Over the last year or two, the frequency of innocent people suffering after pics/videos/blog posts go viral has increased exponentially and it is FREAKING ME OUT.
Here’s what it is, a girl wears a tasteless costume to her office (Ex: Boston Marathon Victim) and someone posts it to instagram and then several of that person’s friends are offended so they spread it to THEIR friends and then, the next thing you know, that girl’s sister is receiving death threats.
THIS REALLY HAPPENED.
Or what about the woman who wrote an entry on her blogging lambasting the girls of her son’s friends for posting “sexy” pictures of themselves and every blogger argued with her – including myself. (In my defense, I didn’t link to her.) Then she got HUNDREDS of emails/comments chewing her out for her ignorance and shaming.
Well…every time this unknown person gets soaked in an unkind spotlight? I have sympathy anxiety attacks. And it freaks me out that it happens and I pray to all that is holy that nothing stupid I ever do/say on the internet comes back to haunt me.
But then, last week, I was faced with an urge to spread something similar.
Someone local posted something on Facebook that upset me a million times over. It was an offensive Halloween costume and I’ll leave it at that. But…there was a part of me that wanted to post it SOMEWHERE to find SOMEONE to be as outraged as I was. And I thought this is how it happens.
I mean, it was quite offensive and could have easily gone viral, and it hit me: THIS IS WHERE IT STARTS.
It starts with that one person outraged and looking for other people to be angry with them. And I get that…I totally do…I wanted someone to do something to make me feel justified in my outrage. But…OH MY GOD…why do we do that? Why do we want to throw someone we barely know under the bus just to feel better about our visceral reaction to something.
I mean, people ALREADY in the public eye? That’s different. If a celebrity does something offensive at Halloween and you spread that link? I don’t look at that the same way because people already in the public eye are more equipped to handle it. Does it make it right? I don’t know. But it’s DIFFERENT.
But I really wish the negative spotlight on the unknowne would stop. I saw the picture of the girl in the Boston Marathon Victim costume and I felt outraged. But — this is a complete stranger. Is it making the world any better that I’m helping shine a spotlight on her and her bad decision? No.
So I think I’d like that – before we share links/photos/tweets/videos of stupid shit people do with lapses of judgement – we make sure it’s really worth it. Do they deserve the rage that will float their way after their Racist Tweet goes viral? I mean, 9 times out of 10 they probably NEED someone to put them in their place, but it just escalates SO FAST.
The Boston Marathon Victim Costume sister received DEATH THREATS.
Bad judgement doesn’t deserve that.
I don’t know if there’s a point to this, other than just putting it out there. I will do my best not to make it harder for people to live down their bad calls in life. Hopefully someone close to them will teach them how what they’re doing is offensive, and they’ll learn their lesson without the public shame and death threats.
Only in a perfect world, I guess…