There was an interesting article from the Associated Press yesterday, titled, Bad behavior is trending online, inspiring it in real life.
I wish I could say it’s shocking, but let’s be honest—it doesn’t surprise us, does it? Not in the least. And worse, we tend to justify our own behavior, don’t we, or at least the behavior of those on“our side?”
Deep down, we know it’s not okay. We’ve talked about this before. We’ve talked about the detriment public shaming does to individuals. We’ve talked about the tragic loss of life we begin to see in the aftermath of #trending humiliation. We’ve talked about United Airlines’ reputation after having a passenger removed; we’ve talked about the nurse who mistakenly revealed details about Kate Middleton’s hospital stay to a couple of radio dj pranksters; we’ve talked about the tragic death of a local boy who was embarrassed on social media, and we’ve talked about the absolutely, unnecessary death of Michigan State Representative John Kivela.
This is not okay, folks. Public shaming is not okay.
We wane moral and speak words to denounce such behavior in the aftermath. We want to believe that we are different and we would never treat another human life so casually.
Are we willing to be the exception to this modern phenomenon, though?
I’ve noticed a trend on my own Facebook excursions of late. There is a lot of name-calling. There is a lot of venom. There is a lot of “us vs. them.” There is, sadly, a lot of promoting false information simply because it paints “them” in a poor light, and when it is outed as false, the person rationally suggesting we discuss truth becomes a target for a new type of ridicule and attack.
There is a lot of mocking of our former President. This, from so-called Conservatives, from those who claim to be so patriotic, and who are now telling those with genuine concerns about President Trump to “respect the office.”
But we’ve seen that this type of behavior—false information, public targeting, and ridicule—can lead to tragedy in an individual’s life. It can lead to irreversible tragedy, not simply a misunderstood person going home and crying herself to sleep. It can lead to an unnecessary Moment of Silence—and that is not something to be taken lightly.
As Conservatives, we often wear a sort of superiority because we believe in the sanctity of life. Abortion is, often times, the greatest determining factor of our arguments. Right or wrong, it is our Holy Grail.
Can we bring some consistency back to our stance? Can we believe in the sanctity of all life? Can we determine that the life of an individual is more important than the temporary rush of social media popularity we get from defaming another?
We are better than this.