The way things are

Recently, someone I care about learned some VeryImportantNews in 140 characters or less. I suspect it was accidental and careless (though as I write this, I have no way of knowing).

My first glimpse of VeryImportantNews was seen on Facebook.

Not long ago, someone I’ve never met–but was trying to help–used the perceived anonymity of her keyboard to say some damaging things. A few years ago, someone I knew well used his perceived anonymity to do the same thing. In both cases I took action. For the first, blocking the person was sufficient, though I’ve also chosen to distance myself considerably from the group. For the second, a ridiculous amount of documentation and potential legal action was required. In both cases, to be honest, it’s hard not to wonder or care about what might still be said. We do that to ourselves–give people power over our thoughts when they don’t warrant it.

Even so, why is it easy to forget actual people with genuine feelings exist on the other side of the screen?

 

 


What can we do to maximize the positive good social media can bring to people’s lives?

4 thoughts on “The way things are

  1. Powerful video. You pose a good question, Crystal. There are trolls out there. I wonder if it’s just that the internet provides a place where the darts can be thrown in rapid succession before there’s even any thought about it. I think that lends itself to the ease with which someone can hurt another. But I don’t want to only see the person who acts heartless as if they have no heart, but rather as if someone large in their lives trolled them.

    I think besides unfriending, and isolating ourselves from those bent on destruction, we can add them to those we pray for. As well as the ones they prey on.

    And we can move ourselves to places where we see others hurting and perhaps offer a little salve. I think in such a wounded society as we have where isolation is rampant, people are dying to connect. And when they do hear something authentic, something that would nourish their starving hearts. They sop it up so quickly. To me, it’s like the grocery store. It seems some who serve the public no longer really see them. They repeat the same greeting aware that some don’t even hear them and perhaps that’s why they just say the same words which have somehow lost all meaning.

    But I’ve noticed they don’t really see you anymore. Maybe because for many they are not seen. So I make it a point to look at them right in their eyes and to engage them in even one minute of conversation between scanning the items before them. Even if it’s with one question, “Have you been here all day?”

    And then I do what we’re all able to do. I listen. Actively listen. One of the gifts that is fast vanishing in this world. And I watch their eyes open as they realize they were heard.

    Thanks for posting.

    1. I think you have a good point, Anne. Trolls, in this case don’t always reside online, and they take many different forms. I love the thought of truly listening to those who feel invisible in this world. Helping others realize their value.

  2. I sure try not to forget I’m posting for human beings. As someone said to me recently, why can’t we ALL do that? We’re probably not going to get everybody to pile onto that bandwagon, but we can try it one person at a time. What am I doing? I constantly train the girls on my tween and teen blogs in how to express their opinions in non-hurtful ways, by only telling their OWN stories. It’s worked (for the most part!) for 7 years, and I hope the way they behave on Tween You and Me and In Real Life spills over onto other sites they visit. What more can we do, right?

    1. I think it’s a wonderful idea to use only your own story when expressing your opinion. I know those girls have made a real difference in many ways, following that guidance.

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