Seriously… If you follow or blog about addiction, mental health or recovery, you’ve seen these quotes about keeping your head up, pushing through, only you can prevent forest fires, etc. Maybe I’m just feeling particularly cynical today, but sometimes it’s hard to wade through the bullshit to find helpful or productive information. Do these things really inspire us or are we trying to find a way to express the unexpressable (yes I know that’s not a word). My motivation for staying sober, staying on my medication and going to therapy is a complex thing, multi-faceted and to a certain extent fluid. Some days I do it to feel better in the moment, sometimes I do it thinking about long-term goals, sometimes I’m not doing it for myself so much as for other people out of a fear of letting them down. There are a lot of people out there getting clicks and likes and shares off of the dumbest stuff. I want this blog to be more than that- to offer something of substance and of use. Yes, if I go back and look over some of what I’ve posted here I’ll find I’m just as guilty, so there’s some self-policing I’ll need to exercise too.
Are you nodding along or am I totally wrong about this?
4 thoughts on “I’m probably guilty of it too, but do you ever get sick of all these empty platitudes?”
I think this “issue,” just like anything else is multi-faceted. On one hand, I totally get what you are saying about people posting these images to get clicks or likes. It seems like everyone is always trying to sell something whether it be a product or themselves. This makes me think of the late comedian Bill Hicks when he said, “anyone here in marketing? If so, kill yourselves…no really… kill yourself.” Lol. He wasn’t exactly the most diplomatic but when you are a genuine person and you see people acting as if they can be understand or relate to you only for the purpose of an ulterior motive, it pisses you off.
With that being said, I think there are some people who genuinely do just want to share a positive message. I have to be honest, a few of them have stuck in my mind when I need a little extra motivation for whatever reason. I follow tons of fitness pages on IG for instance because if I am constantly inundated with motivation, I feel like it has to sink in to some degree.
Finally, I think these quotes or clichés break up our ever so complex reality into bite sized, understandable, and often relatable chunks for our brains to easily digest. Of course they usually only remain in our memory long enough for the next one to pop up. I think social media has created a dependence on constant “food for thought.” It’s almost like an addiction in itself as another way to drown out that incessant voice in our head. In that sense, it becomes a disservice. We need to learn how to control our thoughts or just be alive in the present moment without having to constantly drown our thoughts in TV, content, or drugs.
I may have made that way more complicated than you intended, but that’s my 2 cents… Lol.
No, that’s a very thoughtful response, and I appreciate it. I think there are a few lines that can be drawn.
On the one hand I don’t want to impugn anyone who does find something valuable in these cliches, while on the other there are some sites or Facebook groups, etc. that have formed a sort of cottage industry around creating and promulgating click bait. When it’s a brand doing it, well, as you alluded to with the Bill Hicks reference, it’s downright exploitative.
Thanks for the feedback!
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