Every time we comment, we are data for the analytics. Every time we feel our emotional tug to respond to some random post by a public page, we are generating hype for them, not us.
So WHY, in an age of reclaiming our lives, are we turning toward the mass of media to offer our comments?
We are the consumers who think we are participating in their ‘live audience’ work, but in fact, we are fuel for their creative fire.
We are not their friend. They turn us into fans. Did you sign up for that?
Sometimes we do. There are clear times that we know we are one flame that lights up the sky with connection to the collective, in order to create the change we wish to see in the world.
Other times, we want to be heard, so throw our story into the wind, in hopes that someone out there will save us from our lives.
Some people have a million or more followers, creating content that entertains and informs, but does that person ever actually see any of the millions of comments created in hopes to add their voice to the conversation? Probably not. Probably only if the social media managers see one they like, then bring it to the attention of the OG.
They have teams to help them get that big. One celebrity and however many managing editors, writers, filmographies or whomever else they need to get the job done. It is a job.
To gather that many followers, it is a job.
The first time I noticed it, my son was watching a YouTube guy who played the same game my son did. Stampy Longnose and iballisticsquid were then, and are still famous for being grown men using silly voices to attract the attention of children worldwide.
Sounds a bit more ominous when said like that.
In truth, they seemed harmless enough. My then ten-year-old introduced me to YouTube. I had no idea what it was for. I had been wallowing in self pity, or, as my profession calls it, post traumatic stress disorder after a toxic, narcissistic relationship or two, wrecked havoc with my life.
Turns out, the YouTube generation also introduced the world to a new venue of helping professionals. Not only the music and funny clips, but actual, credible, licensed professionals who, for the first time, even though I’d been in the psychology business for twenty years, were talking about the ‘type’ that has since evolved into a specific form of domestic violence.
I finally had answers. A brand new sub specialty in our clinical psychological field, what had been happening in and around my life for decades.
The comment sections of story, after story, after story, all were describing what had happened to me.
Not only were the content creators speaking on the diagnostics along with the solution focused therapies, but the people in the comment sections who were willing and brave enough to offer their narrative. They had the courage to speak up.
The verse was contributed to the growing celebration of healing. People were healing from something that even just a few years before, was referred to as, “boys will be boys” and, “he’s just passionate, cut him some slack”.
Women were helping women.
YouTube became a safe space for women to finally have a place to unpack all the crap that was hurting them for decades.
Today, so does Tik Tok. And, Facebook groups; Reddit.; Tumblr. A whole bunch of other places that pop up, then move, then pop up again somewhere else, so people can speak out for the first time in their lives.
Millions of comments became tens of millions of both voices and helping professionals.
We became the data that the experts so richly needed. We became the voice of the times.
Then some of those same voices started to slip. Abusers began to create fake accounts. They started to study what “all those women were bitching about”. **The language I was often called when saying, “you have no right to treat me that way”. Ya. Well, the they/he thought they were entitled.
Sexual predators were stalking and lurking in the shadows, calling the women names, or demeaning her social media. The toxic, dangerous, or emotionally violent people decided to study the vulnerability of the brave new world, to add an extra layer of covert narcissism to their already toxic personalities.
It’s a game of wack a mole or cat and mouse to them.
Know what women want? It’s not a secret and it sure as hell isn’t synthetic fabric made into uncomfortable under garments.
Women want to be left alone. To live their lives as they see fit.
Do no harm, but take no shit.
Not all women are innocent. Some of the most vicious malignant narcissists I ran across, were absolute mean girls to the 10th power toward me. For years. That’s another story for another time.
For now, today, in this moment.
The thing I’m thinking about more than anything else, is not the challenge or the constant threat that forces us to have to heal, then re-heal, then re-heal again.
It’s the fact that we ARE speaking out; writing books; telling our story and making a dent in the never ending entitlement of the toxic narcissistic abuse that has permeated our culture.
Wonder Woman to the rescue?
p.s. I realize that males also suffer abuse. As do children.
For men, it’s 1 in 20. For women, it’s 1 in 4. Here is a hotline if you have been hurt … it’s got a safety net if you feel that you are in danger.
The statistics are staggering. They can be overwhelming.
Start small. Start simply. Watch a YouTube video. Then, delete your browsing history. Call the hotline #.
If you want to stay anonymous because you are afraid, dial *67 You can google for more tips. Then, delete your search history. Clear it all. Often.
As for comments and those who are not suffering to the point of danger, follow your favorite YouTubers. Become a voice. Do NOT call the wats app that hackers and slime-balls often give to your reply. It’s a scam. Another scam.
Focus on the fact that no matter what the news or internet tells you, there are still more good people than bad in this world. Even online.
I don’t care of some random person starts screaming at you ’cause you said you really like the color blue, or that you would rather rescue a pet from the ASPA then buy a designer, private breeder dog (yeah, both things have happened to me)… no, seriously.
People are venting by rage commenting for no actual reason.
Ignore them. Ignore them all or, find your tribe. They are there somewhere.
Reclaim your life by becoming aware of what level of interest people are willing to put into the work.
In order to both contribute your verse, while also owning your own life, you have to become a bit of a warrior. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the fabric of our lives right now.
But there is a way ~ it’s through. Be you, unapologetically. Live like Sandra Bullock does. One good deed and boundary placed experience at a time.
In peace and reclaiming,
(c) @happinessnoir @InkHoneyPub @K.ArenHenryMiller