But the issue of abuse is more subtle — more invisible — and more than all the above.
Abuse does not arise in a vacuum. A healthy mind does not (need to) abuse. Abuse is created of trauma, and it is the traumatized mind which abuses. Whether to externalize, bury, escape its anger and frustration — the abused mind must purge it’s hurt in some manner, or risk being broken, split apart by it entirely.
But the troubling fact is this.
We have created an abusive society. We have normalized, regularized, and routinized abuse. We are abused at work, by the very rules, norms, and expectations of our jobs, at which we are merely “human resources”, to be utilized, allocated, depleted. We are abused at play, by industries that seek to prey on our innocence and literally “target” our human weaknesses.
And now we are abused at arm’s length, through the lightwaves, by people we will never meet, for things we have barely even said. We live in a society where school shootings are the rule, not the exception, where more people will have taken antidepressants than not…and now one where nearly everyone will have been abused on the web…for a random, off-hand, throwaway comment, an idle thought, something trivial, unremarkable, meaningless.
Source: Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) — Bad Words — Medium
I wanted to press that quote, pulled from a longer article that is fantastic in describing what happens on social media…
…and online in general.
The web is one gigantic megaphone, and one person with a point of view and a platform can do incredible damage to any number of other people with what they write and how they write it.
I myself have experienced this…where an article was written about me, about the most private and personal and painful things in my life and placed on display in the service of a personal point of view.
I didn’t recognize the person that appeared in the article, even while I remembered the things alluded to…and remembered the rich tapestry that surrounded them all…a tapestry comprised of the things that happened and the things I remember and the interpretation that is placed on them by so many players in the tableau…
I was horrified as I read the comments on the article by complete and utter strangers who had now decided that I was a certain way or a certain thing, simply based on these words made public, and while those words are utterly authentic as a representation of the thoughts and judgements of the writer they were abysmally inadequate in giving any genuine insight into the gestalt of the history that had been lived.
I was despairing…thinking of how the place of publication did Zero due diligence in fact checking or vetting or even giving me the common courtesy of a warning that they were going to take a small facet, one side of a terribly complicated issue and wave it in the air like a besotted banner of click-bait and titillation.
I couldn’t help but imagine the consequences should this have happened to any other number of people I know in my situation, and the yawn and blind eye turned to just another transgender suicide…
And more than anything else? I knew that deep down inside I would have done nothing to stop the writing from happening because of the writer’s need to tell the story and tell it the way those eyes, that heart and brain lived it.
The issue is not the telling of the story…the issue is the megaphone and how it is choking itself on its own abusive streams.
Contemplate the things this author points out, and consider your own interactions with social media…and know that there is a better way.
Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.
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