There’s something really dangerous about the generations of today and how they react to conflict. I’ve noticed that social tolerance levels have dwindled down to almost nothing, to the point where it almost rivals the older gen that we’ve tried so hard to separate ourselves from. If one little thing is out of place in regards to a relationship, movement, or thought process, especially when expectations are centered around tumblr-based ideals, people will just cut it out of their lives completely, with no remorse or chance of redemption.
I believe we can safely establish that the world is not like tumblr, and no one should assume that it will ever function like tumblr does. Yes, as a whole the human race has come a long way in terms of open minds and forward-thinking, but holding everyone to the higher standards this website has (whether it’s unintentional or otherwise) can be emotionally compromising and a bit counterproductive.
- “You don’t agree with us about so-and-so issue? Ugh we’re done here”.
- “You don’t conform to our idea of so-and-so? Lol bye.”
- “You prefer this over that? This is a waste of my time then.”
The end. Roll credits??? That’s not a very satisfying conclusion, in my opinion.
You can’t open new doors for people only to slam it back in their face if they don’t come in right off the bat. Change requires time. Change requires healthy communication and a certain amount of tolerance for it to set in. Change sometimes means accepting the plot of dirt that won’t grow anything, and instead of abandoning it and sticking with an already flourishing pasture, you continue to plant around the plot in hopes that a seed will take root. Most importantly, change requires patience.
“What if there are thorns involved in maintaining this plot of dirt? I don’t want to get hurt, and I don’t want it to hurt anyone else, so wouldn’t it just be better to call this a lost cause?” It would certainly be easier, yes. Not necessarily better. It’s not inherently difficult to shut out all of the crap that’s hard to confront in our lives, but I don’t think people realize the amount of strength and sacrifice it takes to keep working through those obstacles towards the change we so want to see. Or maybe they do realize this, and they just don’t want to put forth that much effort. It’d be more convenient if we had a quick fix for everything, after all.
Well, unfortunately, with how fast-paced and instantaneous everything is in our world today, that’s what we’ve come to expect out of time-sensitive things like our relationships, problem solving, and general social issues. “Everything should just work out in our favor all the time, no questions asked, and no room for any controversy or differing perspectives - a simple, quick, black and white solution!”
This is unreasonable.
As humans beings, we are fully equipped to deal with conflict. We are the most intelligent species on this planet, and this allows us the perseverance and the resolve we need to address problems within ourselves and each other, which helps us build stronger, more meaningful connections. When we choose not to use these assets anymore, they get dull, and at some point we might stop trying to use them altogether. Rather than fight or flight, we’ve settled ourselves into perpetual flight mode, content to live in a rose-tinted world where nothing will harm us, as long as we sidestep everything that has the capability to upset our sense of balance.
Tumblr (along with a vast majority of social media) has done a terribly marvelous job at instilling this stubborn, dismissive attitude in many of its users. Avoiding conflict on the internet is one thing; it’s definitely not a healthy way to treat real world experiences. Physically removing someone or something from your life shouldn’t be as easy as hitting the block button, should it? We want to be all-accepting and make a difference in society, and yet half of the community just stays within itself, opting to jeer or shun or ridicule, rather than reaching out to those who need that change of heart the most.
With that being said, we aren’t exactly helping anyone other than ourselves. This isn’t to say websites like tumblr haven’t changed peoples lives for the better, or sent out good messages, but I feel there’s very little tumblr has done to effect where change really needs to happen. The whole one-strike-and-you’re-out mob mentality makes that prospect a bit difficult to achieve.
I will end by saying that tumblr has helped me grow and connect in ways I never expected, and it’s a great community of individuals at the best of times. People just need to reconsider how their battles are fought and whether they even need to be battles at all, but rather an educational enlightenment for everyone involved. That’s my hope, at least.