I reread some of my writing recently, and noticed a subtle-but-there overarching theme of negativity throughout my work. I have been feeling more positive and upbeat in my life, but my writing wasn’t reflecting that: I was ranting-veering-towards-complaining, I was dissatisfied with myself and overly critical of my actions. I noticed this again as I wrote the second-to-last Media Consumption Report for this class, I was tired of seeking out the negativity in the world of media. In general, things aren’t as bad as they once were, and I didn’t like searching for the bad that still existed.
I would consider myself an optimist. I prefer to assume the good in people, I like to believe things will work out, I imagine a world where people get along and care about each other. Maybe it’s naive and/or privileged, as I said–optimistic, but I like to focus on the good. I’ve had depression for years, it’s gone from low-on-life-depression to low-on-energy-depression, I’m tired of hating my life and wishing everything was perfect.
None of this is to say I ignore the bad or pretend it doesn’t exist. That would be the biggest display of privilege in the century (maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’d be super ignorant of me to say the least), and I refuse to deny the privilege I hold that comes inherent with being white and middle class and heterosexual and able bodied. I do choose, however, to believe in good, despite all the bad that goes on. I choose to believe in good people despite the bad ones; I imagine the possibility of a happy-go-lucky world of peace, despite the fact we’re not there, (yet?).
A lot of my generation grows up hyper-aware of how other people feel and what they go through. It’s a blessing and a curse of the digital age. I’ve heard first hand experiences of people experiencing discrimination, the second I learned how to log onto the internet. I’ve portrayed myself as both someone with a perfect life, and someone with a life in which everything is wrong. I’ve met people online that are still friends today and some who brought me down for the few days I “knew” them. I advocate for the fact that I had unlimited access to information, arguing that it made me more compassionate and aware of other’s problems; at the same time, I’m often overwhelmed with how much I encounter on a day-to-day basis, how much I worry about the problems of people I’ll never meet on issues that don’t (yet) affect me.
Cultivation Theory explains the concept that people who watch a lot of news or TV tend to think the world is a scary and dangerous place, they see a huge amount of danger in the media and cultivate the idea that it portrays the real world. At this point, I’m tired of fearing the world I live in, I’m ready to acknowledge the negative and work on fixing it, but I’m also ready to focus on the positive and possible