Social Justice Bullies

Social pandering has gone over and beyond ridiculous.  We must be careful what we say and to whom, and even the most benign thing shared can cause outrage.  Why is that?  Words are hurtful, there is no doubt about that, but why must we walk on the proverbial eggshells anymore?

Bullies exist, they always have and always will.  It is a toxic part of humanity and a reality most people face sometime in their lives.  However, that doesn’t seem to be why people are so hurt by words lately.  It appears that large masses of people have thin skin and have an axe to grind against anyone who shares a different viewpoint or vocabulary.

Below is a screenshot of a reaction someone had to a tweet.  Keep in mind my wife runs my Twitter account and was the one that posted this, not me, which is massively ironic.  The not-too-subtle accusation of sexism.  The point isn’t to vent because I’m offended.  It is to point out just how thin-skinned, so many people of our culture are.  Why is something so innocent as my wife and I celebrating our teamwork in need of criticism?

Our culture is growing ever more sensitive to the point where it finds problems where there are none.  No matter how benign a statement, social media post, or thought is, someone is bound to get offended, but not just offended, that person may feel the need to “educate” you and put you in your place.  Offended people now are the social bullies.  Attempting to silence any voice that is different from their own in the name of “good.”  How do we fight this?  Call it out for what it is, bullying.  Us writers need to keep writing our thoughts and what’s on our mind.  Not cater or pander to anyone, no matter how loud and obnoxious their voice may be.  The irony is that it is typically those who speak of tolerance and acceptance that are guilty of the very things they claim to hate.  Perhaps this is a window into everyone’s psyche, we are often guilty of the things we hate the most.  Therefore, before getting sanctimonious over silly things on social media, let us examine ourselves and see if we live up to our own standards.  We all need this.  Certainly, there is a time and place to speak up, and that is where wisdom and discernment comes in, both qualities though seem to be sorely lacking in our society.

Do not get offended, get thoughtful.

I am a millennial.  We are known for two things, 90s nostalgia and getting offended, especially the later.  While Millennials on college campuses are the poster men and women for offense.  It seems to me that being predisposed to offense goes beyond my generation.  I think that social media is the root of a lot of offense.  How about instead of getting offended we get thoughtful.

We are steeped in technology and information.  How companies get their information to you through all the other sources is to pander to what you want to hear and believe.  As a result, we lose our ability to empathize with someone else.  That, requires effort.  We must seek out what the “other side” believes.  It’s okay to disagree, but what happened with civil discourse and free exchange of ideas without someone feeling it is a personal attack?

In the era of knee-jerk reactions and visceral reactions on the internet, I challenge whoever is reading this and myself to respond thoughtfully.  It goes against every instinct within us.  When we are hurt we want to get even, make them suffer and feel pain.  There is enough of that on the internet.  Why don’t we instead learn why we believe what we believe and support it with facts and research?  When replying to posts we disagree with, why don’t we keep calm and explain our position rationally.  This is something we should all think about.