I've been out and about today, plenty of time to ponder.....on twitter and blogging and the press and all the putting down and vilifying of people that goes on. I got into blogging because it seemed so friendly and supportive, and it can be. But we live in a country notorious for pulling down anyone who is successful. Celebrity culture makes us feel like we have the right to speak into the lives of people we don't know. We feel we know them because we see them all the time in the press and yet really we don't.
Twitter and forums and blog commenting have become an extension of this - we 'see' people every day, and we think we know them. We might even actually know them quite well. Well enough to be rude, or negative? Well enough to complain about something they have done or haven't done? In all honesty though, we cannot know their mental state or their family circumstances, what they are dealing with right now. So stop and think, is it necessary, can I say it gently, or perhaps not in public? Is this the way I would like to be approached in these circumstances? Will others join in and cause more hurt? I see my lectures on crowd mentality enacted so often on twitter it's untrue. Where is the love? Let's pull this round and build each other up rather than tearing everyone down all the time.
Today I went to Westfield Stratford, I surprise myself by saying I love being in Stratford. Why surprise, because just over 20 years ago I moved there as a student and it's only now, from this perspective that I can see just how much of that time I was depressed, just how poor my mental health was, to the point, that I haven't actually felt comfortable being in the vicinity for all these years. You see, if I didn't know how poor my mental health was, how would you have known. Of course there was no social media then to bring support straight into your living room....or words of attack straight into your home. Take care with the harsh words people and if you have kids teach them too, from an early age to stop and think before they press send.