It has been a tough week for many of us. With everything going on with the protest, and the protest being hijacked by rioting and looting. Many, including myself, have been stuck in the middle of it all. I have watched as friends and families tore each apart ending lasting relationships over basic human rights. Even when I felt it was more to that, it still saddens me that no one can just sit down and have an open dialogue about the whole thing.
I, unfortunately, have become a victim of such things. Many people noticing that I wasn’t speaking out about the situation have unfriended me and/or blocked me out of their lives. It’s difficult to comprehend how when someone doesn’t speak out about an issue on social media, they quickly become the enemies of friends they knew for years. For example, during the Blackout Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020, a friend of mines threatens to unfriend anyone who didn’t post a black square on their profile pic with the hashtag Black Lives Matter or #BLM. Knowing that she loved the attention, I knew she wouldn’t carry out her threat and upon returning to social media her friend count remains the same.
***I would like to add that the Blackout Tuesday was a victim of a lot of misleading information and it appeared many of them didn’t quite understand what it meant. Including a few friends. But it was cleared up when a few individuals explained in detail what it meant. If you would like to have a better understanding, I’ll leave a link at the end of this post. ***
The worse part about this whole situation is the misleading information that has been passed around the internet. Again, I was accused of being a Trump supporter and was told that they were going to unfriend me. When I asked what brought on this accusation, they shared a link and a screenshot showing my profile. I was taken aback by such an accusation, yet here it was showing my friends that I was indeed a Trump supporter. Intrigued, I clicked on the link myself and it showed me a list of my friends that were Trump supporters. I’ll admit that it almost tricked me because a few of my friends are Trump supporters and I knew this for quite some time. Two years to be exact, but the rest I knew was a lie. I told my friend that the link might be a setup to cause more division in this country, but it fell on deaf ears. They continue to bombard me with more questions and all my answers have been the same ‘no.’ After getting nowhere with this person for an hour I gave up and told them to do what they feel is best for them. I didn’t have the time nor the energy to keep explaining myself. Eventually, that person has unfriended me and surprisingly not blocked me.
However, through all that, I noticed that I was being told to pick a side in the whole conflict. It was either I was on one side or the other. So, instead, I sat back and observe the chaos for a little longer. Even when it became too much and it triggered my depression, I stayed off social media at the behest of a friend. It was great advice because it was at that moment, I chose a side in the conflict. I chose me, I chose my side because my mental health was being attacked from both sides wanting me to join. After so much debate and ultimatums choosing myself was the best thing, I did these past few weeks.
So, if you’re reading this and you’re stuck in the middle just like I was. I encourage you to log off for a few days. Stay away from the media altogether and focus on yourself. Find a favorite hobby that you can do inside, or outside now (seeing that the lock downs are lifting) and just enjoy you. Go on a small trip for a little bit. Binge-watch a show to distract yourself from all the madness. Just remember when it comes to choosing two sides, it should be clear that your side is always the best. Do what is best for you and not for those that dare call themselves friends or family. If these people truly cared about you, they would never put you in such a predicament. I think it’s time we stop putting ourselves second to everyone else.