3 March 2018

Thoughts and Prayers

Part One

I have been trying and failing to write this post for months.  But I have found it impossible.  For someone who has thoughts on everything and usually writes about them, why can I not put my words on to the screen now?

Which brings me to my first question.  At a time when there so much going on in the world, when did we go onto this auto pilot, merry go round from hell of "thoughts and prayers".  Has social media desensitized us to tragedy?

I remember joining Twitter in the beginning of 2010.  I remember being mocked at the time for joining a site that talked about "what you were having for breakfast".  I joined because I heard there was a great Formula One community on there and I wanted to check it out.

Twitter will always mean a lot to me because it introduced me to that great community.  In time it introduced me to the blogging community and to start my blog in earnest.  It enabled my words.  It encouraged them.  It introduced me to new ideas, new perspectives, causes and campaigns that I have never contemplated before.  It enriched my view on the world and what was happening in it, it educated me and opened me up to new ideas.  My journey into confidence started on Twitter.

My interest in politics started as a result of reading articles and the thoughts of people on Twitter.  It checked my privilege.  It showed me what others face in their lives every day; just for being how they are, for what colour their skin was, who they loved and what they believed.

Fast forward to 2018 and Twitter, and the world, is a different place.

ISIS, bombings, refugees, suicide bombers, school shootings, people being shot and killed by police just because they were black, the rise of Donald Trump and the far right.  Katie Hopkins calling refugees who die in the sea while trying to escape as "cockroaches".  We live now in a place where incels think they should be allocated women and celebrate mass shootings.  Where neo Nazis march the streets screaming "white power" and run down people where they stand.

We live in a time where death threats and hate speech is common place and any objection to them is called "taking away free speech".   We live in a time where an MP can receive 600 rape threats in one night. 

A place where Donald Trump can label anything he doesn't like as #fakenews which his followers lap up and escalate.  Where actual fake news stories can lead to a man shooting up a pizzeria because he was told that it was a pedophile ring.

A time when family members of the Manchester bombing victims are trolled and accused of faking their sibling's death.  Where conspiracy theories run rife about the shootings at Sandy Hook and Las Vegas.  Where children who have survived a school shooting are being accused of being crisis actors.

Something seems to happen every damn day and with each new tragedy, the desensitization seems to escalate.  A tragedy happens, we post about thoughts and prayers and wonder, blindly, how this could happen whilst simultaneously, subconsciously, waiting for the next thing to happen. Then the cycle begins again.

How did we get to a place where the right wing media, politicians and gun lovers are attacking and ridiculing children, who have survived a horrendous school shooting, for making a stand for gun control.  Where instead of fire drills, children practice what to do if a school shooting happens.

I don't recognise this place; yet it is the world we are living in.  We bounce from one tragedy to another, without some seemingly understanding the implications, the scale and the seriousness.  We say "thoughts and prayers" without registering anything.

Is this what we are now?  Have I articulated this how I want?  I'm not sure.

What I do know is that there is still good in the world.  Voices that will not be drowned out.  People helping people.  People rising up, standing up and saying "No".

Talk about this comes in Part 2 of this blog.

1 comment:

Thank you very much for commenting. I may not reply to them all but I read every one and it is very much appreciated.