Cocktail Chat with Beth 4.13.20

Pull up a stool and a beverage. It’s 5:00 somewhere and Mama’s in the mood to rant. Can I just say something? Since this whole virus business has gone down I have noticed SO MUCH internet shaming. I get it, we’re all home with nothing better to do, but does that really give us the right to pick on every last little thing? The majority of this seems to be taking place on Twitter, and I realize that I can choose to not use it but I do have a couple of local friends who only really post there and it’s a way to keep up with them, so I look at it like a necessary evil. And yes, I can ignore the posts I see that bug me, but I read a couple over the weekend that just got under my skin a little bit so I just need to address it.

First post I saw was about the fact that there is a “first picture as a couple” thing going around, mostly on Instagram. I read a tweet that said “Um, no one cares about your first picture as a couple. Thanks so much for reminding us that are single how single we are.” All right, look, I am very thankful that I am in a healthy marriage and have not been single in many, many years.  And, I do empathize with single people. But, I did share my first picture with Nate because it was over 20 years old and I thought it would be good for a laugh. I was not trying to throw it in your face and taunt your singleness. It was merely for fun. Remember fun? We’re not able to do a lot of things that are fun right now, so lighten up a bit OK?

The other tweet I read was related to another thing going around right now that is people sharing their senior year pictures in support of this year’s senior class. The tweet I read was “Um, did the class of 2020 ask people to share their senior year photos? Or did someone do it because they wanted to.” A response to that tweet was “yeah, no kidding, seems like a slap in the face to the seniors if you ask me.” Wow. Well, when I saw it going around I did share my senior photo because it’s 20 years old and I thought if anything, maybe this year’s graduates would get a laugh out of my terrible 90’s hair. Again, it was something FOR FUN and an easy way to show support. I didn’t post my picture and say “hahaha, you don’t get to have a graduation.” I posted as a way of saying “I see you class of 2020. I was 18 once too. I know this is hard. I’m with you.” By the way, if this tweet was from a 2020 senior then maybe I’d think twice about it, but no, it was a childless 30 something.

And it’s not just this stuff. Everyone has an opinion about everything. Some people are coping with the pandemic by doing fitness programs and sharing about what they’re doing online. And the haters say “ugh, don’t shame me into working out.” No one is telling you have to workout. Some people are taking this time to bake lots of bread. “Ugh, no one wants to see the bread you’re baking” You know what Susan? You can just skip past those pictures of loaves of bread, did you know that?

I choose to still get dressed everyday for work. It helps me feel more productive. No joke, even on a weekend, if I wear jeans versus leggings I find I’m more productive and less likely to sit on the couch all day. But I am not shaming anyone who is in their glory wearing yoga pants and no bra right now. I join those ranks at 5:00 each day. If you don’t even change out of your pajamas each day, that’s totes cool. You do you boo. But on the flip side, let me be me. Clothes and makeup make me happy, so I will keep getting dressed and doing my face, sound good?

Some folks like myself are blogging through this time still and others aren’t. Some of us are reading like crazy or if you’re like me, right now your escape is mindless games like Animal Crossing. That’s cool. Maybe some folks are feeling SUPER productive right now and are working through a to-do list or working towards goals. Good for them! I bet we’ll see some awesome and creative stuff come out of this time. I know that just getting out of bed for some people is hard enough right now too. Celebrate those victories too. Let’s not just not judge either type of person.

Twitter isn’t all bad. I did see this tweet the other day and I practically gave it a standing ovation: “It’s fine if you’re making bread and it’s fine if you aren’t doing shit and it’s fine if you’re going live on Instagram. There has never been a more opportune time to just leave people the fuck alone.”

In other words – it’s a freaking pandemic. Do what makes you happy. Be kind and give each other grace, OK? We’re all getting through this in the way that works best for us. I judge no one – unless you don’t wash your hands and gather in groups when you should be staying home. Then you deserve all the internet judgement in the world. Otherwise, please, just remember that golden rule. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

6 thoughts on “Cocktail Chat with Beth 4.13.20

  1. I have found (actually before the pandemic) that there is some definite nastiness online at times. Also some people really feel the need to criticize anything that they personally don’t enjoy/or can relate to/have a different opinion on. If you don’t want to see someone sharing an old photo then skip it. Or mute. Or unfollow.
    I sometimes wonder how ‘social’ social media actually is at times. I find Facebook is so full of drama and not the friendliest place and last week I actually wanted to close my account temporarily. I didn’t but I know of people who have and I think people forget that rudeness online is no different to rudeness face to face.

  2. Well said, my friend. The problem is, I suspect some folks are getting through the pandemic by … shaming others. They’ll come TO social media not for relief or levity or perspective, but to find those they want to shame. The bring the shame into it. Know what? That’s a shame. We’ve never had this much in common as a world population, and I’ve loved reading messages of hope and renewal, some of humor, and even some of despair and honest feelings of how to deal. It’s all part of our response to our conditions. In itself, that’s a beautiful thing.

  3. Amen sister! Especially BE KIND AND GIVE EACH OTHER GRACE. Yes. Why can’t we all do that for crying out loud!? I’m not on Twitter, but I totally see what you mean in other ways. I try to ignore it and take breaks when other people’s opinions or choices are getting to me, but it’s hard. We’re all just doing our best here, why can’t people just remember that!?

  4. I thought your picture was super adorable on Insta! I love seeing people’s first couples photos and I’m single as all get out. I think they are all cute! I love the senior class photos too! This year is my 20th since graduating high school, I need to pull a few pictures out!
    I 100% agree with you! People need to do what makes them happy! We are all surviving the best we can and people shouldn’t judge! We don’t know how others are feeling inside and maybe only one thing helps. We shouldn’t criticize that one thing!
    Let’s all just try to do what makes us happy and survive the next month or so!

  5. Oh, Beth. I feel this. Like, in my bones.

    I opened Twitter the other day and someone posted a mean-spirited tweet about the senior photo thing and like you said… if you’re offended, just scroll on by! Personally I love to see how people are quarantining! And what they are doing with their time. I love to follow trey from phish and hear the melodies he’s composing in his living room since a summer tour likely won’t happen. It’s little things like this that fill my day with a sense of normalcy, just like how you put on pants and zoom with friends and reclaim what was your life before the pandemic set in.

    Ugh. Way too many negative Nancies in this world sometimes. And who the hell is offended by bread?? Lol.

  6. Oh man, internet shaming is just the worst. I keep seeing the one about the senior photos too. My thought is that some seniors this year might have their own photos, or maybe they will do them in the future. Yes, it sucks that they can’t experience so much right now, but there are still things (like the photos) that might happen in the future. At any rate, it’s just fun. It’s a solidarity thing, like you said. I have a neighbor that’s a senior this year and she liked my photo on FB so that made me feel good after seeing people complaining. Honestly, it’s a rough time for everybody. Do what you can, what makes you happy, what gets you through. We’re in this together, yes, but not all in the same ways, so let people be.


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