Thursday, October 9, 2014

Nobody makes you feel anything

Recently one of my good friends gave up on Twitter. She deactivated her account and pulled chute completely, removing the app off her phone and sending emails to those of us she knew personally who followed her to contact her by text or email.

She was tired of all the hate, she wrote to me in a text. I said she needed to understand digital cruelty can be managed and it starts with how she needs to stop allowing herself to be hurt by people who use anonymity to empower them into being jerks.

I'm not like you, she wrote. I don't have that kind of skin. 

She tweeted mostly about being a "lesbian trying to make it in a straight world". It's not like she was out there pushing recipes for chocolate cookies. She chose topics that can cause some very narrow-minded people to lose their fucking minds with hate or ignorance. 

People are cruel but they can be downright awful when they can wrap themselves up in a blanket of uninhabited hate.

I've had my share of trolls. I still have trolls. I have people who visit this site every day with the sole purpose of trying to make me guilty or ashamed for topics I write about, pictures I post or comments I've made. 

But I've learned to manage the trolls by allowing their comments to help me reflect on who I am as a person. If I feel a shred of guilt, then that's because I feel guilty, not because of an anonymous comment.

Nobody makes you feel anything. You feel what you feel based on decisions you make. . 

I really hope she reconsiders her decision. 

People who are different have been bullied for too long into silence. 

Her tweets were a bright light for a lot of people - straight and gay. Twitter is now a darker place now that she's gone.


Anonymous said...

Or worse, bullying people online to the point they take their own lives.

My 16 year old cousin killed himself in 2012 because of Facebook comments and online bullying. My aunt couldn't understand why he put so much stock in what people who weren't family thought about him. But 16 is a tough age and he didn't believe us when we told him it would get better.

Anyone who purposedly writes mean things to hurt someone is mentally unbalanced.

Kevin said...

Right. All good points CJ but did you ever stop to think that would you do is also mean?

Harith said...

One of Ricky Gervais' nine commandents of being nice:

"There’s a lovely ancient fable: a mosquito apologised to a buffalo for bothering it. The buffalo said, ‘I didn’t even know you were there.’ I feel like that about Twitter. I didn’t know they were there before, and I don’t care that they’re there now. It’s just people, shouting in a bin. You should never care what people think."

C.J. Smith said...


I've addressed this many times before and the answer is no and remains no.

There used to be a blog called, "You suck at the GO Train". The person who owned it took great pains to ridicule overweight people; poked fun at people for their race (one picture was a group of women waiting on a Platform with the caption, "Why do you Asian women all look alike?"); made fun of how people looked, and the way they dressed.

This person posted photos of people eating and in mid-bite. This person posted photos of people sleeping with mouths open. Some of the pictures looked like he or she stood right in front of the person to take the picture.

The whole blog was mean-spirited.

I wrote an email to this person. It wasn't very long but I took offense to one photo where the person wrote, "This guy must be a pedophile because only pedophiles wear glasses like that." You know how many lines that crossed? Way too many.

I never got an answer to my email but the next day, the blog was AWOL and it's never come back online.

What does that tell you?

I haven't taken my site down.

Anonymous said...

"She tweeted mostly about being a "lesbian trying to make it in a straight world". It's not like she was out there pushing recipes for chocolate cookies."

She did know this was the issue, right?

C.J. Smith said...

Yes. I did point that out with the sentence you highlight.

She knew not everyone would agree. It's how they approached it that she couldn't take anymore.