The fear of giving voice

Today I had I’ve had two disturbing internet experiences, by which, I mean, I came upon two stories that paralyzed me. By which, I mean, I had powerful emotional reactions to them and desperately wanted to take action, but I couldn’t do anything. I could easily state what the gists of those stories are, but that would be besides the point I’m getting at.

General gists. In one case, a satirical website managed to offend my sensibilities for perhaps the first time. I found its post sickeningly disturbing. They cross the bounds of good taste all the time, and I usually an quite entertained. Not this time. I was going to post a comment but saw that those who found the post amusing were a despicable lot. I couldn’t bring myself to wade into the muck, but I stared at the muck for far too long.

In the other case, a friend posted a link to a commentary that was sickeningly disturbing, in both its content and because it was so spot-on. To me, this was eye-opening and the epitome of the type of content you might feel compelled to share because you’re sure a lot of people haven’t thought about it. But I did nothing other than sit ostracized for 15 minutes. I think I felt ashamed knowing that I’d simply be sharing a link and doing nothing else. I’m great at expressing outrage but doing nothing to make the world a better place.

The point is, I’m hypersensitive to everything going on around me, I think it would be useful to give voice to at least a small percentage of the feelings that stir and spin and careen out of control, but I don’t do it.


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