Anonymous

Truth - The Internet is at the exact same time both the best and the worst thing to happen to humanity. What a wonderful thing it is to be instantly connected to not only those that matter to you most but others all around the world with the touch of button, a few keystrokes, or a few swipes. Now many than ever it has become increasingly simpler to do truly marvelous things with the internet, the world wide web, and the technology surrounding them. With those advancements though have been the same problems, but also brand new ones darker than we ever could have imagined. All it takes to make or break people and their spirits these days is a quick type, text, and tap away. Anonymous we go.
 
"One of the most powerful lessons in life is to recognize that no one can give you power, and many people don’t want you to have it. You have to find the courage to seize it, own it and hold on" Shannon L. Alder

Never read the comments. I've heard it over and over again, and yet almost every time I do. I'm infuriated. I'm absolutely livid. I'm fired up and ready to go. Where to though? Do I hop back online and swashbuckle the nonsense with my words? Do I ignore the absolute vitriolic hate that people spew? I guess you have to choose your battles but damn is it hard to know when you fight and when to disregard it all. Just because a comment or post in anonymous does not mean you're still not responsible for it. Ever since the creation of anonymous forums like formspring and apps which are nothing more than enabling platforms for cyberbullying, disdain, and abhorrence, people have run rampant saying whatever they want. Freedom of speech may be guaranteed under the constitution but that does promise you deliverance from the repercussions of what you say. Anonymity is so dangerous. You can say anything and get away with it. No one can hold you responsible for the harm you may cause. That's nearly unregulated power. Words, no matter how much we call them insignificant, do have a impact.

Today I made the mistake of browsing Yik Yak on my new campus and immediately had to exit out because of all the hateful, ignorant, and downright racist, sexist, classist, elitist, and heterosexist things that were being posted. What kind of place is this? I wish people had the audacity to say those things to people's faces or to have their names behind it. Let me tell you something, you are have displayed behaviors of  pure cowardice. You have no gumption. You are sad. The fact that you have to hide behind apps to post your bigotry because you're too embarrassed to claim the morally repugnant shit you've put out into your community is testament to your lack of character. Honestly, I'm disgusted by your tactics, your generalizations, and your thought-processes. It's people like who you should be feared, policed, and detained because your unregulated contempt for other human beings is absolutely terrifying. Who are you? Where did you get these ideas? Why do you put out so much odium into the world? Why don't you claim it? I want to know and yet don't because people who speak such animosity into the world do not make sense to me. Keep your anonymous alias, it's your reminder that who you are is someone without real substance.
 
Don't get me wrong, I would be lying if I claimed that I had never posted something I regretted, hit send before thinking, or subtweeted throwing mad shade. There's a difference though in having the foresight to assess the potential impact of what you're sharing versus dealing with the aftermath post-haste. What is the purpose of what you're about to put out there? Why is it so important that you get this out there now? What are the potential ramifications of what you are about to disseminate to the interwbebs? Yeah, I've come to take to heart the motto "If you have nothing nice to say, say it anyway - sometimes people need to hear the truth" but sharing a productive thought varies in comparison to writing something to tear someone else down. The latter is just plain mean and ugly in the most devious of ways and yet more and more online comments, forums, and discussion boards have been socially acceptable plays to put on display bigotry, prejudice, and hate.
 
All of these articles about college campuses and the millennial generation being too sensitive or overly "politically correct" enrage me something fierce. The phrase political correctness is for those who have never had to acknowledge people exist who are different from them. When someone interrupts your exclusive, close-minded, or downright offensive labels that's the part that makes you mad, not even what you're actually being corrected about. If you don't see the point of using certain words or phrases in order to bring others into the fold and the underserved privilege/sense of normalcy we enjoy, then you probably have never been made to feel invisible, unheard, or unwanted. Referring to people with the identifiers with which they take as their own parts of themselves is just respect and human decency? Do you know how invalidating it is to always be left out, disregarded, or denied the same dignity those with normalized identities have been granted? It's awful. Call people what they want and give them the care, attention, and thoughtfulness we all deserve. We're overly-sensitive? We just recognize some words, phrases, and behaviors are outdated, limited, or just plain unacceptable. We take a stand against hate speech and are mindful of how others may be called in or left out of conversations/spaces. Stop using political correctness as a complaint and start doing what you should, that is celebrating diversity in all people and providing spaces for people to exist without fear of invalidation.
 
Nothing makes me blood boil more than the silencing of people especially people who have systematically been made to be suppressed in so many arenas of society. Whether it be someone cutting someone off in conversation, invalidating their opinion, or minimizing their experience online, all of it pisses me off. I will not stand for it. I will not be aloof and remain immobile. That's the kind of stuff I would gladly be fired for with intervening. People must be allowed to speak their truth. It's part of what makes us human, our ability to communicate in so many different wants. It's why on a basic level all the things stories are misconstrued, misrepresented, or misattributed in media is irksome. People can't even speak for themselves or don't even get to finish before someone interjects their ideas, arguments, or opinions. Wait your damn turn but also know that you don't get to have an opinion on someone else's life. Who gives you that power? Are you listening or rather just waiting to speak? Do you actually disagree with what is being said or are you opposed because of how it was said or who said it? Everyone has stories to share if others are willing to give them their well-deserved attention. I don't care if you're Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, big companies or small businesses, old or young etc. let people speak. Let them claim their stories (*cough #blacklivesmatter, feminism, queer communities, religious groups, etc.).

Cyberbullying is real and easier than ever. How powerful must you feel destroying people's lives from the comfort of your keyboard, huh? All the subversive tactics of snubbing certain posts, favoriting other's disingenuous malice, and read receipts. You're not slick. This is not a game. Messing with people's lives and emotions is not something to be taken lightly. I just don't get it. Why take the time to comment something spiteful when you can just keep it to yourself. Even people in the public eye deserve some peace. How would you feel is something said something vindictive about you? It's not just one post but the combination of it from all sides that gets to people, myself included.  Know that you're irrelevant, petty, and reckless for ever trying to come for me. The efforts are laughable. My self worth come from me and that's something you can never take away. Don't add to the hate. That's on you. Whether we get to know it or not, that's something you have to take ownership of. Not quite so anonymous, X.

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