Social Media is such a strange place. Anyone can be whoever they want to be and project that image out into the world through such mediums as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It is the perfect set up for the narcissist, the abuser, the oppressor, and the deeply insecure because it enables them to be in complete control and frame their persona and narrative.
How often have we heard of the politician who led a double life? The public persona of telling the people what they want to hear and the private persona of corruption and ruthlessness. How often have we heard of the clergy person who led a double life? The man of the cloth loved by the people he serves and admired for his orating abilities and a private persona of alcoholism and emotional abuse towards those closest to him.
Such real life examples abound and believe it or not they may be right in front of you as you scroll down your News Feed on Facebook. Strangely, what we may fail to realize is that by simply liking their posts or their photos we are further emboldening them in their abuse and possibly further alienating the abused. Furthermore, we may be even liking the post of someone who isn’t even real, they are simply a created persona.
It’s striking to me how much we tend to get things backwards. We are living in a rather tumultuous time and it would seem that calls for justice are everywhere and for good reason. But are such public calls and cries also easier now because of social media? They don’t require the same vulnerability and risk that face to face calls would seem to require. And similarly, don’t such calls also distract us from what is right before us and the seemingly insignificant like the person right in front of us? Seeking change is good but what good is it if you’re not seeking to change yourself? Often the change that we seek outside of ourselves is simply the change that we want to see within ourselves.