October 20, 2021•300 words
I'm struggling with dealing with all the negativity that seems to prevail these days. It seems everyone wants to lean into their dislike and hatred of just about anything. They no longer celebrate the things they like, but instead spend time shitting on the things they don't.
I have one friend who I text with almost daily and 95% of the texts involve negativity. This sucks, that sucks, look at how ridiculous this, etc. Almost every bit of it fueled by things found on social media. That outrage culture is just as bad as the cancel culture in my eyes and it makes me wonder how any relationship can last when "everything sucks."
My stepdad is also like this. He spends all day with the news on and he spends every free moment discussing the terrible state of the world. Then he complains about his beautiful house, his huge camper, his new truck, his swimming pool, etc. etc. Nothing is ever good enough. Nothing is easy enough and nothing is excessive enough and it's exhausting to be surrounded by this 24/7.
I give up on my podcasts that I end up finding for this exact reason. I'm excited to see the topic they pick, but then when the podcast is mostly trashing the topic, I just don't understand what should compel me to listen? Because someone else likes trashing something? Because a forty year old movie doesn't fit into today's social values?
The Gottmans famously discovered the "magic ratio" for a marriage to work: 5 to 1. This means that for every negative interaction during conflict, there has to be five (or more) positive interactions to overcome the damage the negative one does. I'm beginning to wonder what the magic ratio is for friends, websites, social media, and news sources.