This has occupied my brain for quite a while. The whole banning negativity and ‘positive vibes only’ storm that has literally engrossed social media put me off even checking my Twitter feed at one point. Be positive. Be happy. Smile. Don’t let your negativity spoil our spotless social media feed, please.
We ran out of teabags at work. I forgot my bank card when all I wanted was a pasty. I left my car window open and it rained. I’m not really feeling that great. I feel like I could tear someone’s head off. I go on Twitter for a mindless scroll. And all I see is #positivevibesonly, ‘say no to negativity’, ‘positivityyyyyyyyyy’. Great. I now feel even more shit because I just ain’t feeling too positive right now.
I don’t know about you, but if someone’s constantly bleating ‘positivity positivity positivity posi vibes positivity positivity positivevibesonly positivity positivity positivity positivity positivity’, it feels fake to me. It just doesn’t seem authentic.
Don’t Feel Ashamed
I’m a self-confessed black cloud. I’m just not one of those people who skips around all day every day loving life. I feel drained just interacting with those kinds of people. I’m practical yet dreamy, cynical yet hopeful, realistic yet silly. It’s exhausting being all of these things at once. I also sport a fairly miserable, bitchy-looking face. But I can’t, and won’t, feel bad for it.
When I read this tweet (I hope the owner doesn’t mind, I screenshotted it yonks ago and have held onto it ever since), it relayed all my thoughts surrounding the use of positivity and negativity in social media and blogging:
Many bloggers and YouTubers use the term ‘negativity’ to describe the random, often hateful comments people or ‘ghosts’ leave on their profile. As a avid YT fan, I’ve seen comments from ‘your hair looks daft’ or ‘won’t be watching you again cause you put your ketchup in the fridge and not the cupboard’ to some of the most horrific things you can imagine. Of course, this kind of thing needs to be addressed, and we could all do without this kind of negativity.
The idea of this post is the notion that it’s bad to talk about ‘negative’ feelings. As it just creates dem negative vibes and we must all be happy all the time, right? No.
What I’m trying to say is, we all experience ups and downs. If we surround ourselves with constant ‘positivity’ then feeling not so positive will become taboo. When it is perfectly natural to not feel 100% positive all the time.
Your Opinions, Your Thoughts = A Better World
Expressing your own opinions and thoughts is a way of bringing about change. Talking about not so positive feelings can also make somebody else feel a little more positive about their own thoughts. I’ve experienced this before. This type of positivity is so much more up my street than the forced positivity I see all the time in the blogging world. Or it seems forced, anyway.
Must blogging/expression be positive all of the time? Like Kellie pointed out in the tweet above, branding things as ‘negative’ seems to be a way of blocking any kind of debate and making everything a show with only one star, instead of multiple acts. I don’t think not being 100% agreeable makes you ‘negative’ and this perception of positivity in blogging is just, well, weird.
Maintaining the Gloss
I read numerous blogs that resemble a spread from a sleek magazine whose subscription costs half my month’s wages. Many readers look to blogs like this for escapism and fantasy, and others may also find them perfectly relatable. Maybe discussing/writing about things that are classed as ‘negativity’ is the last thing some people want to read about, and maybe some bloggers, who often get stick for not using their platforms that are bursting with followers to bring attention to topical issues, understand that this is the case.
Some people though, turned to blogs in the first place instead of magazines because they were full of people ‘like them’. And dismissing ‘negativity’ in the blogging world seems to lose this authenticity that many readers cherish.
I Don’t Hate Positivity
My problem isn’t with positivity, of course not. My issue is with the underlying rule (especially in blogging, I’ve noticed) that you must be positive all the time. And the way that this can make some people, including myself, feel bad and have the exact opposite effect. I guess what I’m trying to say is, we can’t be positive all the time. And that’s okay.