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.

More info: blcksmthdesign.com | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

#1

Funny-Balloons-Signs-Blcksmth

Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Magazine Report

Scagsy
Community Member
5 months ago

Exactly

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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
5 months ago

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)."

#3

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Blcksmth , chionesoo Report

Scagsy
Community Member
5 months ago

Absolutely bang on the money

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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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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

Pittsburgh rare
Community Member
5 months ago

I'd add narcissistic personalities to that statement. They, invariably, do nothing wrong.

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Stille20
Community Member
5 months ago

See the post about growing apart "when they had the change to grow with you"... sounds like you are making the other person out to be a bad person.

Ellie
Community Member
5 months ago

I had friends like this.

Pseudo Puppy
Community Member
4 months ago

"you're mean for making me feel bad for treating you badly / betraying your trust" = I AM NOT TO BE TRUSTED.... RUN FOR THE HILLS NOW!!!

Kika González
Community Member
5 months ago

This one is also really encouraging. Thank you for the quote and especially thank you Lil Bare

lith
Community Member
5 months ago

i stopped talking to my older sister because she emotionally abused me for years & i finally had enough, but she tells everyone i stopped talking to her bc she owed me money (which i forgot about tbh) 😑

Phunny Philosopher
Community Member
5 months ago

I agree. And we have to be careful not to buy into their false ideas.

Christina Uhlir
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Not that they pretend, some believe it - shaming the victim.

Anna Repp
Community Member
4 months ago

Yep. Gaslighting.

Janine Hunt-Jackson
Community Member
4 months ago

I wish I could give this 100 upvotes!

Courtney Christelle
Community Member
4 months ago

That pretty much sums up my entire school career. I was in my 20's before I realized that they didn't treat me poorly because I was sh*tty, it was because they were sh*tty.

Lisa Chambers
Community Member
4 months ago

But we exist on this earth, knowing the truth. And for some, that actually bothers them to no end.

Betsy Knox
Community Member
4 months ago

That explains a lot!

miss miss
Community Member
4 months ago

You got one right

Jessica Cole
Community Member
5 months ago

Well this explains A LOT about my marital problems

Laura Jones
Community Member
5 months ago

yes they do

Something
Community Member
5 months ago

It is not okay to treat "bad" people badly either, except in self-defense.

Christina Uhlir
Community Member
4 months ago

To bad people, just NOT letting them treating you badly any more is an criminal offense and they judge you accordingly.

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Dragon girl
Community Member
5 months ago

Men AND women do ths. A lot of Debbie's too for some reason.

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#7

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Blcksmth , Ayishat Akanbi Report

Jace
Community Member
5 months ago

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

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#8

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Blcksmth , hunter_pauley Report

Scagsy
Community Member
5 months ago

I may have been outgrown :(

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#9

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Blcksmth , Idris Elba Report

Sergio Bicerra Descalzi
Community Member
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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

Lil Bare
Community Member
5 months ago

This is needed SO badly omg

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#13

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Blcksmth , Glennon Doyle Report

Fact Perils
Community Member
5 months ago

And in that way you are still beating it

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#14

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Blcksmth , Glennon Doyle Report

Stille20
Community Member
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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

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#16

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Blcksmth , James Baldwin/ Son of Baldwin Report

Phunny Philosopher
Community Member
5 months ago

Wonderfully put.

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#17

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Blcksmth , Margaret Sanger Report

Jace
Community Member
5 months ago

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

Hope Floats
Community Member
5 months ago

"Nobody can make you feel inferior, without your consent." A famous quote by Eleanor Roosevelt and one that is so true...

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#19

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Blcksmth , Ian Goff Report

Isabella R.W.
Community Member
5 months ago

Hahahaha

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#20

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Blcksmth Report

Hope Floats
Community Member
5 months ago

I do this ALOT.. But maybe it's the mind's way of trying to deal with someone that still, many years on, makes you sad...

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#21

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Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Report

Shauna
Community Member
5 months ago

Or don't settle for less because its easier.

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#22

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Blcksmth , Lauren Morrill Report

Hope Floats
Community Member
5 months ago

Unfortunately, you're always going to get people who care about themselves only. You can only change this about yourself.

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#23

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Blcksmth Report

Jace
Community Member
5 months ago

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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#24

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Blcksmth Report

Fact Perils
Community Member
5 months ago

Haha

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#25

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Blcksmth Report

Lea Springstead
Community Member
5 months ago

This saying would make a good tattoo.

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#26

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Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Magazine Report

Meyer Weinstock
Community Member
5 months ago

*single sobs at prospect of dying alone*

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#27

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Blcksmth , Brianna Wiest Report

Lil Bare
Community Member
5 months ago

...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
5 months ago

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

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#29

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Blcksmth , Ann Landers Report

Jon S.
Community Member
5 months ago

How?

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#30

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Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Report

Kika González
Community Member
5 months ago

Keep your love until there is someone worthy of it

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#31

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Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Magazine Report

Phunny Philosopher
Community Member
5 months ago

Sometimes you have to break in order to grow.

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#32

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Blcksmth , Irina Dunn Report

Hans
Community Member
5 months ago

People need people.

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#33

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Blcksmth , Leonard Cohen Report

MomaBear
Community Member
5 months ago

Leonard Cohen

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#34

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Blcksmth Report

Lil Bare
Community Member
5 months ago

Too true, too scary

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#35

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Blcksmth , Mantra Wellness Magazine Report

Tabitha L
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

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
5 months ago

Love the lady in the pic :-)

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#37

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Blcksmth Report

Scagsy
Community Member
5 months ago

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

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#38

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Blcksmth Report

Titas Burinskas
BoredPanda Staff
5 months ago

Yeah, it's just racism.

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#39

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Blcksmth , Mika Kauffman Report

Paige Jordan
Community Member
5 months ago

Indeed, "they" are people too. ❤

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#40

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Blcksmth , Ayishat Akanbi Report

Jace
Community Member
5 months ago

Repeat.

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#41

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Blcksmth Report

Tabitha L
Community Member
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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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