This is going to be an unpopular opinion, if Twitter is any indication. Before I start I just want everyone reading to know that I’m not trying to offend any of you, and I respect everybody’s varying methods of dealing with bad news.
That being said…this is what I believe, and I hope you can respect it equally. I believe that just because something horribly tragic happened in the USA, I shouldn’t be forced to
be act miserable all day.
I imagine today is the worst, most devastating day on earth for those people involved in the shooting, and their families and friends as well. (If you’re reading this in the future I’m talking about the mass murder of a lot of kids and teachers in an elementary school in a town near-ish to New York City.) It’s awful. It’s strange, it’s impossible to understand, it’s horrifying, it’s evil incarnate. I teared up watching the presidential address and again at work when I was thinking about it.
But this is the question I’m asking myself: why should I think about it? I know it happened, I am sorry it happened, but there’s nothing for me to take away from this experience. It’s not like I can learn an important lesson. “Don’t ever go into an elementary school or I’ll get shot”. No, it’s a freak occurrence. And there’s nothing I can do about it at all either. People calling for others to “pray for this person” or “take a day of silence” online. Why? What will that accomplish? You can’t force somebody to care about the same things you are caring about.
I get that maybe some of you out there want to pray because you genuinely believe in it, and that’s great. Others of you need to step away from the internet. That’s fine. Especially if you live somewhere where the media is bombarding you with graphic details and interviews with traumatized children. It’d be nice to get away from the TV and other media for a day or two, let it all blow over.
But guess what. I’m in Canada, on the other side of the continent. There’s literally no reason for me to even know about this horrible awful thing. It’s not my country and it’s not my gun laws. What good can it possibly do me to rubberneck at some distant tragedy?
I don’t want the right to make insensitive jokes or disrespect the victims in any way, but I do just want to get on with my life. I don’t like seeing people being threatened with unfollows because they want to write about their business online. Some people rely on these types of media to survive and a lot don’t live in your country. And I don’t like being threatened with unfollows because I’m actually having a pretty pleasant day and want to keep it positive. You know what? Either get off your high horse or go ahead and unfollow if you want. I don’t care.
Sorry if I’ve offended any of my real internet friends with anything I’ve said, and I’d like to open up an honest (not angry) discussion on the subject, so if you have anything to say, try and keep it respectful but please feel free to tell me your side of the story.