I will not hate-stalk people online
Three years ago, I became obsessed with my boyfriend’s ex girlfriend (we’ll just call her The Devil). It started off innocent enough–I just wanted to know where she was from, her height, her weight, and her aspirations of life. That escalated into me needing to know where she lived.
Instagram used to have this cool thing, where on someone’s profile, you could click a map icon and see where all of the person’s pictures had been taken. It’s supposed to be used so you can see the different countries and states the person has traveled to… but if you zoom in enough, you can see the cross streets of places that pictures was posted from. I knew that the location on the map with the highest number of posted pictures was typically where that person lived. So, from there, all I had to do was two-finger zoom as much as I could to see where The Devil resided.
Unfortunately, her profile was set to private. But fortunately enough, I knew her friends’ names, and they were not set to private. Like anyone else would do, I found all of the pictures of The Devil on other profiles, and made a note of where these pictures seemed to be posted from most often. After enough time and dedication, I was able to determine, with confidence, that she lived on the corner of Wilshire and Warner in Westwood.
Now, what was I going to do with this information? Would knowing what restaurants she reviewed on Yelp make me a better person? What could I have done in the time it took me to set my Linkedin profile to private just so I could see where The Devil interned in 2011? Why am I still doing this to myself, even though I found out she lives in New York now, and will have no further impact on my relationship? So many questions, and more, which is why in 2017, I will put an end to my hate-stalking.
I will stay off conservative social media
Y’all heard of fake news. It’s that thing where “writers” will come up with an attention-grabbing headline with a couple words in all-caps (like “DEADLY” and “BELIEVE” and “CHRISTIANS”) to get you to click on the link. Once you’re there, your met with a poorly-written article with spelling errors, completely bonkers conspiracy theories, and ads for penis enlargement.
This past election, up until now, I’ve been using this as a source of entertainment. I sometimes like to search through the #deplorable and #trump hashtags on Twitter just to find out what these people are sharing for the day.
I’ve learned so much about how Bill Clinton has this thing called “Sex Slave Island” where he keeps prostitutes, and how Obama is actually converting America to Islam and replacing our currency, and how Trump has literally been sent to us by god. It’s super entertaining until you realize that half of America isn’t in on the joke, and some “writer” is capitalizing on their refusal to use critical thinking skills. Plus, it’s an incredible waste of time.
I’ll be trying to get some work done, see that someone has posted another “article” from a clickbait “news outlet” and I’ll be done for the afternoon. I get stuck in these cycles where I keep clicking on their “sources” (usually just another article from the same website with absolutely no proof of anything) for hours until I get so frustrated that I have to stop myself and walk away from my computer. And if I do happen to be able to pull myself out of this hell hole, there’s always the comments section, where people have managed to come up with ten million names for Obama, like OldBummer, O-Bore-Me, and of course, the n-word.
So, not a real good use of my time. And in 2017, I’m giving it a rest.
I will be kinder to myself
I consider myself a kind person. I tip well, am polite, and generally try to not hurt anyone’s feelings unless I’m subtweeting on Twitter. But sometimes, I can be not-so nice.
For instance, whenever someone asks me to go out and I don’t want to, I’ll tell them that it’s my mom’s birthday dinner that night. Almost every time. By this logic, my mom had 10 birthday dinners last year. And I’m not even making an excuse so I can do something with other people; I’m saying this because all I want to do is sit on my couch and watch The Goldbergs on a Wednesday night.
Also, sometimes, when I’m bored, I like to report The Devil’s Instagram profile as “inappropriate” to spite her for being set to private and making me work harder to stalk her. My bad.
Also, also, sometimes I stare at people will judgment-filled eyes because I know they voted for Trump. Oops.
But the person I’m the worst to is probably myself. I’m tough on myself and don’t like to make mistakes, but I’m working on it. And I’ll start by showing myself kindness when I inevitably mess up all of these resolutions.
When I accidentally spend an hour trying to figure out what The Devil was doing in 2008, I’ll give myself some slack.
When I get sucked into an afternoon of leisurely reading about how Hillary is actually dead and has a body double because the Clintons want to unleash satan on America, I’ll be forgiving.
And when I don’t want to go out with people and would rather sit around in sweatpants and see what Barry Goldberg is up to, I’ll give my mom another birthday dinner and won’t feel guilty for putting myself first. Yay, 2017!