Recently as I was scrolling through Facebook before bed, I came across a video shared by a friend. It had an inflammatory title, and was quite evidently, taken of a group of people committing a crime. It had been shared from a site I’d never heard of, but when I clicked on it to see exactly what kind of site it was, I was distracted by the hateful, hate-filled, hostile comments from the video. They were so disturbing that I immediately had to click off and away.
It unnerved me, but I clicked off FB and went back to watching the news.
As I laid there, the video began to gnaw at me. Why was it shared? What was the point? Why would you contribute to that kind of vitriolic message??
Worst of all…how could someone I am “friends” with so openly perpetuate that kind of message?
I couldn’t stand it. I went back to FB and left a comment…
“I’m disappointed to see this shared. The message and comments there are inherently hateful.”
Typically, I would have just ignored it. Maybe I would have unfollowed this friend and felt content in doing so. Even commenting is more than I would have done in the past. I felt like I should just stay out of situations I didn’t know how to articulately involve myself in…but this time, I just couldn’t.
The next day, when I checked to see if maybe, just maybe, this friend had embarrassingly apologized for the share, or deleted it. Much to my sadness, that wasn’t the case. It had been defended..and predictably, there were already heated comments left on the “share” as well.
I deleted the friend. Regardless of our past, of our history, or of whatever originated a connection worthy of facebook…I no longer want to be apathetic to situations where silence could equal acceptance.
It still feels insignificantly inadequate, to merely delete someone. But maybe it’s a starting point in openly drawing a line…and knowing that I need to, against even those I thought were friends.
I asked a couple of friends I trust to read over this…to ensure that the message I am intending to come across, does. One responded with the words, “Silence makes us all complicit.”
I don’t want to be silent any longer. Deleting was the first step, writing this was another.