The Drunk Vegans comprehensive guide to social media posts.
2016 has been a pretty fucking depressing year. Misogyny, racism, homophobia, and hatred are finding a common societal acceptance not seen in decades. And, it seems every week you hear the news of another celebrity death. Or another three celebrity deaths. The only effective way that I know of to deal with depression is to write about it. So, this post is on compassion fatigue and the most effective ways to make social and personal change.
So. A celebrity passes away. Maybe they were old and at the end of a full-life. Maybe they were young and it seems they were taken far too soon. You don't personally know the deceased; but, through their art they have influenced your life, and thus it feels like a very personal loss. You log-in to Facebook or Twitter and are bombarded with posts about the deceased.
Some of them are posted in grief:
Some of them are attempts at humor:
And some of them are completely self-serving and only exist to make the person who posted it feel better about themselves:
I do have a point to this. And I'll get there eventually. I am calling out the vegan police.
Hey, you all know that I am a foul-mouthed and somewhat politically incorrect person to be around. But, before I post anything on social media I ask myself a few very important questions: “Who is this likely to help?” “Is this informative?” “Is this properly cited scientific information, or is it opinion?” “Who is my audience for this post?” “Who will be hurt by this post?”
“Who is this likely to help?”
Look at what you are saying. Is it likely to change someone's mind about their unhealthy habits, or are you going to antagonize them into buying a triple bacon cheeseburger that they will shove in your face?
“Is this informative?”
Are you providing a recipe, a project, or something that you are actively working on? Are you linking to a properly cited article? Or, are you telling everyone who reads this that you are a better vegan or animal rights activist than they are? Are you telling them to go fuck themselves?
“Is this properly cited scientific information, or is it opinion?”
Are you linking to a scientifically cited article written by a nutritionist or scientist? Or, are you ranting something along the lines of “Go vegan or go fuck yourself? Are you linking to another blogger who has typed said-rant”
“Who is my audience for this post?”
Are you posting on Facebook? With the way that the Facebook algorithms work, the only people who will see your post are your own circle of friends and family. The majority of your Facebook followers already hold the same views as you. The ones who don't are probably family, and they will ignore the post if they don't agree with it. Ditto for Instagram.
Are you posting on Twitter? Twitter hashtags will bring people to your post who are already following the same issues that you are posting about. You are unlikely to change their minds, as they already agree with you.
“Who will this hurt?”
If you are posting “go vegan or go fuck yourself,” congratulations. Anybody who doesn't agree with you has now blocked you. If it was a close family member or old friend, now you have lost them. You still didn't change anyone's mind.
The Internet, for all of its vastness, is really pretty insular. You surround yourselves with “friends” who agree with your viewpoints, and shut out the majority of people who do not agree. It is not an effective forum for changing anyone's mind.
“So, Drunk Vegan, what is the point?”
The point is that you are not going to inform, change, or help anyone by posting rants on Facebook. Maybe instead of saying:
“They wouldn't have had a heart attack if they were following a plant based diet.”
You try this:
“Hey. I'm so sorry for your loss. I made you a pie. Can I bring it over?”
Eat good food. Hug your friends. Skritch their cats and pat their dogs and have a real, human interaction with other living beings. Stay off the Facebooks when you are sad or upset. Your sanity will thank you.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and LOVE
from the Drunk Vegan