“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” – A Nursery Rhyme
My heart fell the other morning, as I was driving my daughter and friends to school. Apparently, one of their classmates was a target of another social media incident. She was singled out in such a way that will leave her a little more than a slightly bruised heart. She will recover, I’m sure of it because these girls were disgusted by the drama. The young lady will know who has her back once she steps foot on campus. She will not be alone.
Two weeks ago, a major dance party was given in honor for Sean O’Brien. The young man from Great Britain was a target of a social media post in March. Yes, Sean is a big guy and loves to dance and so what? It was a bit heartbreaking to hear the comment, to see the hurt in eyes and the sudden way Sean stopped dancing.
Why do people feel it’s necessary post any negative or rude comments? “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all” comes to mind when I hear or read comments. I get mad and upset with people but do you really want to hear or read about it? I’m not advocating to be all Pollyanna, because people can hide behind being nice all the time.
Social media does have it’s perks. Especially, when it’s used in a constructive way; texting, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vimeo, can provide real time interactions that can lead to deepening our communities.
Over a year ago, I saw how my youngest daughter used Instagram to share with friends about her dad being in ICU over the weekend. A simple picture of him eating hospital jello in his hospital gown, hooked up to tubes and wires and a clever caption communicated an emotional experience that impacted her life. It was easier going to school the next day without pretending that it was an ordinary weekend.
I guess I want to be part of a community that allows for honest expression, but an intentional and respectful expression. You can be mad but you must fight fair and promise to stay around to find a mutual resolution. Dumping on someone and running away is a coward’s way.
The opportunity to be real and share everyday lessons and the truth that was discovered along the way takes commitment. I understand the essence of the First Amendment, but It didn’t think this public way of shaming or defamation of character was part of what the authors meant like Monica Lewinsky and Ashley Judd have experienced.
The courage to share without destroying another person can hopefully be the goal.