Already Failing at My Negativity Diet...
I'm not one of those people who believes we should run away from negativity all the time. I believe in the balance of yin and yang, positive and negative.
In starting my new 40-day meditation the other day, however, I was guided to go on a negativity diet for the next month. This means, not reading the news (unless it's really important) and staying away from negative people and situations as much as possible.
So what do I do? Within the first few days, I find myself engaging in a ridiculous conversation at a website over an email issue.
The issue at hand is that Meetup, a site where people can join interest groups, does not allow members to shut off email from group organizers. This might not be so bad, except Meetup sends these ridiculous auto-reminders. If you are subscribed to a small number of groups, this can lead to 20-40 emails per week. Then, instead of being notified about what you want, you end up getting swamped by email and ignore all of it. (I do have my Meetup email filtered.)
Seeing as there were tons of other complaints from users about the lack of email opt-out, I had to stick my Aries nose into things and chime in. The gist of my message was: PLEASE ALLOW ME TO SHUT OFF THIS EMAIL!
In response, a variety of group organizers start defending the Meetup spam, saying that members who don't RSVP or respond to emails aren't worthy people to have in the group anyway.
Can you imagine? All the things I have to do in my life, and I'm sitting there trying to convince a few people I don't know that not everyone wants a huge email discussion prior to trying out a face-to-face event, that they just want to login, see the calendar, and show up when it fits their schedule.
So I'm getting sucked into this discussion, and asking myself "WHY am I doing this? Is this important in the grand scheme of things?" Certainly, the Meetup email spam has gotten annoying to the point where I may just remove myself from the website, but do I need to convince others as to why this should be fixed?
This is a bad habit I have had of many years, the habit of needing to prove that I am right.
Spending energy in attempting to get an annoying website "feature" changed is not necessarily the best use of my time and energy. The proverbial "children are starving in Africa" line can be brought up, but it is true! Children are starving in Africa and here I am annoyed over an email issue.
But the thing with small issues like this - they feel manageable. Starving children is too big, too overwhelming to change. So we try to "control" something smaller and pettier in an attempt to assert ourselves in the world. We want to make a wrong a right, and therefore we can get too attached to these smaller "causes" that may not be totally important in the grand scheme of things.
Meetup emailed me today giving me an overwhelming amount of instruction on how best to handle the Meetup email overwhelm, including the most ridiculous one: Use another email address! Argh! Yes, I am still irked! Why should I have to set up a completely new email address just to avoid alerts, and then miss out on the alerts I want to have? Why should I have to go through all this effort? Why can't the company see that the customer is making a suggestion and organize their service around the customer's needs? Why should I have to jump through hoops for them?
So I can't say I have completely let go of my annoyance over this issue. It's that feeling of being surrounded by corporate blindness to humanity, the feeling of red tape and bureaucracy and BS, all wrapped up in one silly little website.
Ah, I can see, I have some deeper issues here with the greater culture. No wonder I need a negativity diet.
I'll return to my meditations and see what comes up. Meanwhile, I cannot resist just one last email back to Meetup support - with a link to this blog post.
Always fighting the system!