Normalize Normal on Social Media

 

For a few months, in the late spring of 2020, I was careful about what I was posting on social media. We were having playdates with a friend (mostly outdoors) and I never posted pictures of her with us, for fear of provoking a COVID backlash. That lasted until about May, when I decided that there was no reason to be ashamed of what we were doing, nor should I let other people’s judgment determine what I was posting online.

Over the last months of 2020 and into 2021, I’ve noticed friends similarly self-censoring. They’re going on vacations, having family over for dinners, etc; but they’re posting none of it. If they do post it, they post it to special “lists” of “close friends” only, not widely for public consumption.

Before COVID, I used my social media to highlight what we were doing in our daily lives. Now, in the middle of it, I’m using social media to highlight that we’re still doing normal things, and that normal is good, normal can be done, normal is the goal.

I noticed the first few times we took vacations (to Colonial Williamsburg and Florida) that the number of people viewing my Instagram stories (you can see how many and who are watching) was skyrocketing. I received dozens of messages with people applauding my “bravery” and plenty more people asking logistical questions about travel in the middle of COVID. I know of six different families who decided to visit Williamsburg because of the pictures I posted.

Earlier this week, I went to an indoor amusement establishment with my kids and, as usual, posted the pictures on Instagram. I received a message that pinpointed exactly why I’ve been posting images like that one:

Image

I encourage you to normalize normal in real life and on social media, especially for folks living in more locked down and suffocating places, as I do. Be open about what you’re doing and encourage other people to get back to really living, not just existing. That’s how the pandemic ends; when we all collectively decide it’s over.

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  1. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    They say that in East Germany, one of every eight people was either a Stasi member or an informer.  Huge files on everybody.  If they had invented GTwitBook back then, they could have gotten by with a much smaller political police force and instead just rely on an army of volunteers to identify, harass, punish and silence dissident thought and behavior.

    I think a great majority of Americans have never been part of a social media woke mob attack.  Maybe it’s time for the normals to keep a record of woke mobsters…

    • #1
  2. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    There was a time, even fairly recently, when I wondered if there really was a majority who thought we were being unreasonable with the lockdowns and the endless picayune mandates. People seemed too evenly divided for my tastes. I think we’re past that, and that a growing majority thinks its time to get back to normal.

    The sight of children wearing masks is soul-crushing. You’re doing the right thing.

    • #2
  3. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    Funny how quickly the government turn us into sheep. 

    • #3
  4. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Funny how quickly the government turn us into sheep.

    Well, they told us this was the mostest deadly disease in the history of the world.  The propaganda was relentless.  If the claims were true, and we had to act fast, then we needed to shut down.

    Of course the claims were not true and everyone knew it.  It was a manufactured crisis.   Sure, the disease is real and potentially deadly, but it wasn’t like the bubonic plague that wiped out a third of Europe.  For that I would agree to lockdowns.  Less than 1% of people who get the disease die?  Ridiculous!

    I don’t think we were turned to sheep.  We were tricked by an unholy alliance between the democrat party, the press, and other power seekers.  Now people are scared from a year of fear mongering.  

    • #4
  5. J Ro Member
    J Ro
    @JRo

    Recent observation: I went to the Apple Store in a giant mall for emergency service. It is a spacious room and had 6-8 people in it, mostly staff, on a Saturday afternoon. Had to make an appointment and wait three days to be seen. Back in my hotel lobby/bar, about the same size and literally across the street, 30-50 guests and staff were being normal except people wore masks if they weren’t drinking. 

    Still, hotel rooms are not cleaned until after check out. 

    • #5
  6. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    They say that in East Germany, one of every eight people was either a Stasi member or an informer. Huge files on everybody. If they had invented GTwitBook back then, they could have gotten by with a much smaller political police force and instead just rely on an army of volunteers to identify, harass, punish and silence dissident thought and behavior.

    I think a great majority of Americans have never been part of a social media woke mob attack. Maybe it’s time for the normals to keep a record of woke mobsters…

    I don’t participate in any social media (unless Ricochet counts), and I find it very relaxing; I don’t have a need to know what others are thinking or saying about me.

    I would probably be totally crushed if I were spoken harshly of by someone I have never met and will never know.

    • #6
  7. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    True story.  It’s 630 last night, I’m en route to band rehearsal.  Came off the highway, rolled to the traffic light.  “Homeless” guy holding a sign, scruffy, dirty.  Calls out to me, you spare a buck?  So I took a fiver and held it in my right hand as the window goes down. He pulls on a mask and walks over. He stops. He says he won’t come to my window until I put on a mask.  I reply I’m not putting on a mask.  He starts shouting that he’s protecting me, I sez I’ve already had covid, no bill until your mask comes off.  Light turns green, window goes up, DocRobert drives off still holding my fiver.

    Even the beggars are scared.

    • #7
  8. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    They say that in East Germany, one of every eight people was either a Stasi member or an informer. Huge files on everybody. If they had invented GTwitBook back then, they could have gotten by with a much smaller political police force and instead just rely on an army of volunteers to identify, harass, punish and silence dissident thought and behavior.

    I think a great majority of Americans have never been part of a social media woke mob attack. Maybe it’s time for the normals to keep a record of woke mobsters…

    I don’t participate in any social media (unless Ricochet counts), and I find it very relaxing; I don’t have a need to know what others are thinking or saying about me.

    I would probably be totally crushed if I were spoken harshly of by someone I have never met and will never know.

    Jim, if it makes you feel any better, the What Do You Think of Jim McConnell? Facebook group of which I’m a member breaks about 70/30 in your favor. So, you know. It’s all good out here.

    (Just to be clear, I’m only a member of one of the Jim McConnell Facebook groups. I can’t speak for any of the others.)

    • #8
  9. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    Even the beggars are scared.

    Not sure how to interpret that “even.” In general, guys standing on street corners begging for handouts probably aren’t apple pie normal, psychologically speaking.

    Having said that, I’m a little surprised that at least one major newspaper hasn’t decided to poll the homeless to get the definitive take on America’s opinions regarding COVID, capitalism, and race.

    • #9
  10. She Member
    She
    @She

    I suppose it’s a noble objective, to try to “social media” the world’s way out of a mess that–I can’t help thinking–it largely “social media-ed” its way into.

    Nevertheless, I also can’t help thinking that what I and my family do together or with our friends isn’t any of the world’s business, and that we’d all be a lot better off if we all spent less time on Facebook and Twitter, and less time responding to, and basing our own behavior–for good or ill–on the whims, opinions, biases, and prejudices of people we don’t even know.

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Having said that, I’m a little surprised that at least one major newspaper hasn’t decided to poll the homeless to get the definitive take on America’s opinions regarding COVID, capitalism, and race.

    On that note, I’m still waiting for the definitive take on how COVID raced through, and decimated, the homeless population in any given city.  I’ve seen lots of studies on how COVID has caused homelessness, but not the other.

     

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    True story. It’s 630 last night, I’m en route to band rehearsal. Came off the highway, rolled to the traffic light. “Homeless” guy holding a sign, scruffy, dirty. Calls out to me, you spare a buck? So I took a fiver and held it in my right hand as the window goes down. He pulls on a mask and walks over. He stops. He says he won’t come to my window until I put on a mask. I reply I’m not putting on a mask. He starts shouting that he’s protecting me, I sez I’ve already had covid, no bill until your mask comes off. Light turns green, window goes up, DocRobert drives off still holding my fiver.

    Even the beggars are scared.

    Huh. Beggars can be choosers.

    • #11
  12. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    Even the beggars are scared.

    That’s hilarious.  It might be worth it to keep baiting the little druggie just to watch the reaction.

    • #12
  13. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    True story. It’s 630 last night, I’m en route to band rehearsal. Came off the highway, rolled to the traffic light. “Homeless” guy holding a sign, scruffy, dirty. Calls out to me, you spare a buck? So I took a fiver and held it in my right hand as the window goes down. He pulls on a mask and walks over. He stops. He says he won’t come to my window until I put on a mask. I reply I’m not putting on a mask. He starts shouting that he’s protecting me, I sez I’ve already had covid, no bill until your mask comes off. Light turns green, window goes up, DocRobert drives off still holding my fiver.

    Even the beggars are scared.

    This is a good place to repost this link about “Someplace else.”

    • #13
  14. She Member
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):

    True story. It’s 630 last night, I’m en route to band rehearsal. Came off the highway, rolled to the traffic light. “Homeless” guy holding a sign, scruffy, dirty. Calls out to me, you spare a buck? So I took a fiver and held it in my right hand as the window goes down. He pulls on a mask and walks over. He stops. He says he won’t come to my window until I put on a mask. I reply I’m not putting on a mask. He starts shouting that he’s protecting me, I sez I’ve already had covid, no bill until your mask comes off. Light turns green, window goes up, DocRobert drives off still holding my fiver.

    Even the beggars are scared.

    Huh. Beggars can be choosers.

    Mic Drop.

    (Second startlingly relevant cultural reference in a 24 hour period.  I’m done now.)

    • #14
  15. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I’m not on “social media” either, but I do write my incendiary blog at RushBabe49.com.  My rhetoric is not toned down for anyone, and will not be. This particular post has gotten me some plaudits for “bravery”.

    https://rushbabe49.com/2021/03/22/some-information-and-helpful-advice-for-my-asian-friends/

     

    • #15
  16. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    The sight of children wearing masks is soul-crushing.

    We went out to dinner a couple of weeks ago (not an easy task around here).  As we were walking toward the restaurant there was a couple walking in front of us with a little girl.  She was about 2 1/2.  She was wearing a mask, outdoors; mom and dad were not wearing masks.  That really disturbed me.

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    I would probably be totally crushed if I were spoken harshly of by someone I have never met and will never know.

    This is the life of today’s pre-teen and teen.

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Doctor Robert (View Comment):
    Even the beggars are scared.

    Not sure how to interpret that “even.” In general, guys standing on street corners begging for handouts probably aren’t apple pie normal, psychologically speaking.

    Having said that, I’m a little surprised that at least one major newspaper hasn’t decided to poll the homeless to get the definitive take on America’s opinions regarding COVID, capitalism, and race.

     

    Reminds me of this:

     

    • #17
  18. Midwest Southerner Coolidge
    Midwest Southerner
    @MidwestSoutherner

    My son turned 25 yesterday. We grilled at home with extended family and I posted a photo on social of him and his birthday cake. Within 30 minutes I received two text messages and four private FB messages from friends and family concerned that we had people in our home who didn’t live with us on a daily basis. 

    Boy, howdy, are they gonna love it when I share photos and video from the road trip my husband and I will be embarking on soon.

    • #18
  19. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Midwest Southerner (View Comment):

    My son turned 25 yesterday. We grilled at home with extended family and I posted a photo on social of him and his birthday cake. Within 30 minutes I received two text messages and four private FB messages from friends and family concerned that we had people in our home who didn’t live with us on a daily basis.

    Boy, howdy, are they gonna love it when I share photos and video from the road trip my husband and I will be embarking on soon.

    Post those pics on Ricochet and ditch Facebook. 

    • #19
  20. Midwest Southerner Coolidge
    Midwest Southerner
    @MidwestSoutherner

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Midwest Southerner (View Comment):

    My son turned 25 yesterday. We grilled at home with extended family and I posted a photo on social of him and his birthday cake. Within 30 minutes I received two text messages and four private FB messages from friends and family concerned that we had people in our home who didn’t live with us on a daily basis.

    Boy, howdy, are they gonna love it when I share photos and video from the road trip my husband and I will be embarking on soon.

    Post those pics on Ricochet and ditch Facebook.

    What a fabulous idea re: posting the road trip pics here. I’ll do exactly that — maybe in a series. Who knows what shenanigans we’ll be up to. ;)

    • #20
  21. Allie Hahn Coolidge
    Allie Hahn
    @AllieHahn

    One thing that bothers me so much on this subject is seeing people post things online with “disclaimers.” Here’s an example: The other day I was watching an Instagram story by someone where he mentioned being excited to be back in the office. He had to add, though, that we shouldn’t worry about his mask being off because he was by himself with the door closed! Whenever he stepped out or someone knocked he put it back on! It’s just sad that people feel like they have to say things like that (not to mention do things like that…). 

    • #21
  22. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Allie Hahn (View Comment):

    One thing that bothers me so much on this subject is seeing people post things online with “disclaimers.” Here’s an example: The other day I was watching an Instagram story by someone where he mentioned being excited to be back in the office. He had to add, though, that we shouldn’t worry about his mask being off because he was by himself with the door closed! Whenever he stepped out or someone knocked he put it back on! It’s just sad that people feel like they have to say things like that (not to mention do things like that…).

    I hope you realize the “flaming” he would  have gotten in response, if he didn’t.

    • #22
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