I’m coming to the rather cynical conclusion that I’m not sure I care enough about certain issues to want to shout and scream and rant and rave about them all day, every day. A big part of the reason behind this is the fact that people who do care enough about certain issues to shout and scream and rant and rave about them all day, every day are wearing me down significantly. I won’t get into specifics, as that will likely only provoke more shouting, screaming, ranting and raving, but suffice to say I really can’t be arsed with it any more.
I am fully aware that taking this rather apathetic attitude towards Big Issues makes me officially Part of the Problem. But, you know, I just don’t care any more. I have had my share of shit things happen to me in my life — nothing on a par with the abuse and crap some social groups have to put up with, though, obviously — and I am just exhausted. I am 31 years old and I just want to settle down with a nice, quiet life. I want to have a nice house with a cat and/or a dog, a car that doesn’t rattle when it goes around corners, a job that I enjoy that also allows me the free time to do things I want to do. I am partway there already (mainly on the job front) after a difficult couple of years, and I just do not have the energy to get upset and angry over things outside of my immediate situation any more. It’s selfish, and I’m completely aware of that — and mildly guilty about it, to my annoyance — but it’s true. I want my own life to be sorted before I try and fix the rest of the world, and I’ve still got a long way to go yet.
In honesty, it’s not that I genuinely don’t give a shit about the issues in question and don’t think they’re a problem. It’s that any time a “discussion” on said issues comes up, it devolves within a matter of seconds into people throwing tables at each other, telling each other to “get a grip” or that Their Opinion Is Wrong. I’ve tried on several occasions to engage in such discussions in a reasonable, rational manner and every time this pattern has emerged, without fail. It’s utterly predictable. Someone makes an inflammatory statement deliberately designed to provoke, someone else comes along with a counterpoint, then both sides gather the troops and proceed to bitch and scream at one another with no resolution being reached. Then the whole thing just happens again and again and again. In some cases, people in question repeatedly stoke the fire in an attempt to get the arguments to flare up again long after the initial flurry has passed.
I have one far-off friend in particular whom I otherwise like very much who I now feel I can’t really engage with via social media any more because 90% of their posts seem to follow the pattern outlined above. This sort of person attracts like-minded individuals, most of whom are strong-willed and keen to argue their case aggressively. I hate unnecessary aggression and will do anything possible to avoid it, whether it’s in actual conversation or on the Internet. If that means no longer talking to someone online, then it’s a sad situation for sure, but it’s what I’ll do.
There’s also the fact that in a lot of cases these screaming matches don’t achieve anything whatsoever. A lot of the people who hold these strong opinions can very much talk the talk but then don’t do anything to back up their bold words. If they took some sort of action regarding the things they feel so strongly about, I might be more inclined to care more one way or the other. But when the same old arguments arise day after day after day, I just get tired and don’t want to engage with it any more. The impact is lost. I don’t care any more. I just want to have a quiet life. If your points are making me — and doubtless plenty of others like me — feel like that, you are not arguing your case well.
Is that such a bad thing? Apparently so. But if it’s wrong, to mangle the cliché, I really don’t have the energy or give enough of a shit to be right.