Since Monday June 1st the revelation of Caitlyn Jenner has dominated social media. A flurry of memes have been created and timelines are inundated with heated discussions and posts from various camps.
As is often the case for me. the online world found its’ way into my personal one. Multiple friends asking if I planned to devote any Facebook or WordPress posts to the topic. My answer? An emphatic no.
There are two reasons why I have no desire to focus on that particular topic. One is my long-standing and unwritten rule regarding pop culture and celebrity. While at times I do believe that it is helpful to analyze heavy topics through the lens of pop culture, there are specific individuals and topics that I simply refuse to write about and heavily engage on.
The Kardashian family and reality shows in general fall into that category. Yes I understand that they are feted and that my countrymen have a fascination with them(one which I truly do not understand). I’m aware that devoting more posts to celebrities and trending topics would lead to an increase in blog traffic and comments. But the increasing cult of celebrity in the U.S. disturbs me, and I can’t allow myself to subscribe to it.
My other rationalization from abstaining comes as a result of self-critique. At times my peeps have joked about my zeal and the soapbox I seem to drag behind me. Now I’m of the mind that being aware and concerned about issues nationally and globally is a necessary and admirable trait. But in reflecting on my writing, my posts and what I choose to devote my mind and energy to I see that I have erred at times. I have been too willingly to jump on whatever bandwagon is trending at the moment. In seeking to stay current I succumbed to the pack mentality. Going too far in my need to be socially aware, I instead ended up living in a state of perpetual outrage and engagement.
I began to see and check myself on this in the latter half of 2014. It is an ongoing process. In the era we live in it is a struggle to resist the temptation to pick up the bullhorn and go from zero to one hundred real quick. But before I write I blog or long Facebook post now I tend to stop and ask myself the following questions:
- Is this issue truly even relevant and important to me, or am I just behaving in a ‘follow-fashion’ manner?
- Is what I’m going to say going to add to the discussion and enlighten?
- Is my reaction based solely on an emotional response?
- Did I take the time to read through and truly analyze the content that inspired said post?
- Has someone else already articulated my thoughts and exact position on the subject?
The answers to these questions determine my response. As a result of this process my means of engagement have changed. I am learning that I don’t need to turn up and go hard in the paint over every cause celebre that comes up in my timeline. More importantly it has helped me to refine my focus. Becoming selective in what I choose to expend myself on frees up time and energy to spend on matters which benefit me more.