Love Is The Only Force

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend”. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

The other day my oldest daughter shared a Facebook post about women having to deal with weird men staring at them. A man nearly twice her age responded by sharing his point of view in a vulgar and intense manner. The final statement on his comment was “CUNT!” I may seem like a super chill woman but damn son. You call my daughter a cunt and we got some serious issues. Being a blogger with such a large readership for a decade has taught me a lot. One of the most valuable lessons about the online world I’ve learned?

How to start an argument online:

Post your opinion and wait…

Another thing I’ve learned is to breathe and calm down before responding, especially if I’m triggered. I started typing a response to the man’s post but I could see my daughter’s family and friends posting comment after comment in response to his attack. So I decided to message him rather than join the mob mentality. I messaged him a very respectful, well spoken response (if I do say so myself;) and ended it by saying that I hoped when he had a daughter he would choose his words more wisely. He didn’t respond for a day or two.

When he did, he said he was married and had a daughter, then went on to pretty much scream (through online words) at me about his own suffering. I responded by telling him that I was very sorry about the experiences he had suffered through, but that did not give him the right to attack other people in such a hurtful and disrespectful manner. His response? “Go kill yourself bitch!” I responded by saying, “Wow, did you legit just tell me to kill myself? You must be a very angry man.” He then unleashed some curse words and signed off. I sent him a kissy face emoji with the word Peace. then hit the mute conversation button.

I took a few deep breaths and decided to let it go. A few hours later, I got a Facebook messenger notification. It was him. Again. I guess the mute button didn’t work or I was too pissed and didn’t hit it properly. What he wrote next moved me. It was a few paragraphs apologizing. These types of exchanges unfold online every single day online because people type without thinking about the person on the other side.

I experience a small amount of this behaviour on social media and very rarely on my blog. I think people believe it’s because I’m often naked. I honestly don’t think that makes a difference. I may get a slightly more sexual tone in some of the negative responses but honestly, this happened to me long before I got publicly naked.

I won’t dive deeper into this topic today. It’s a bit heavy for a beautiful Saturday morning discussion. I will however say this. It’s not always the case, but sometimes, a person who lashes out with such intensity and anger is a wounded soul themselves. Being wounded does NOT justify behaving in such a disrespectful and hurtful manner. But if those of us who choose to speak out against this type of behaviour do so from a place of rage rather than love, how are we any better?

Food for thought.

From my heart to yours,

Joy

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