When Betsy and I talk about social media, she often remarks that we are still in the “wild west” days of the medium.
I like the imagery “wild west” evokes, maybe because I watched a lot of westerns with my dad when I was a kid. The “wild west” had laws, but was also in many ways lawless. People were figuring out what worked as they went. It was a time of great opportunity, but it was brutal, especially, of course, to anyone not white.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how much I should engage in social justice causes on social media. No doubt, it can be time-consuming, and if not careful, one can find themselves going down a lot of mentally unhealthy avenues. It’s easy to get sucked into soul-defeating fights with people who are committed to not changing their minds, if not outright trolling in some cases.
As a largely self-employed person, time is money. I have a family to support. So sometimes I feel like choosing to get heavily invested in a post here or a thread there is simultaneously a decision to not be working towards making money and helping to provide for my family. And yet, I am mindful of the world my son is going to grow up in, and I do feel that online social activism is an important part of shaping that world, even in my very small capacity.
Finding the balance is difficult, and I don’t have any clear answers, but I’m working on it.