I don’t know if it was ever a conscientious decision to make my social media accounts happy places, to say out loud “this is my politics free place” but as I think about the direction I want my blog and accounts to go in it feels like the right decision.
When I wrote an apology letter to my children after the Brexit result (you can read it here: Dear Kids, I am sorry ) I had no idea the chaos we would be in over three years later. When I wrote about the election four years ago, little did I know we would be about to have another one and still have Brexit hanging over our heads. Still technically a part of the European Union but now wiser to how that vote came about thanks to a whole manner of outside interference and a country that feels like it is on the brink of imploding. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about Brexit on the news, either a related vote in parliament, or from an company leader saying they are on the brink of collapse because of the uncertainty of our exit.
About six months I found myself quietly disengaging from politics in general online. Yes, I still want to watch the news and read newspapers to see what is happening, this isn’t about me being uninterested in what is happening, I am still very interested in wanting to do something about the world my first grandchild will be born into next year but I am no longer engaging with it on social media. At some point I followed more politically driven accounts, and have watched people I have never met but followed online become more and more political, and found myself engaging with them but I am not going to be doing that anymore because all it does is raise my blood pressure, fill my timeline with somebody else’s rhetoric and put me in a bad mood. From now on there will be no sharing of those articles or posts on my accounts.
I want my accounts to be little safe spaces for people, to be a politics free space. I want my Instagram account to be a positive place for people to see on their timelines and to encourage people to pause for a second, or feel a warm hug. A little photo to make them smile, or a nudge that says “hey I see you doing your thing over there”. And on Twitter I want my timeline to be the same, sharing more of what I love, the things that inspire me and make me think. That if the overwhelm takes over they can think “I know, that Mummy Barrow will have some stuff on her accounts I can read” and that after ten minutes rummaging around they may feel slightly calmer.
So that’s it. I am leaving the politics to other people from now on because when I think about what I want to be known for it’s encouraging people, supporting them and handing out hugs online. And not the rest of it
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