In the words of Albus Dumbledore ” words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it”.
From the minute we learn to speak, our parents train us to use our words wisely, to think before we speak and to not speak hateful words to those around us. One simple word can turn someone’s life around in either a good or bad way. Words are tools but they are also weapons and over the course of our lives we continue to learn how to wield them.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a long way to go in terms of social media. As someone who is on twitter and part of the book community, nearly every day I see comments that aim to cause pain and fear. I have seen women of colour called names and told that THEY are the problem, not the people who are racist. I have seen certain accounts that seem to delight in calling people out. They call themselves an “ally”, mostly just to get likes and retweets. You just know that there is fire burning in their eyes when they see potential conflict, and get their pitchfork ready so they can tear someone else down and not give two damns about the damage they are doing.
I have seen people who have said one single word wrong, and get torn down and received a stream of abuse, belittling, accusing and even gaslighting. I have seen people leave twitter or change their accounts to stop hate being sent their way, all because they want equality and an end to the privileges bestowed on white people, men, heterosexuals and the able-bodied.
To the people who are constant participants or perpetrators in cutting people down: does it make you feel good? Does it put joy in your heart to know that you are breaking someone elses? Do you look in the mirror and say to yourself “I am such a good person”? Would you say these things to a persons face or are you that cowardly that you can sit behind your keyboard and spew hatred?
Words, my dear friends, are important. In this day and age everything is on-line, we interact more on social media than we do face-to-face. We need to remember that what we are saying to people online can impact, can do a lot of harm or even be fatal. Rather than using your words as a weapon, use them to educate, to soothe, to promote love and peace.
And for the record, I just want to say that I don’t follow anyone on twitter/facebook/Instagram/Wordpress that promotes hate. Why give these people an audience? Why make these people think that what they are saying or doing is acceptable? I urge you to consider this as well…don’t give these people a platform.