Dictionary it) up at anyone who displeases me.
Frankly, my default emotion would probably be described as "happy" (or "goofy" or "kind of a ding dong.") I take great joy in the daily antics of my coworkers, I eat up videos of my niece trying to say a new word and sometimes the highlight of my day is watching my dog and boyfriend greet each other at night.
But that's why the negative feelings seem so pronounced.
Instead, as we head into that season of New Year's resolutions, I want think about how I can commit to becoming a more Zen human being in this age of outrage. I want to live my life like I'm scrolling through Instagram, during which my inner monologue sounds like, "Puppies! Mountains! Travel! Ocean! Girls from Broad City!"
I'm certain the No. 1 suggestion would be getting rid of Facebook. But alas, I'm tethered to this meme machine as one of the admins of Pique's page. (Plus you wouldn't believe how many story ideas come from monitoring it.)
The No. 2 suggestion is probably getting off my computer and into the outdoors more. I adhere to that rule almost daily, but with work hours and a lack of daylight, it's harder this time of year.
So what does that leave me with? What should my 2019 New Year's resolution be? What action would help me feel less enraged, out of control, crushed by the weight of this brutal world?
My only answer: giving back—deciding which helpful organizations I can give my time, which causes I can channel my brainpower into to come up with solutions to the world's woes. It stands to reason that if you're strictly consuming problems that you cannot solve, you will feel helpless, hopeless and just plain bad. But doing something, anything, to contribute to solutions will offer a sense of control.
Or, at the very least, it will offer the opportunity to throw your arms in the air and yell, "Eh, I tried!" when the planet goes up in flames.
At any rate, I would love to hear suggestions of your favourite non-profit organizations in need of an extra hand.
And, hey, Happy Holidays—follow me on Facebook for the Santa meme.