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Friday, December 14, 2012

Actions Speak Louder Than Social Media Posts

The tragic shootings of today have me feeling shocked, horrified, and so deeply saddened. I know that so many of you feel the same.

What is disturbing to me is the appalling pattern of reactive commentary and media coverage that follows these horrific events. I feel a great sadness that I even need to pluralize that sentence.

Is it really all about getting "the story"? I am in utter disbelief that anyone would be so desensitized to human emotion that they would consider it okay to interview a child that just experienced the most traumatic event of their precious little life.

Pictures of parents and children plastered on the media sites. Documenting very private and heart wrenching moments for millions to see.

The race to release breaking news first and reporting wrong information in the haste to be the first in line.

Social media is serving as a boxing ring for angered individuals lashing out at each other over powerful differing opinions. Using hateful language to prove their points and feeding a cancerous social media mob mentality. Using twisted dark humor in an effort to get a cheap laugh. Creating shocking memes that are created for sole reason of fueling a ravenous forest fire of outrage.

Social media postings are not empathy. We haven't changed anything by posting how sad we are, or arguing our pros or cons of gun control, or typing hurtful things about mental illness. So many of us (I am definitely including myself in this statement) lose the ability to filter and take a moment to process emotion when a simple motion of "Click Send" exposes our knee jerk reactions to potentially millions of people. The blog post I am writing right now is simply my reaction. You can all read my opinions that I have gift wrapped with a bow ready to open with one click of a link. But the actual emotion happens when I hug my children, feel their heart beat against mine and sob at the thought of never seeing them again and feeling real pain for the parents that will bury their children and the families who lost someone special. The action happens when I write a congressman about issues I feel deeply about, and talk to my child's school about security measures. Making sure I continue to build a strong connection with my children. That they know they can come to me with anything no matter what. You feel emotion. You take positive action. There is so much more than "Click Send".

Take one look at a Twitter or Facebook feed or a comment section of a media site and you will see how scary and desensitized some members of the human race have become.

There are many many uplifting posts about thoughts and prayers going out to the victims as well so I don't mean to sound so hardened towards the commentary. I also posted a link to the news story on my Facebook page. I know we are passionate people and the emotions we feel are very scary and very real. It's just so hard to have hope that we can ever truly unite when you see a prayer candle picture co-existing on the same page as a name calling pissing match about gun control. Or you see someone post that they are deeply hurt and praying for victims and three minutes later they post a funny cat picture. Huh? You got over the deep hurt fast, I guess. Or you see a mock Twitter account posing as a "victim" of the horrific murders all for fifteen minutes of "fame."  Appalling.

Freedom of speech is a beautiful thing. But it's being used with a lack of self control, empathy, or just plain common sense. The same can be said about passion towards an issue. In any case, the Golden Rule appears to be tucked under the bed collecting dust for many people with a keyboard at their fingertips.

Our minute to win it lifestyle is crumbling our hearts. If this awful heart wrenching tragedy doesn't remind us be kind, slow down, log off, breathe, and appreciate life...what will?

If the stenciled pattern of past tragedies holds true, once the invasive media coverage dies down and the full horrific story is unraveled, the tragedy then ages and disappears for the millions of onlookers that followed every second of every heart breaking update. And life goes on.

But for those innocent adults, children and their loved ones the nightmare lives on. Let's not forget that.

For now, I am going to shut my computer off, kneel next to my sleeping children that I am so blessed to have with me tonight, fold my hands and actually pray for them, not just post about it on my blog.

Actions speak louder than words.


  1. Love this and you!!! Lindsey

  2. Very very well said Leia!

  3. So well spoken! Love you and give the kids extra kisses from me too

    1. Thanks Jaimie. Many MANY hugs and kisses were given to the kiddos tonight.

  4. Well said Leia, I have often thought the same things.