I feel weird about some sayings, quotes, campaigns, speeches going viral these days.
Not because they’re not beautiful, informative, accurate, representative, heart-breaking or what they are and should be. Not because one shouldn’t speak, not because silence should not be defeated.
Actions are still more important than speaking (not that I like to admit it). And the criticism is not about the nature of the declarations that are made, even less about their originators.
So much sharing. We find so much satisfaction in doing so.Content in being conscious. ‘’I agree, therefore I am’’. I’m taking this idea and putting it out there without further call to action.
There is so much weight and power in words. I more than most? knows this, as a writer.
Words bring solace, consolation and relief as they help us try to make sense, face adversity, get us through. Words are understanding. Compassion. Empathetic. They are tools against oppression, a balm on the pain.
The way we share through our online social networks is insular. We are sharing to our circle, with whom me share the same interests, ideas, perspectives. We are sharing within in an algorithm.Maybe it is why things quickly feel tiring and irritating, even when they are positive. Are we changing the way we do things through that? I don’t know. Some do, some do not.
And if ever you chose to disagree, you risk getting rebuffed in an unnecessary brutal manner. It is not news that the web knows no civility. We are scrutinised by our fellows, it’s hard to step up, never been so afraid of fucking up. Social likeability and desirability strikes strong as we are constantly connected.
We know how communication can fail us. The recent political changes have painfully proved it.
How can we fix this ?
At the moment, the need to express and remind ourselves of our true values is stronger than ever, for obvious reasons. The divide is sharp, gaping. Thankfully, we are still capable to think and reflect. But if the world we live in keeps its pace, it is going to be increasingly difficult. It’s hard to keep up, introspect, think critically, examine and question our choices, decisions and thoughts.
Of course, it is better to share and speak than to do nothing. Information travels, first and foremost.
Tell us what we already know. Not that we don’t need to hear it again. But it is not a safety vest — or if it is, it is only for now.
Illustration: Zoë Gelfant