Saturday, February 13, 2016


When I began this blog, I began a simultaneous tumblr. I liked the medium and how easily I could discover other content that spoke to me. I joined and began posting mainly because I was looking for two things: a platform for self-expression and a wider community to join. Very quickly I discovered numerous blogs of interest. They covered everything from baby goats to the daily struggles of fellow spoonies. I was hooked.

And then things got ugly.

Because I was following so many different users, I started seeing some content I wasn’t equipped to handle. To be exact, I was suddenly bombarded with a ton of hate.

Some of it was piercing and succinct, like a vitriolic one-line comment full of racist bile. Some of it was in longer diatribes about why the writer felt justified in spewing nasty venom. Whatever the source, my highly sensitive mind didn’t deal very well.

I started feeling wary of opening tumblr, which was so not the point of the whole venture. I tried unfollowing a few of the users who were posting (usually reblogging) the disturbing content, but there’s no perfect algorithm that solves the problem.

It would be easy (it’s always easy) to find fault with myself in this situation. I should toughen up, etc. But I don’t really believe that. I have no issue when I read a well-reasoned argument for someone’s point of view, even if it is difficult to understand or sympathize with.

My problem is with pure, blatant hate speech. With people using the veil of internet anonymity to attack others. I feel battered, and so far the hatred has not even been directed at me. Not personally, anyway. My gender and my racial identity have been condemned, viciously labeled, verbally spat upon... but no biggie, right? Sticks and stones and all that.

I am conflicted. I’d like to ignore the hate, dismiss it, attribute it to the impetuous or simply ignorant. But I find it no easier to dismiss than the real world threats and fear mongering of politicians and religious extremists. Isn’t there enough of this in the world already?

Am I alone in thinking we could be better or kinder to one another?

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