We all have that friend who pollutes our Facebook or Instagram feed. Now the actual toxic waste they spill might differ, but whether it's cringy boomer comics or their very, very amateur nature photos, even the most mundane posts can become poisonous in huge amounts.

I usually try to distance myself from these people without actually confronting them; I unfollow them. But Michael James Schneider, a writer and artist living in Portland, Oregon, has found a more creative way to deal with them.

When he got fed up with the ridiculous amounts of balloons popping up on his social media feeds, Michael decided to point out how ridiculous they can be by becoming part of the cult.

"I try to make commentary about, or poke fun at, social media. The balloons were a social media trope often used in bridal showers and gender reveals, so they were a natural progression of that idea. I love the contrast of profound, funny, or challenging quotes spelled in silly balloons. And since another common cliche is endless selfies, I tend to put myself in most of the photos. They often make people cringe, but the cringe is the point," Michael told Bored Panda.

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The artist usually gets the phrases from the Internet. "I source them online, most of the quotes are curated from other, far wiser people, and me and my friend slash assistant, Andrew Jankowski, try to attribute them as accurately as possible." Michael is also asking people who repost his art to please do their best to credit the people who originally said these phrases too.

#2

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Blcksmth , katherine henson Report

Phunny Philosopher
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thank you. I needed this today. I was just having this discussion with friends yesterday. I always see the good in people, and often that view hurts me deeply. What is wrong with me? It's like I can't learn.

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Words aside, another important part of each photo is its background. "One of my favorite things to do is spot a brightly colored wall when riding my bike in Portland, and make a mental note to visit it later," Michael explained his location scouting. "I choose colorful walls based on what direction they're facing (for lighting reasons), how public they are (so that I can set them up subtlety), and how textured the wall is (since very textured walls won't hold the type of tape I use)."

After the photoshoot is over, the balloons go back to Michael's basement, waiting to be used for the next shoot. The artist said these types of air-filled Mylar balloons aren't great for the environment, so he discourages people from buying them if their intention is to throw them away after use. "I reuse them from shoot to shoot and I have an alphabet in each color. I sometimes choose to use different colors if I’m out of a letter, rather than purchase more, and then I photoshop the colors to match afterwards."

#4

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Blcksmth , Adam Ellis Report

Kevin Donegan
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Both statements are true. The morbidly obese pathological lying vindictive narcissistic imbecile with the emotional maturity of a toddler (AKA tRump) is simply a horrible, horrible person.

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Michael has been trying to make it as a creative ever since he put his 20-year experience in retail management on pause. He paints, directs, writes, is an amateur interior designer, and has done theatrical set and production design. "I don’t claim to have the answers for anyone, least of all myself, but I’m having fun on the journey. Or at least pretending to on social media."

#5

Funny-Balloons-Signs-Blcksmth

Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Report

Stille20
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I had to learn this the hard way... twice. These relationships are hard to walk away from, but when you find someone who doesn't give you mixed signals, you suddenly realize how crazy you were to settle for anything less.

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#6

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Blcksmth Report

Lil Bare
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The (male) ego often tries to protect itself and thus would rather leave the other feeling low and shitty instead of admit that it did sth wrong. May the ppl beware of how ridiculous the ego makes us

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#7

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Blcksmth , Ayishat Akanbi Report

Jace
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is why we need to stop arguing with alt-right nutjobs on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, forums, etc...

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#9

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Blcksmth , Idris Elba Report

Sergio Bicerra Descalzi
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

omg, litterlly the first time I saw the top comment is with negative votes. Such a hard theme to make an opinion.

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#10

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Blcksmth Report

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The only one you can change is yourself - by making different choices and realizing that how we react to what life serves us is often not by choice but by lazy habit.

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#11

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Blcksmth , Rainer Maria Wilke Report

Cori
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a 36 year old college student, I can attest to this. Also, I love that table!

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#12

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Blcksmth Report

#14

Funny-Balloons-Signs-Blcksmth

Blcksmth , Glennon Doyle Report

Stille20
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Yea, it depends on the context. Expecting someone to accept you from your gambling addiction or negative attitude is different then accepting that you have a health issue or went through some trauma.

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#15

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Blcksmth , arahthequill Report

Lil Bare
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Very true. In fact, relationships that result out of an extreme shared experience are said to be very fragile

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#17

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Blcksmth , Margaret Sanger Report

Jace
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Aaaand cue all the ignorant, sexist, anti-abortion comments from the weird minority of right-wing people who create accounts on left-wing Bored Panda in some kind of misdirected effort at changing people’s minds with their abusive, judgmental, and ignorant comments...

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#18

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Blcksmth , Tiny Dreams Puppet Slam Report

Parmeisan
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Are we not going to address the fact that he's a Muppet in this one?

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#20

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Blcksmth Report

Christina Uhlir
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

"Don't try to mend a broken heart with the same person who broke it." - Steven Ailchison

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#21

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Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Report

Shauna
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or don't settle for less because its easier.

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#23

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Blcksmth Report

Jace
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

All that matters is if it accomplishes something for you. For some people that’s a sense of accomplishment. For others, it’s earned income, attention & acknowledgement, better opportunities, etc.

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#25

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Blcksmth Report

#27

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Blcksmth , Brianna Wiest Report

Lil Bare
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

...and there s only one way to find out if its worth it

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#28

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Blcksmth , Nina Simone Report

Blue of the yams (They/He)
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Ah yes. I too enjoy staring lovingly at disembodied hearts. XD jk why is that there?

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#35

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Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Magazine Report

Tabitha L
Community Member
2 years ago (edited) Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When I was in my 20s, I was so hungry for success that it made me angry when others succeeded. Once I got into my 30s, I felt that rage unclench. I can now be happy and enjoy everyone's success knowing that it doesn't limit my own.

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#36

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Blcksmth , Ms. MICHL Report

R L
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Love the lady in the pic :-)

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#37

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Blcksmth Report

Scagsy
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

And so might a big steaming pile of dog s**t. Be cautious people

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#41

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Blcksmth Report

Tabitha L
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

While I am a fan of both, I think it is ok to just be a fan of Drag Race. It is a great show, and is many people's first exposure to this culture. Let's call it gateway drag. Could lead to habitual drag consumption.

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#42

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Blcksmth Report

Mal
Community Member
2 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is a little all-or-nothing kind of statement, but I think here he is trying to say something about complacency. Do you stay silent when your partner makes comments or micro-aggressions that are homophobic? An ally ought to try to open a dialogue with their partner to find why they say things or the root of their misunderstanding, etc.

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