If you spend any time on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve witnessed the phenomenon of the “Rage-Gasm,” whether or not you’ve heard the term.
I stopped following George Takei for exactly this reason. He kept sharing, essentially, “LOOK AT THIS! Look how horrible this one human treated another!” Takei frequently posted about such atrocities as prejudiced and hurtful tweets or comments in public.
I can understand how such incidents could be considered newsworthy if the abuser was in a position of power. For example, I’m sure many of you heard about the playboy model who posted a photo of a naked, older lady in the gym locker room with a derogatory comment. The fact that this model had, I presume, hundreds of thousands of social media followers makes her post slightly more impactful, and therefore newsworthy.
But when they’re random strangers? Random people mistreat each other and make insulting statements all the time. Why expend energy feeling enraged on their behalf?
Before you jump up on your high horse, I’m not saying we ought to ignore the plights of others because witnessing their suffering makes us uncomfortable.
But rather I am saying: The world is filled with so much suffering and mistreatment. You simply can’t live your life perpetually examining it all, feeling saddened and enraged about it. (AKA, the “Rage-Gasm.”)
Shocked rage isn’t a state I want to be in often.
So, Be Apathetic?
Am I proposing that we stop caring about mistreatment?
Besides, we can’t stop feeling rage when we hear these stories. Again, this reminds me of this crazy concept that humans don’t have free will. We can’t control that emotion as a response to these stories!
But I CAN control George Takei putting them in my feed – in my face. I was honestly disappointed to stop following him because he also posts hilarious, sometimes fascinating, and heart-warming stuff. But I couldn’t take Takei’s posts anymore. And I’m glad I made this choice.
I think it boils down to one simple question, “Is my rage helping anyone? Is any situation improved in any way by the rage I express on social media?” When the answers are resounding, “Nos,” then opt out.
Use Your Power to Remove Stressors
Rarely do we have such power to remove stressful things from our lives. So when we do have such choices, we should prioritize our own well being.