I don’t know when the tectonic shift in my thinking happened: Hindsight being 20/20, I can see clearly that the time and energy I spent on caring was dumb.
Perhaps it happened the 1001st time that someone called me a “dumb slut” or “annoying bitch” or “ugly, fat, troll” on one of the columns I wrote? When an anon “fan” from the Internet showed up in my real life and threatened me? When Encyclopedia Dramatic posted a whole page dragging me in the ugliest of ways? Or, was it when my daughter died and I realized how unreal what people say on the Internet is compared to the heartache and struggle of real life? Or, maybe, at some point I just became tired of trying to fix the world by battling one troll at a time?
Whatever happened, somewhere along the way, I learned to truly and honestly give no fucks. About online drama. Offline drama. Harsh and ugly souled people, in general. I have no energy to go in with witty verbal guns blazing to school some newb. I just don’t. I give zero fucks.
At one point, I had good reason to be bothered by some of the things said to or about me online. That time passed slowly, much slower than it should for a functioning adult. The energy and ire I wasted on engaging with these bumblefucks is monumental. And, as a 45-year old tired person, I wish I had that energy back.
There is something totally freeing about the moment you decide to stop wasting energy and time on stupid shit. It’s like boulders are lifted off your shoulders and you wake up out of a fog to see what things are out in front of you without clouds in your eyes.
You also stop having headaches, heart palpitations, anxiety attacks, ringing in your ears, shaky hands, and more. Yes, the Internet, and specifically Social Media actually have real life, physical effects on some people. And, I was one of them. That’s not to say that those things don’t still happen to me… occasionally. They do. Just not because of something as trite as online drama.
Giving no fucks is a subtle art. It involves balance. Because, obviously, there are still things you care about that may present themselves to you for commentary in an online forum. And, there is still dramaz – swirling all around you. Giving no fucks is all about choice. Choosing not to be bothered. Choosing what will get you worked up and limiting those occasions to few and far between, if not none at all.
So, Twaddlefart calls you a name on Facebook. They say really mean things about you, to you… are you going to be bothered? Is it worth your time and attention? If so, do you need to get more involved than just a pithy comment?
Is engaging worth letting Twaddlefart into your life to ruin your day(s)?
I didn’t think so.
Giving no fucks is also a realization that anytime some anon innerwebs stranger spews vitriolic acid at you that it is telling you more about their life than yours. These are unhappy people, don’t let them drag you down with them.
Also, the absolute best fuck you you can give to an asshole online is to remain unbothered by what they say. It infuriates them.
Better yet, don’t even respond. That really boils their buttons, I’m telling you.
Giving no fucks is a relief. It gives you time to do other things. It gives you energy to engage with people in a positive way. It gives you laughter at the attempts of strangers to upset you.
I laugh heartily anytime someone tries to drag me. If they only knew how little real estate their comments and opinions take up in my brain… I am impermeable to their shit flinging. It just slides off me, like water off a duck’s back.
I wish like hell I had figured all this out when I was 35. Better yet, in my 20s when I first started fighting on the (then nacent) Internet. I would have saved so much time and heartache over the years. My life would have been cleaner and happier. But, no ragerts – right? Absolutely.
Perhaps this post can serve as a primer for those who get all worked up on social media. This is how you give no fucks: You decide you give no fucks and then follow that through. It’s simple really when you think about it.