RU OK? Day

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RU OK? Day strikes me as a thoroughly good idea but also a philosophy to internalize and take much further and, above all, off social media. We spend about the same amount of time on our phones and devices as we do working and a lot of that time is spent on social media. Most posts on social media tend to alternate between political/tribal declarations about how bad a particular person/political party/Donald Trump/the world is and posts about a holiday or award nomination or other generally good thing. Plus funny cartoons/animal pics/star wars remixes/weird things comedians have posted. These are all, to a degree, worthy things.

But most of the time, most of us don’t post stuff about how we’re actually feeling. And because we’re so busy scrolling through Facebook/Twitter/Reddit whatever we don’t spend time chatting to people. There’s lots of data on all of that, we all know it’s true.

And we also all know, though we may not acknowledge it, that below the surface a lot of us struggle. For some it’s ongoing, for some it’s temporary. I had a deeply traumatizing experience with an ex-partner a couple of years ago and for about a year I wasn’t okay. I maintained and kicked along but, especially after Stella died I was just numb for a long, long time. And the way I dealt with it was by talking. I went on and on and on about it to close friends. It must have been boring as hell to my friends but they absorbed it and eventually things got better.

During that time I posted stuff on Facebook (I know because it sends me reminders of memories that often include photos Stella) and i’m sure some of it got likes or shares or whatever but it didn’t and doesn’t matter and it didn’t and doesn’t help.

I appreciate the irony of posting this on internet but if you’re feeling down if I can suggest anything it’s that you start by getting off social media. Call a mate and catch up for a coffee or a beer or whatever. If you really need someone and they’re really a mate they’ll be there, no matter the time. When it comes down to it, all we really are, are the memories we imprint on other people. Some people are famous and leave a bigger imprint but at the end of the day with very, very few exceptions, the biggest mark most of us will leave behind is in the memories of your friends and family. They’re the people you impact. Not your FB friends or audience members who laugh at your jokes or your twitter followers. The people who really, actually know you.

So I hope you are okay, but if you’re not, stop reading this and catch up with a friend, hug a dog, or go for a walk in a park or, ideally do all those things at once.

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About Toby Halligan

Toby is a stand up comedian, improviser and writer. He started writing comedy at school for the Radford College Annual Fashion Revue and his career has never enjoyed quite the same heights since. He moved to Melbourne from Canberra in 2009 to pursue stand up comedy and has never looked back, lest he be turned into a pillar of salt. His day job is writing and occasionally producing for Channel 10's The Project, and he's written for SBS's Legally Brown, Mamamia, the Punch, the Monthly, the Age, mX and the Sydney Morning Herald. He co-writes Diary Leaks with Mathew Kenneally and runs a monthly political comedy room called Political Asylum with Gerard McCulloch and Simon Barber.
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