Look, we know Twitter can be a rough, toxic space on the internet. Even people who have never been on Twitter have heard about celebrities quitting because they got deluged by acidic spite, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, or just the relentless hounding of trolls who practice cruelty simply because they can do it without accountability or consequence. I’ve seen it happen in real time and it’s ugly, frustrating, infuriating. I’ve considered leaving the site a bunch of times. I’ve wondered if the site deserved to stay around, if it was a healthy way to interact with the online world. (more…)
Christopher Reeve’s take on Superman is so important and what we need more of in the world. We don’t need strongarm vigilantes, we need friends to give us comfort and help. “America was founded on the virtues of a helping hand.” I know a lot of people who would disagree that this is the founding virtue of the US, including one of our two political parties. And it could be argued that even if Americans professes that, history shows the country rarely living up to that virtue. But it’s something Superman would say and honestly believe. And it’s something he would practice.
I don’t know anyone as physically powerful as Superman, but imagine being that kind of person, who believes giving a helping hand is such an important virtue. Imagine seeing people asking for help and instead of saying “But do you *really* need help? Or do you just feel entitled to get help? Or is this just a scam?” or “But is helping you the right thing to do? Shouldn’t you be helping yourself?” or “Okay, I’ll give you some help, but I’ll dictate how I help you”, instead of any of that, you simply ask “What can I do to help you?” and then do that to the best of your abilities. Instead of being a stern parental figure or an “ally”, instead of being judgmental or pedantic, imagine just being a friend.
“That’s what people really need most…you need a friend.” I miss you, Christopher Reeve.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the online environments I and many, many other people participate in. As I see more friends leaving or taking long breaks from Facebook and Twitter because they don’t consider their experiences there healthy, I wonder “What is the point of these sites? Is it a good point?” (more…)