Here’s the thing, I have had to step away from all social media platforms entirely. In some part driven by my own issues with overdeveloped empathy. I think many of us feel compelled to try and fix the suffering we can’t bear to watch rather than work on our capacity to just be present with someone else’s pain.
I am coming to realize the best I can do for a fucked up world right now is be a grounded, whole, and loving entity in it. And right now I am not grounded and whole, I am shattered and lost. So I need to step away until I can be a more stable loving presence in a time of massive social upheaval.
Managing to expand or contract my empathy to fit the capacity of my heart is my responsibility. So too is choosing the venues in which I absorb and share in the experience of others. I choose not to expose my heart to places where bullying, lies, harassment, and the perpetuation of hostility and hate is not held fully accountable, regardless of how much influence you have.
I am not coming back to any platform that isn’t taking a firm stance. I am exhausted by the efforts to constantly deflect everything from the petty to the vile.
You, my dear platform providers, have created a space and like it or not are responsible for everything that happens in it. It is like hosting a dinner party: all are welcome, but not all behaviours are welcome.
Say for instance, someone decided to climb up on the table and take a shit right on the veggie platter. Any sane host would firmly escort that person to the door. Because, fuck, nobody wants that.
The excuse is always, well you can always mute/block any content. Fuck that. Because while those of us with a functional capacity for human decency can filter; those who are borderline assholes see that behaviour and think it is ok to parrot the atrocities they may not have even considered without peer modelling.
Back to the dinner analogy. It would be like, after the veg platter incident, someone else thinking to themselves: Oh, are we allowed to poop at the table? I’ve had one in the shoot for over an hour; I was going to hold it until I got home but…
If you don’t slap down that behaviour it spreads. And here we are, with a thin film of shit on everything. Because the runny shit slides right through the filters, dude. The whole lot of us exposed to soul-dysentery.
Social platforms like to claim neutrality. I call bullshit. It is cowardly and irresponsible. You have So Much Power, if you won’t stand up to evil (be it little hurtful evils or the utterly horrendous), who will? It is selfish and unkind to leave that labour to the rest of us without support. We are so fucking tired of defending the environment you created.
If companies are worried about an editorial stance risking their shelter from lawsuits I have three words for you:
Suck. It. Up.
You know what is a good defence against lawsuits? Acting ethically and responsibly. Worried the frivolous lawsuits are going to cost you? Well, budget for that with the billions you make off the data we create while we build the communities you won’t defend.
We are your bread and butter. We have the right to come to the table without someone shitting in the soup.