Many days I venture online in search of brevity: light, warm content to make me smile or laugh or both. On this quest, often I encounter the trolls who swarm and attack countering opinions crossing the internet bridges that supposedly unite our world.
Now, I’m not one to be the most politically correct but, I find myself falling in those same pitfalls that lead many times to trolling. Given those parameters, have I now become an ogre too?
A quick foray down your own timelines can show you something similar I’m sure. We’ve learned to weaponize our opinions online and everyone is fully armed. Between subliminal sneak shots and disses, to full blown cancellation. How does one simply “cancel” another human being? People online clamor together against outdated ideals, brands and influencers to display the only signs of unity seen these days. In 2019, shunning others publicly is the first step toward togetherness and acts a momentary facilitator and disruptor but, never is it a permanent fix. As it shouldn’t be.
People are redeemable. Ideas are mutable. Laws can be amended. Life is not a finite hue of blacks and whites but of nuanced grays. The perspective you’re screaming today could very well be your resurfaced shame later.
This cancel culture, while rampant, is coaxing the “influencers” to make sure their social commentary is as sharp and penetrating as possible to ensure they stay on the “correct” side of currently popular thoughts. Caustic regurgitations- from FaceBook posts to tweets shouted into the void- are the hopeful launch-pads to stellar internet careers. It’s as if the internet world requires its social commentators to be as hurtful, exacting, and judgmental as possible.
We’re not fixed creatures who lose the possibility for personal change just because others posit that we should be lost. We are dynamic- a species in constant evolution and expansion. The propensity for change should not be based on popular opinion- but on subjective and introspective query. Nothing is above questioning and only actions should be cancelled.
Personally, I’m in full support of the expression of personal opinions- in all mediums. I think it’s amazing that people feel so emphatically about things and aim to voice their concerns for regulating ominous and insidious behaviors. That- to me- is the beginnings of real social change and brings a sense of community to many that feel poached and silenced. Slamming and criticizing the actions of known offenders also makes perfect sense to me and I do it any time I feel it personally necessary. I feel that I lead a consistently fair internet presence but, I still have trolled and even cancelled a few folks.
I write all of this to say: as much as I am aware of the changes in perspectives and stances and ideologies I have that are in creation, are progressing, and have previously abandoned, I know that going through all those phases are parts of life. Time may be linear but life is cyclical- all lessons lead you away from and back to yourself. Life is meant to be a flurry of ideas and lessons and mistakes and questions- an ebb and flow of nuances one can either grasp or stay blind to. Remain true to your genuine self- no matter the course of popular opinion, and the fulfillment that follows will feel earned and deserved.