Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Oct. 8, 2017
I’ve ditched both my Twitter account and my Instagram.
In a much bigger move, I deactivated my longtime Facebook (FB) page and downsized to a new friends-only vibe. And, oh yeah, I performed a mercy-killing on my once-popular blog -- a version of which has existed and often thrived since May 2004.
And I’ve somehow lived to describe it…
As I get to know countless homeless women in NYC through my project, I hear many tales about how quickly they adjusted to no longer having a cell phone. They joke about “surviving” such a “hardship” and often agree they don’t miss it at all.
(FYI: If not for my homeless woman project, I would’ve abandoned FB a year ago.)
Our little ant hills become fiefdoms
I didn’t sign up at FB until 2010. As usual, I was late to a trendy party. However, between (regrettably) having the word “vegan” in my FB name for a while (long before they cracked down on such nonsense) and my (regrettable) involvement with Occupy Wall Street, I soon enough fell right into the most obvious/alluring social media trap.
I became important (sic).
From my pitiful little ant hill, I assured myself I was uniquely skilled and perfectly positioned to raise awareness, challenge propaganda, make a difference, and all that jazz. Lots of people, it seems, agreed. And they signed on. Like others of my ilk, I furiously guarded my pathetic fiefdom and tolerated only minimal dissent. I also made myriad ideological connections and foolishly perceived them as friendships.
In addition, I regularly tuned into the pages of the radical (sic) elite (sic). Believing I needed to “keep up” with such folks, I ignored oh-so-many warning signs. I’m tempted to name names now but that would give such hypocritical manipulators infinitely more credit than they’re due. Instead, I’ll just say I now often forget these people are even alive. Without their delusional proclamations and sniveling sycophants soiling my news feed, I feel far saner and can finally see with clarity how they are absolutely part of the problem (as I was).
Turn off, tune out, drop out
A white male “left” major league icon (Timothy Leary) once babbled about “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” Please allow a white male (former) “left” (minor league) icon (me) to counter: turn off, tune out, drop out… and wake up.
We blew it, “comrades.” Big time. We've allowed things to get to the point where the best role any “activist” can play is like that of a triage or hospice nurse. Such nurses don't come to work each day dreaming their patients will magically get better -- or even live. Instead, they do the essential, noble work of helping those they are capable of helping. No symbolic gestures. Just action. Direct action.
This isn’t to say “activists” should never ponder how to create systemic change and a less oppressive society. But it is to say that if we waste all our time and energy pondering grand strategies (sic) and “debating” on social media, we won’t even notice those in need. We’ll walk right past the vulnerable souls who are begging for our help.
If you want to lend meaning to your daily life in a social-justice-y sort of way, I strongly suggest you turn off, tune out, drop out and start thinking like a hospice or triage nurse (or cat lady, for that matter). Creating a softer place land is the only work left to do and it will never happen on social media.
Mickey Z. is the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!
Turn off, tune out, drop out… and wake up by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://worldnewstrust.com/turn-off-tune-out-drop-out-and-wake-up-mickey-z.