Discussion: Shaming and making amends

In a time before social media, if, in your life, you did something you weren’t proud of.  Say perhaps over several years.  Maybe you were a bully in school, maybe you made some bad mistakes in how you treated women or men and you came to realize at some point how wrong your behavior was.  You might simply just move forward, never making those same mistakes again, perhaps even making sure you advocated to others the harms of certain behaviors because you once practiced them yourself.

What do we think about such a person?  Is it enough to say lesson learned, they are now a force for good in the world and sharing their wisdom with others in hopes that patterns aren’t repeated?

We live now in a time where getting away from your past is not as easy as it once was.  What if you had changed, became even enlightened, but somebody from your past decides that you are a charlatan because of a behavior you once espoused.  What if you were an outspoken feminist, but suddenly someone mentioned that back in school you weren’t the feminist you are now, and that you are a fraud.  You may have moved on, but the harm that you caused someone has left them hurt for years, and a number of other people are hurting to, because of who your past self was?

It feels like this call out culture we have on social media can be a vicious force.  Socially isolating people from communities they are making positive impacts in, and in some cases losing credibility for their entire life as a result of it.  And yet I also can’t help but feel some sympathy for victims of someone’s behavior.  Seeing that they are becoming loved and admired for views they now espouse, but never having made amends to the people they hurt in their past. Thirty years ago this was hardly an issue, but now it is so easy to find people from your past and hold them accountable no matter how much they may have changed?  Should the fact they have changed be enough to sate us, or should we bring them down as hard and fast as possible?

Maybe as we become enlightened as to the error of our ways, we should always be trying to make amends before we embark on a new crusade to enlighten others.  Maybe that’s the better path if we want to make a more meaningful crusade for a better world?  Maybe just trying to bury the past in the past is just being cowardly without facing up to it first and making amends with those we’ve hurt.  Perhaps people shouldn’t be just allowed to move on without any consequences.  Or this just us interested in hurting back instead of moving forward?  Is it realistic to expect true apologies from those who have hurt us, or do we just have to find a way to move forward to and let be, what is?

Thoughts?

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35 thoughts on “Discussion: Shaming and making amends

  1. This is why demonizing or vilifying people for mistakes is so dangerous. And it’s arrogant, because if you’re calling someone out for an error and not looking in the mirror…well, what help are you? How are you changing the landscape and making the world a kinder place and a safer space to admit it when we’re wrong? Every single human on earth is flawed and makes mistakes, and it’s not up to me to determine how minor or how grievous. I have my own misjudgments and stupidity and callousness and weaknesses to work on.

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    1. I agree with you Sarah of course. How do you think you’d feel if it was somebody who really bullied you when you were in high school and then who you saw perhaps getting really well known for promoting anti-bullying messages? Would you feel like they had learned their lessons, or would you feel angry that they were getting acclaim for their attitude towards bullying without ever acknowledging the pain they had caused you? I’d like to think that if the situation happened to me I’d just be grateful they were no longer that person, but I still feel like I could see the point of view of someone who had been a victim of that person in their past. I don’t think I’d vilify them publicly, which I think is nefarious way in which social media gets used…and maybe it’s not so bad being called out by someone you actually hurt…it’s the piling on of everybody else who can’t wait to be outraged at you as well.

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  2. Well said, you’ll probably be no-platformed for having such thoughts! But we seem to be living in an age of punishment and virtue signalling with people being pressurised to apologise publicly for things, resign from jobs, lose pension rights. It’s all very vicious!

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    1. It definitely is vicious at times. Part of my inspiration for writing this was a podcast story on NPR. In it they interviewed this anthropologist who talked about the fact that social isolationism is sort of what humans do and his claim is that over time it has actually reaped benefits. Without seeing his evidence I find it hard to completely agree. I do think that at one time it might have been the only tool we had, but I feel like we have better ways now, and we have better understanding about why people deviate from moral norms. I’ve always felt shaming was largely ineffectual.

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  3. The backbiting is endemic. Instead of just the political parties doing opposition research, we all are. Why anyone agrees to appear on social media is beyond me as the benefits are nil and the potential liabilities massive.

    People may come to their senses but I doubt it.

    On Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 12:43 PM, Cloak Unfurled wrote:

    > Swarn Gill posted: “In a time before social media, if, in your life, you > did something you weren’t proud of. Say perhaps over several years. Maybe > you were a bully in school, maybe you made some bad mistakes in how you > treated women or men and you came to realize at some p” >

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    1. Well I would disagree that the benefits are nil, but I would certainly agree that the net results might be negative. Thank you for comments as always Steve. It’s definitely a difficult landscape to navigate on social media for sure.

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  4. At the end of the day, the only person you can change is yourself. But the people who indulge in the habit of judging and hounding on social media seem to wholly fail to consider the ‘mote in their own eye’. The mainstream media encourage this, because the rights or wrong of issues are unimportant. The main thing is to get people to engage. If it’s a feeding frenzy of hate or some raging controversy then so much the better. So many more chances to post the pop-up ads. What a world we have made! Redemption? Where is that?

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    1. Agreed Tish. I’ve had several posts about shaming, forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption. I do think, that even before social media, we tend to define people too often by their mistakes, and there is often little belief that people can change. I find it especially odd here in the U.S. which is supposedly a Christian nation, that the idea of forgiveness would be relatively far from the minds of its believers. The story of Christ is very much a story of forgiveness and redemption. There is very little embodiment of that value here. And I mentioned to someone else here in the comments I think there is an important difference between the expression of anger of a victim towards the person that hurt them, but it’s the piling on in today’s social media landscape that just buries people to the point where they can never resurface.

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  5. Steph Haney

    Swarn, I really like the open enededness of this post. This is a tough one. I think that most stupid things that people do are forgivable. I think we all need to be a bit more forgiving whether an apology is offered to us or not. Everyone needs to stop being so damn absolute. There is a lot of gray area in this world and everyone makes mistakes. Even when I’m pretty sure that I know the correct answer or have taken the appropriate action, I still reflect, questioning myself. Self confidence is important, but I don’t think I’m right or make the right desicions all of the time. I think people need to do that more; put themselves in other people’s shoes, empathize. You never know what may have caused a person to act/say certain things in a given situation and that person doesn’t deserve to have that one stupid thing held against them for the rest of their life.

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    1. Hi Steph! Welcome to the WordPress! It’s so nice to see you here.

      Thank you so much for your comment. I agree with what you say about empathy, but do you think that one should, or can do this as a victim? At a distance we might say there is a reason why an abuser is the way that they are? Or how a guy in college grew up believing that consent was a gray area…but seeing what the world is like in their shoes can be difficult, and so it might be easy to be angry or lash out. Social media can sometimes be that outlet for those who feel like they have no power against those who have done them wrong. In communities where men are protected, or where white people are protected…can we just forgive people for their privilege, or the fucked up life they had prior to encountering them, even when they’ve hurt us. I believe we have to find a way towards that, because I do believe that’s where real healing comes, but having never been a victim of anything that bad, perhaps it’s simply easy for me to forgive.

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  6. Fascinating topic. I think much depends on how we treat our own pasts. I was a bully at school. I accept that was substandard behaviour brought about by a very specific set of circumstances – but all the violence and negativity connected to my history have been contributing factors to the will I have today to make a more constructive contribution to society.

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    1. I think there are many of us who do grow and realize the errors of our ways. If you don’t mind me picking your brain a bit since you admit to being a bully, did you ever try to make amends with people who you bullied when you were younger? Did you ever feel the need to, or think, “man I owe that one guy an apology”? Let’s say you become like a famous psychologist and author on the dangers of bullying, but there are these people who were victims of your bullying in the past and they decide to call you out on social media? Do you think that would be deserved? Do you think there are any people that are still really hurting from the way you treated them? I mean there are bullies and there are bullies…so I am not suggesting that you were particularly vicious in any way…just curious on your thoughts about what we owe are past before our more enlightened ways.

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      1. I haven’t tried to make amends or apologise because I don’t feel it would be meaningful. I also think it would be fair game for anyone to confront me now in any way they choose for what I did and all I’d do is listen – and if they wanted, I’d try to explain how I saw the world back then. How for me (as it was the social dynamic at my school) it was a matter of being a bully or being bullied.
        And yes, I was vicious. Identifying people’s weaknesses and insecurities was my most efficient tool. I hope the effects weren’t long term, but I suppose in some cases it’s possible they were. Just a few months ago a teacher I had contacted me on FB to tell me about how accomplished she was now and how she’s “made it”. Apparently at 11 or 12 y/o I made fun of the university she’d gone to, and other things and that evidently made a mark because I’m now 40 and although she’s retiring she still wanted me to know all this.

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        1. Wow. That’s interesting. I never really put into here what my motivation was for this post. In a podcast I listened to, a female had become prominent in the hardcore punk music scene for her feminist lyrics. She had been raped by singer in another band and this started her on a crusade to use social media to out sexual assaulters and predators males in that community. And it did have an impact on changing the community for the better. However in high school she had been a bully, and slut shamed a lot of other girls…a close friend of hers posted a nude photo of a classmate on line and made fun of her at some point. So there was some bad stuff, but she clearly wasn’t that person anymore. As her popularity grew as a singer in a band in that world at least, somebody decided they were irked by this and started revealing her past to others. She was quickly outed and shut off from the community. She had been part of the community since she was 13 and it basically shattered her life. She did take it seriously though, and she apologized to people she hurt as they were describing how she had made them feel. But the good work she was doing in the present was over, because of this. In listening to this story it raised a lot of these questions in my head.

          Thank you for sharing Pink. This topic is one where the best path is not so clear, or perhaps even if the path is clear when distanced from the events, if you are part of it, taking the right steps can be difficult and muddy.

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  7. My wife and I deleted Facebook, twitter, and instagram last week. Life is better. It was crickets. Also, I cannot stand forced apologies. If you have to ask for one, I’m sorry is just words. I always give second chances. No one is the same ass after high school. I was bullied quite a bit, but I have no malice. Young people are dummies some times. It doesn’t make them bad adults. And like Pink said, it actually made him a better man by acknowledging his mistakes and now protective of others. Great post Swarn. How’s the baby?

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    1. I am not sure the extent of the bullying you experienced, but do you think though that there might a bullying event traumatic enough, where even if you didn’t ask for an apology, it would mean something to you if that person did apologize?

      The baby is doing well, thank you for asking! He’s gaining weight at a good pace. Still doesn’t do much though. lol Still a couple of weeks before he gets a little more interactive from what I remember. 🙂 Dreaming of a full night’s sleep right now. lol

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      1. Oh certainly yes on the apologies. It really means a lot to me if someone does sincerely. It restores my hope in people and humanity in general, and it’s a growing experience for the offender as well as yourself. I am a sucker for personal growth. I have had many opportunities to apologize myself. lol. Also Swarn, Ive had someone refuse my apology before, and that is a difficult feeling for me personally. Ouch. I tend to forgive quickly. I think different personalities struggle with that though. Like to move on. Malice has damming effects on people. It’s like a disease for some. I have a relative that remembers everything anyone ever did to them, and nobody wants to be around her any more. Been that way her whole life.

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        1. I agree with you. Some people do seem to be more predisposed to holding grudges and not being able to forgive. It seems unlikely that it’s genetic, but maybe to some degree it is, and it takes some conditioning to become more forgiving. In some ways I can see the value of not being forgiving in a pure “safety sense”. If a person hurts you once, then disowning them forever will of course make sure they never hurt you again. But like you I am big into personal growth, and such a life where you hold grudges for every hurt is one in which there is no personal growth.

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          1. That would be an interesting study about genetic predisposition to hold a grudge. I know so many things are passed on. I worked range cattle for several years. Those cattle dogs (mine was a border collie) are something. Years of breeding the herding instinct. You basically have to learn how the dog works best, not try to train them much to your liking because they already know what to do better than you do.

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  8. There are lynch mobs everywhere who are ready to mine for any stupid thing a person did in their teens. You are left to wonder whether they believe people can learn, grow and possibly change? I have seen, especially on twitter, people who behave like they were born as activists and have not had to learn or change in their way of thinking and honestly I find them despicable.

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    1. I agree twitter seems like the right platform for the quick moving lynch mobs. I was listening to a discussion about this phenomenon on twitter, and wondering how much people are passing it on because they feel part of a mob, or whether one just sees something and as an individual feels it is worth passing it on. I can see some people in both camps. I do think that social media rewards passing things on that get people outraged so that we can feel socially supported by our bubble.

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  9. Really interesting questions, Swarn, but not ones for which I feel there should be an answer. A specific answer would lead to a concept of what we ‘should’ do in any given encounter, and I don’t subscribe to the idea that we can know in advance what is appropriate for every moment and situation. Hypotheticals are so often just that, and who we are in a given moment, and who we are in relationship with in that moment, can be an unexpected thing–an in the moment, real time authenticity that we miss if we’re constantly coming from our preconceived notions of what is so, and who we are, and who they are. I think we need less rules, less desire to conform to an image of what being good is and what being moral is, and more willingness to encounter the unknown from the space of trusting our own instincts, impressions, and observations–and more willingness to trust our selves enough to encounter one another honestly.

    I don’t think any of us want to be in the business of determining what another should have done in response to a given moment. We do this all the time of course. But it’s folly I think. In a world where we’re not doing this armchair quarterbacking of one another all the time, we’re respecting the right of individuals to be who they are, to walk their own paths to self-discovery, and actually contributing to the environment in which people might one day really feel free to respond honestly about their feelings. So often the moment in which we attack another, we’re acting out something we just didn’t know how to express otherwise. Or didn’t feel safe doing so. In our fear of expressing the initial feeling, we dissemble, and eventually it comes out transmogrified somehow, often into something worse, something more biting and caustic or hurtful. This is how we continue the cycle at some collective level.

    And on social media, which other than WP I don’t participate in, based on what you’ve been describing recently we’re creating a really difficult environment for anyone to simply be who they are. None of us should have to justify ourselves to one another… or prove our value or fitness… I understand your point, but why do we (as a society) feel we have the need or right to comment on everyone else’s life all the time? In our social discussions I feel like we have the coarse-graining of millions of nuanced experiences–a vast conspiracy of unconscious projection of our own experience onto an external event.

    It’s amazing, really. We’re almost never actually talking about whatever it is we think we’re talking about.

    Michael

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    1. So I am not sure if I agree or disagree with some of your points here, so apologize if I misinterpreted something. I mean in general I do agree and maybe it’s that I agree in sort of an idealistic way, but maybe not a practical way. Let me try to explain. lol

      So I think the variation among humans mean that how a person grows and moves from pain they’ve experienced, or wrongs they’ve committed is going to vary. There is perhaps no one solution. But I think it’s likely there are solutions that are going to work for more people. I think there are solutions that might only work for a few people, and I think there are things that are just a bad idea. And I don’t think it’s wrong to explore this landscape.

      When I was seeing a therapist over my dad’s alcoholism in treating the stress I was experience his response was “Well this is quite common and there are a number of things we can try”. And I think this is a sound way to approach helping a human being grow psychologically. Having a number of possible solutions and having the person try one, and if that doesn’t work try another. But there is probably subset of things that wouldn’t work, and a subset of things that would maybe make things worse. For me it is that subset which I think it really want to pin down, and think it’s worth pinning down, and in terms of what would help, I think that’s also worth pinning down, but also recognizing that it’s not a one size fits all sort of problem.

      The fact remains that we are a social species, we are going to have “group think”. There may be times when working together as a group is productive and there are times when it isn’t. For instance a group of friends and family having an intervention with someone who has an addiction problem, while it might get a negative reaction for the addict, is probably a somewhat loving attempt to help course correct someone’s life. A lynch mob on the other hand, I think we can agree is not so helpful. Social media has given a voice to people who were previously powerless, and I think it has made a positive difference. The story that inspired this post shows that it changed the culture for the better, even though some individually perhaps went through maybe some unfair pain along the way. I am not sure it qualifies as collateral damage, but perhaps people getting screwed over is the consequence always of correcting a community who has values that are harming and silencing members of that community.

      So often the moment in which we attack another, we’re acting out something we just didn’t know how to express otherwise. Or didn’t feel safe doing so. In our fear of expressing the initial feeling, we dissemble, and eventually it comes out transmogrified somehow, often into something worse, something more biting and caustic or hurtful. This is how we continue the cycle at some collective level.

      So I really feel this to be true, but also not sure how this can be avoided, because this is also part of letting individuals walk their own path. I think though when this is expressed publicly, the piling on that can occur now, can really be where it becomes unhelpful. Letting victims express their anger towards aggressors I think is fair, and maybe it’s even reasonable to expect that other humans would see that anger and empathize and pile on, but I don’t know that they are helping. And in some cases I can even see why victims though would look for that public support. If I was a victim of someone who really hurt me, then I might be afraid of a one on one confrontation, even if they had truly changed and weren’t that person. We tend to see a person as who they were when we knew them and not who they have become. So I might be anger and I might need that confrontation to heal, but would be afraid to do it alone, and there is safety in numbers. Psychologically knowing, even if it’s just a bunch of people on twitter, that people have my back helps me make my voice heard.

      So I do agree that there is no easy answer, but I do think there are probabilistic answers. Ways we could be that are more productive and helping people become better people and society becoming a better society. There are likely always going to be individuals who lie outside of the most probabilistic answers, and as long as we are sensitive and understanding that it’s natural for this to be so, I think we can still help them and still progress as a society.

      In our social discussions I feel like we have the coarse-graining of millions of nuanced experiences–a vast conspiracy of unconscious projection of our own experience onto an external event.

      Perhaps this would also be an interesting topic of discussion when we meet. lol So here again I agree and disagree. I am certainly one to be an advocate for recognizing nuance where it exists, but I am also one to see the value in the commonality of experiences as well. Two people who are victims of domestic abuse are of course going to have differences, but what they share is likely more important. Through talking about their common experiences and feelings they are more likely to heal than feeling like they have nothing to gain by talking to each other because one ended up in the hospital and the other one only had new bruises and black eyes every week. So I think a coarse-grain look has value, and maybe the nuanced one does too, but I certainly wouldn’t say that it’s harmful to address both points of view. I think the problem lies more in how we empathize. If you are telling me about something you’ve experienced and then I started talking for 20 minutes about how I experienced the something similar, well I’ve kind of made the conversation about me then and am no longer listening. I personally value the coarse-grain a little more when it comes to human experience, but I think individually we want those we share with to listen as we talk about the nuance. That’s where we want the listener to shut up. Being heard is part of healing, the other part of healing may be the same techniques that work on one child of an alcoholic as it is of another. Not sure if that makes sense, but that’s sort of how I see it. And part of me getting off of Facebook is that I felt I wasn’t becoming a worse listener.

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      1. Hi Swarn,

        In your reply here I felt you covered very different ground than you did in the original post, so maybe I wasn’t understanding quite where you began. In your post I thought you were talking about the individual choices we could make when thinking about or dealing with a person who at one point in their life did some things that were harmful to others, and then later experiences remorse and even becomes a voice in the world speaking out against the type of behavior they displayed previously. I thought your post was about the conflict that exists between the desire to hold people accountable, and “pay” at some level for what they’ve done, and the recognition that perhaps some people really do experience genuine transformation, and so without being willing to say enough is enough, and giving people the space to express themselves newly, with a blank slate so to speak, then at some level we’re now imprisoning them. I perceived this conflict to be the crux of your post.

        So in my reply I was simply saying that some of these decisions should be individual in nature. There shouldn’t and needn’t be a prescriptive approach. I was thinking of this scenario, and I’m using an extreme example only to make it easy to see what I was trying to speak to: a prescriptive approach could result in society telling a victim to just get over it, because it’s been seventeen months since a Class 2, Quasi-Trivial Offense was committed, and the attacker has participated in 72 hours of Type 3 Community Service during the subsequent time period, and offered a personal expression of remorse on her own letterhead. So by rights, the slate is wiped clean, and if you continue to feel angry you are now the one committing the offense… So I don’t think you were talking about this conflated type of scenario, Swarn. I’m just creating a straw man to use as a foil to say that I think the type of decision I’ve described in my first paragraph, about how we choose to relate to one another, is a personal one.

        I understand your other points and I think it’s another example of how we have very different starting points in our thinking. I thought your post was primarily about how to respond to one who was formerly an aggressor, and in your reply I felt you shifted vantage to discuss how best to assist the recipient of aggression or suffering to heal. I am seeing those as related but not identical issues. But taking your comment as you’ve given it I would agree with what you’ve said about bringing the best wisdom to bear that is possible when helping an individual or a community to heal. It makes perfect sense and without researching, learning and exploring what works in various situations, our approaches to be healing will be inefficient and ineffectual, and may actually cause harm. I wasn’t suggesting anything to the contrary, or intending to do so. While we can have proven strategies for healing, etc., that doesn’t mean we can or should quantify the terms on which two parties ought to feel or perceive one another. Each moment and situation is unique.

        Another way to look at this might be sports, where on average we can predict certain outcomes and clearly identify strategies that work better than others, but none of that means an inspired moment cannot occur for or through an individual whose odds of success in a given moment are historically, on average, relatively low. We don’t know when and how the lightning will strike. You may be inclined to remove the lightning from the equation all together and say there is no lightning. There are simply probabilities. Anyone could make that shot once. Which would be a valid point. But telling people to behave individually according to average outcomes may never work for some individuals, and may in fact change the average, which previously was the coarse-graining of countless specific case scenarios in which individual decisions were made for all sorts of reasons.

        I think we’re both making reasonable points on this latter issue of how there are strategies with greater probabilities for success, and I’m not disagreeing with you on that, and I know you also said you may have to try a few strategies to find what works. So none of what I’m saying is an attempt to disagree with that. It was merely to say that I’m not sure we can ever have formulaic rules or approaches that describe how we ought to respond to another person in a specific encounter. We don’t live in averages or hypotheticals, we live in the very rooms we live in, with the specific people who are also in those rooms, and almost never with the knowledge hindsight provides about what type of encounter that it in fact, was. And I think responding genuinely, authentically from what I’ll call the heart is appropriate, or at least one appropriate approach, and that the genuine response in the moment comes from within each of us, is unique to the moment, and that too much pre-determination removes the possibility of lightning.

        Michael

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        1. Sorry for delayed response Michael. Well perhaps I misinterpreted your response. My goal with this post, and perhaps I didn’t meet that goal was to connect more how we as a society deal with people that have made mistakes in their past. Social media is a factor today, but in the past we could talk about people being shunned or exiled from a community based on certain behavior that deviated from social norms in a community. Of course very often such types of punishment wouldn’t come years later once the person had changed. These days we find that the past follows people around much more easily, and in the court of social media, who you once were may lead to things you have to answer for today.

          A deeper question here might be, are we always ourselves, or are we different people in different points in time? The inter-connectivity we have with people now allows for a connection between past and future that wasn’t always, or easily possible. If I did something bad when I was young and moved to a new city a reformed human being. Then those who would know me from my past would know me one way, and those who know me in the present know me another way. Before the internet, those two time periods would never meet. Now they do.

          That being said, the individual component I was speaking to with this post is that it is certainly understandable that someone who you hurt in your past, might still be angry, and even if you’ve changed, it’s not unreasonable to make amends with that person…but now such instances are so easily made public. Is someone truly a phony because they advocate for better moral behavior that they didn’t show in their youth? Do they deserve to be knocked off their pedestal? I think it’s reasonable, as a victim to want that, but I am not sure it’s overly helpful if they had truly reformed and were actually empowering people and changing the texture of a community to be more moral, ethical, equal. But again, I sympathize with a victim who is still hurt and angry, regardless of how long ago something may have happened. I don’t think there is easy answers there, and I certainly wouldn’t tell somebody how to feel about harm that had been done to them, but I think the larger conversation, in a time where we just pile on to bring people down is worth having. Because while I agree that individual responses are unique and in the moment, the larger attitude that we adopt goes to create a better environment for personal growth to occur.

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  10. Since this is social media, I’ll reply v-e-r-y carefully.

    It’s terrible what’s happened to people who are shamed online, targeted online, trolled online, quoted out of context over and over. It’s a modern version of witch hunts. I’m glad no one is throwing people in water to see if they float. It’s also terrible that extremists and manipulators are able to reach a wide audience, instantaneously, and that so many of us are so gullible. We can hope most people learn quickly to protect privacy, and to think twice before judging or spouting off. Cheers —

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    1. No need to reply that carefully. I think WP is a little different as well, especially if you pay for your site. If you pay, you are doing so to minimize or get rid of advertisements. Part of the ‘attention model’ that many social media platforms use is because they want to keep you on their platform as long as possible to increase advertising dollars. I don’t see WordPress going to as many great lengths.

      You’ve definitely identifies some of the downsides of social media for sure, but do you think there aren’t some upsides? I mean the mob is bad, but sometimes the mob is started by people who normally would not have a voice, who wouldn’t get the support from a large group of people if they tried to speak up in the environment they are at. I mean for instance you can imagine a situation where you are sexually abused by your local pastor, and before social media you might have a tough time reporting the abuse, or getting anybody to believe you. Being able to expose someone publicly outside the community you live in, might not only help you fight back but prevent others of being abused by the same person. Maybe the downside outweighs the upsides, but it seems like there is some middle ground we might be able to find here to maximize the benefits of social media.

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  11. I agree. I was joking about being very careful here. Most people use social media appropriately, and I think its benefits far outweigh the problems. We just need to be careful about privacy, and about behaving badly, since social media can amplify mistakes. I try to not to every push send when my heart rate is over 150.

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  12. I think “imposter syndrome” is prevalent anyway, feeling like you’re a fraud, as if everyone will call you out on it and point fingers. And…honestly, sometimes they do! (Sigh!!) People CAN and DO change. I’m so grateful for my own growth as a human being. (Although it wasn’t always fun oe=r easy while I was learning.) The person I was, back in my teens, is VERY different than the woman I am in my forties. I would hope we’re ALL growing as people, but social media can be very unforgiving.

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    1. It’s sort of amazing that we don’t believe that people can change. Especially when the central tenet of many of the major religions is transformation and change. The story of Christ is one about redemption. Yet it we more often act “once bitten twice shy”. But I accept that there are many people who do not change for one reason or another. But I do think it’s fair to see evidence of that change and not just words coming out of somebody’s mouth. I also think it’s fair to confront those that have wronged you about the hurt that they’ve caused you. But when we become obsessed with just bringing other people down, I don’t think healing is truly achieved. And social media just tends to add to the mob mentality so that conversations of substance can’t happen between someone who is a victim and someone who is a perpetrator. I was just listening to a podcast that was talking about the value of restorative justice, and in order for this to be achieved parties involved need to be able to have a meaningful confrontation.

      Of all beliefs, I think that believing that people can change is a good one to have.

      Liked by 1 person

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