I think we can all agree that we live in very trying times.
A time when you can say anything you want and start a revolution, a debate, or simply hurt someone you don’t even know.
Ahh the joy of the internet. A place where people can hide behind technology. A place where manners don’t matter. Forget about being kind. Forget about checking your facts or attitude. Forget about right and wrong!
On the internet it’s all about how you feel in the moment! Spewing anything that comes to mind. It doesn’t matter right? It’s just Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc….it’s not people!
Until those hateful words reach their dark tendrils into your family. When people you don’t know, believe anything they “think” they read. When those people decide to threaten, slander and rake your family over the coals.
Does it change how you see your internet “footprint”?
Recently this happened to my family. Something horrific occurred, and a family dear to us was attacked as a whole. Though we don’t doubt the act happened and never once defended those guilty, we didn’t find it right the attempt to ruin the entire family over the action of one.
I don’t believe in guilt by association. So, we jumped to their defense. And that, my friends, angered the internet hounds so much that they turned on my family faster than a cobra can strike!
I’ve never faced hatred like that.
The things people said about my family was the worse kind of slander. Death threats, atrocious names thrown our way, threats of harm and attempts to get people to think we had committed or at least condoned the criminal act!
It was all very frightening. Enough so, to change how I look at the internet and at how I view people in general.
It was more important to these vipers to be heard than to be right! They wanted to spew their evil as far as they could. It didn’t matter what we said to defend ourselves, their minds were made up! Had this been a hundred years ago, we would have been swinging from the nearest tree!
People were blocked, privacy settings were enhanced and our true friends jumped to our defense. Our tribe rallied and circled the wagons.
Those that know MY family, know our hearts and they never wavered. I love my tribe.
As frightening as this experience was (I hope it’s behind us) it taught me some valuable lessons.
I will forever be cautious of what I share on the internet. Not only my personal business, but stories I see. I will research and read carefully. Because, I would never want this to happen to someone else.
The internet isn’t just an anonymous group of something’s somewhere. It’s real people. With lives and feelings, children and friends and employers.
So be careful as you navigate this unique time of technology and information. Before you press “share” or “post” make sure what you’re putting out there should be out there.
When in doubt, be kind.