Republished from the May 28th 2018 Newsletter.
I’ve been thinking about this in terms of what social networks reward lately. On twitter it’s very easy to see something come into view that you’ve never even considered before. That can be a good thing, or be horrifying. Regardless, our (my) tendnacy to slam on the RT button has a social and mental cost: when someone else sees that how is that going to change their day? Oftentimes I’ve moved on a few minutes later, but if the network works how it’s supposed to those characters keep moving through it and have an effect on other people’s days.
I’ve stopped myself short from sharing a lot of the things I see that “surprise and disgust” me lately. Mostly because I recognize what the emotional whiplash feels like to me and I don’t like it. Especially when it’s about something I have no power to do anything about then it becomes outrage for the sake of outrage. Yes, there is much to be outraged about! That’s okay! But stewing in it hurts.
Anyway, please think twice before giving megaphones to things that “surprise and disgust” you: