Quick to judge

With the advent of the internet, social media, and the 24-hour news cycle nothing goes unnoticed or unjudged. This occurs often, and on an almost daily basis, and most recently with the terrorist attacks in #Paris. Facebook was quick to initiate their Safety Check feature so that friends and family could know their loved ones were safe and to allow members to change their Facebook profile pictures to include the French flag. The interweb were equally quick to exploded with criticism that other countries who recently experienced similar attacks (#Beruit, #Kenya) were being considered “forgotten” or that their lives didn’t matter as much because Facebook did not offer those same options for them. Facebook of course responded, but that did not settle the deluge of criticism.

Celebrities are also especially at risk of a swift backlash for any number of missteps, miscues, or mistakes. Patricia Arquette experienced this earlier this year when she tried to be an advocate for equal pay for women, but did not mention every woman and was quick to be called out as only speaking for white women.

These quick backlashes were even featured as an episode on the podcast Start Up, highlighting how even a team of very experienced radio and podcast professionals can make an honest mistake due to the fast and furious nature of the work they were producing. At the time, because of the swift judgement and criticism, they felt like that one miscue would destroy their company. All because we live in an internet, social media, 24-hour new cycle world, where apparently people don’t make mistakes, but they do make judgements.

Even I, a lowly blogger, am not immune. I wrote a Huffington Post article many months ago on Death with Dignity where I mistakenly included New Jersey as a state that had passed legislation. It was an honest mistake on my part, but I was quick to be called out on Twitter saying that I purposefully was being dishonest. I wasn’t, I am human, and as such will every now and then err. All of us will in fact, because as humans none of us are infallible. Yet with the first slip of the tongue, anyone can be condemned as deceitful by fellow members of the human race.

I definitely understand why people get upset, there is a lot of inequality around the world, too much in fact, but fighting amongst ourselves or condoning others for doing one thing, while not doing another is counterproductive. Supporting one cause or issue does not mean you care less for the other. My heart breaks and I am just as angry every single time, for every single person, in any country who is at the center of any unjust act, any violence, any discrimination. We are all humans on this planet and as such we all deserve to live in peace.

This world of ours is on a path, one that seems to be hurtling toward a fork, we need to decide which direction to go, the direction that bands together or the one that splinters apart. The internet, social media and the 24-hour news cycle has great power to bring us together — the hash tag PorteOuVerte (OpenDoor) immediately following the #Paris attacks showed us this — but it also has the power to ripe us apart. To ripe each other apart, word for word and word by word.

I would encourage people to take a moment to consider the intentions of what others say, do, and post, and not take personally what they do not say, do not do, or do not post. There are so many people throughout the world, in every corner, intentionally hurting others in a plethora of ways, we need to support the people taking a stand for anyone, whether or not it be everyone.

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