Takedown Culture

by Meredith on September 4, 2014

I’ve noticed something very disturbing in the past few years, and it just keeps getting worse.

Social media has developed this nasty place of taking each other down.

We love nothing more than to see a thread of comments, 152 deep, where people are ripping each other apart and being nasty. And when we show up to watch it all go down, we post funny little memes like this:

jLZz4NaBecause Michael Jackson eating popcorn is funny. Heck, I’m guilty of it myself.

So even when we aren’t involved in the tearing down of others and their ideas, 152 comments deep, we want everyone to know that we are watching it go down like giant assholes with a bag of popcorn. We just have to put our two cents in, even if we don’t have a dog in the fight.

But why are we like this as a culture? Why do we want to see people fail?

As someone who puts so much out there on the internet, I’m often criticized for my opinions… and even my appearance. I expect it. I was the one who decided to build a business and a brand around social media. This comes with the territory.

But what about you? You didn’t expect to be beaten up online. And even though I expect it, it still blows.

Last week a very nice woman posted that she was done breastfeeding, and then a bunch of women jumped all over her.

weired

It’s a little odd that we care so much about what others feed their babies. Don’t you think?

Anyway, I think this takedown culture is overflowing into our personal lives. Social media and everyday life are so intertwined, that we call each other and talk with our mouths, on the phone, and gossip about something we saw on Twitter.

Again, I am guilty of it myself. My husband pointed it out to me the other day.

Meredith, I know your feelings have been hurt. But damn, this isn’t the Real Housewives of Facebook. Enough. You’re better than this. Men don’t act this way. Why do women? 

And you know what?

He’s right. Men typically do NOT act this way! This is a girl thing.

Which sucks because I’ve always been a girl’s girl. Until suddenly I realized that I was being the opposite of a girl’s girl… I was being a mean girl.

I need to change. The change is really freaking simple.

Are you ready?

If I don’t have anything nice to say, I’m not going to say anything at all.

Happy

I’ve created 10 rules I will now follow to be a less shitty person. I hope you’ll join me.

10 Anti-Takedown Rules for a Girl’s Girl

1. Every status update doesn’t require my weigh-in or snarky comment.

2. I’m doing my best as a mother and wife, so are you. Let’s accept this about each other. No family is the same. Everyone struggles. We are all unique snowflakes. I’ll support you, even if it isn’t something I would do.

3. I refuse to ever drunk dial a girlfriend again and gossip about another girlfriend. I hope you’ll join me, because I’ve heard what you’ve been saying about me and to me. You are guilty, too. Super. Guilty.

4. My husband is also not someone I can gossip to, even though I feel safe doing so… because gossip is gossip. Period.

5. This doesn’t mean I won’t have an opinion. It just means I will voice it on my terms, and not all over your Facebook wall (or behind your back) like a total asshole.

6. I never ever want to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings.

7. I won’t ignore you when you could use some help. Meaning, I will stand up for you. That’s what nice girls do for other girls.

8. If we have beef, I will tell you. It won’t be a secret (not that it ever was with me, you always know where you stand, but I won’t rehash it with anyone else).

9. I will be nice to everyone. EVERYONE. No more getting away with bad days, saying I have a bitchy resting face, or wearing my emotions on my sleeve. Being a bitch is not fair to those I encounter throughout the day, or my children, or my husband.

10. I’m going to listen more and talk less.

epic-hugs-friends-hunger-games

I want to be a great example of how a strong woman behaves for my daughter. It’s important to me.

If any of this hit a chord with you, or pissed you off, you probably should take a good hard look in the mirror. The truth hurts, and I’m glad Shaun Soleau pointed out the problem. It was me. I am the problem.

So will you join me? Will you also stop contributing to the takedown culture?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather

Love this post, Mere! It’s dead-on.

Reply

Nuala Reilly

Sometimes people think they’re saying something funny and it is misunderstood or taken out of context too. :-) . But I’m with you. I don’t like being negative, generally, anyway. I try to keep my take-downs to a minimum.
Great post.
Thanks.

Reply

Jasmine

I know I start of all of my comments on your blog this way (It’s true you can go check) But I really love you and your blog. If I lived in Ohio I swear we would be BFF’s!! I have so much respect for you because when you decide to change something that you don’t like about your live or your behavior you OWN your past. You don’t make excuses, you own it and you own how you are going to change it. That is huge and not something that happens very often. Thank you for this awesome post and for being you!!!!

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Jasmine

LIFE not LIVE damn auto correct!!

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Monica

I agree 100%. Not sure if this a maturity thing or what but I never felt the need to comment on every post etc? and if I do, it’s always my true and honest opinion. Saying that, I have been known to comment more freely( aka more opinionated) when I’ve had a few glasses of wine…but I will always be honest…and supportive. Life is full of haters…sometime a we need honey instead of vinegar.

Reply

Tess

I quit Facebook about 2 years ago. My now ex-husband of 30 years wanted to put the fact that we were separating on his Facebook status before we had a chance to sit down with both young adult daughters and explain things to them. I marched my ass over to my computer and deleted my Facebook. I got rid of him and Facebook. Done.

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