Echo Chamber vs Safe Space

/ posted in: Current Events

Because of what I like to call my wayward youth that I wrote about yesterday, my Facebook page had gotten particularly nasty.  When I say that I’m talking about people who felt safe to post memes actively encouraging violence to Black Lives Matter members and Native American protestors at Standing Rock along with the common memes of the “Don’t like it here, go live in (insert country here).”

Twitter was my safe place which always makes me giggle since the typical conversation about Twitter make it seem like everyone on there is getting constant abuse.

I had been avoiding Facebook for weeks.  I don’t feel like I was free to be myself on there.  So many people knew a person that I used to be.  I didn’t want to get into the conversations that would ensue if I let that world know the real me.  Part of it comes from being a very private person.  I don’t like to let people I know in my brain to know what I am actually thinking or feeling.  It is much easier to talk to strangers about it.  Part of it is being very non-confrontational.

But, I’m also the first to criticize people for setting themselves up in an echo chamber where they only hear their own thoughts reflected back to them.

I’m not sure how to find a balance.

Yesterday I realized that I wasn’t going to go on Facebook anymore the way it was.  I do get a lot of news from several sources through my timeline there and I wasn’t getting it.  I wasn’t getting updates from groups I participate in.  I either needed to walk away entirely or fix it.

I ended up cutting out half of my friends.  It was a sad and strange process reading down my friend list and thinking, “Are you a racist?”  I consider the people I have left to be on a probationary period.  Two have already been kicked out.  In case you feel I am being too harsh here’s what they posted last night that made that decision for me.

One posted a picture of a man snuggling multiple assault rifles and was captioned, “It’s alright.  You’re safe now.” I spent yesterday watching friends on Twitter expressing real fears for their safety and their family’s safety.  That picture was callous at best.

The other posted a cartoon of multiple women crying.  This included some caricatures meant to demean people.  It was labeled SJW (Social Justice Warrior) Tears.  Again, the pain right now is real and people who don’t get it are reveling in it.  (As an aside, why do people think SJW is an insult?  That’s an awesome title to have!)

How are other people handling this?  Is this just a retreat?  I feel like it is but I also know the reality is that if you call people out you just end up reinforcing their rightness in their minds. And that will be tomorrow’s rant…