I wrote this earlier today, and then Jack posted his weaksauce response to Alex Jones and Infowars, and a part of me wants to throw it all in with Twitter.
But my point still stands.
Being human truly matters.
We get to choose what humanity we have.
We get to choose the humanity we engage in.
We're free to choose to not be here, or on any platform.
For forever, or just for a break.
That doesn't make us any less valuable.
And there are always ways to stay in touch with those we care the most for.
I’ve been reflecting on Sulome Anderson’s tweet thread from earlier in the week...
Let me make my own decisions and learn from them. Remember that this is not my first rodeo. I’ve been dealing with a constant barrage of vicious trolling for years that many of you have never experienced, at least not to that extent. If I want to blow off steam, that’s my right.— Sulome Anderson (@SulomeAnderson) August 2, 2018
At the same time I’ve just finished reading The Circle.
One of the ways in which social media shapes us and our interactions with each other, is that we're enabled to judge people on what they post - which can be different from who they are.
Most insidiously, it does this often without context.
We feel able to cast judgement on people for what they are, relative to who we are, without ever knowing them.
We need to be better at knowing people and reserving judgement.
These are our timelines after all - Sulome Anderson’s absolutely entitled to use her timeline the way she chooses. For no other reason than it's hers.
None of us who follow people - owe our followers anything - they choose to follow.
That’s important, that we continue recognize this - and make our choices to monitor our feeds accordingly - did I mention the Circle?
These timelines bring us many things. Fear, hope, despair, loathing and heartburn.
I mean, the world’s a pretty rough place most of the time, for many of us. Regardless of who you may follow.
But often times, these timelines give us friendship and conversation, and throwback banter.
This is important - because people’s timelines speak to who they are - as humans.
They may feature their work, but the best ones share and show their humanity too.
So I’m grateful for people like Sarah Kendzior, who speaks truth to power, but who posts photos from her roadtrips that remind me what a beautiful country she lives in.
And to Juliette Kayem, who stretches my thinking, but shares slices of what it is to be a parent.
And to Sacha who’s joy in fandom and pics from random locales remind of the deep simplicity and wonderful complexity of life.
And to Steve - who’s rugby knowledge is next level, and his pictures of walks in the bush are ace.
And to Tash - who’s feed is joy and style and delight that always make me smile.
And to Jarrod - who burns his home country regularly, but whose images of urban and rural Japan are truly astounding.
And to Darren - who’s an old mate from another time, still making sick tunes, celebrating life in running and being a Dad.
All of these are folk I follow, some I’ve met, most I won’t.
They are just a few of the many people in my timeline with stories that I value, and that add value to my story.
I’m grateful to each of them for how they see and experience the world and that they share it.
They don’t owe me anything, but because of their sharing, I am better.
In small ways and big.
Be cool with owning your social media experience.
Share who you are. Share what you want.
Care. For yourself. For others.
Delete if you choose. Block if you choose.
Consider and respond and be part of conversations.
Own your words, know when to just listen.
Learn and be better.