I don’t really know how to approach this topic. When I started blogging again I knew I wanted to write about it, but I’m not 100% sure about how to do that without judging. Let’s just jump in.
I’m currently rocking a ‘live and let live’ attitude. It’s a couple of things. Firstly it’s new-ish. This wasn’t always my attitude to the general population. I’m not sure if I need to explicitly state this but of course I’m down with LGBTQ rights and everyone having the same rights regardless of ethnicity, gender or religion, but I definitely spent a lot of time on the internet and IRL judging people and their decisions in my head. What a waste of time. Secondly it’s a privilege. Personally, I am able to see the world this way because I haven’t been seriously harmed by it in anyway. My mental health ailments are ever-present, but in the passenger seat, which gives me a clarity I didn’t always have.
All this is to say, I’ve been there, I’ve made harsh judgements about people, many of which I thought were hilarious. Im guilty of that a thousand times over. However there seems to be a new trend, that Im struggling with. It normally appears on Instagram, but has been known to show up on Facebook or Snapchat- its where a person surreptitiously takes a photo of someone else, a stranger, normally out and about and in the caption mocks a decision that person has made, be it their clothes, or something they’re carrying with them or their general demeanour. The caption basically screams ‘THIS PERSON IS A WEIRDO RIGHT? YOUAGREEWITHMEDONTYOU???’
This pictures make me instantly angry and then forever sad. What is going on there that you feel the need to publicly out this person, and that you need the people in your online life to back you up. I can always just picture the situation where the photos subject is just living their life and this other person is away from them, creepily snapping a picture. I think of this situation and I always know 100% of the time, I would want to be the photos subject. As a person was bullied pretty consistently up until about 5 years ago, I can say, yes, I would rather be the subject. Because the subject is just living their life, making their decisions based on their needs and their desire not to harm anyone else. But you’re in the corner, filled with hatred for the world or yourself or both and pleading with people to join you in mocking this person who never did anything to you.
This is a judge-y post. And that makes is hypocritical in a way. Judging the judgers. There was probably a better way to write about it but I couldn’t think of it. it just makes me sad. The other day I realised a friend of mine felt the exact same way, when a mutual friend posted one of these pictures. We discussed it and I felt a whole lot better, so I guess this post is an extension of that conversation. I write this to diffuse the sadness in my head when I see these posts or think about them long after they’ve been shared.
We’re none of us experts at life. Sure when I get through a day and I’ve worked out, eaten clean foods, not cried at work, been creative in some way and am in bed by 11 I’ll definitely yell ‘winning’ but the truth is we’re all just winging it. Can’t we just be nice to each other along the way?
Image by the wonderful Sarah Andersen. She has a wonderful Instagram or click the image to go to her website.