I wrote another 2,500 words about this, but it’s a cathartic reflection better fit for a journal. I’m publishing a newsletter to explain that going viral is the worst experience of my life. Social media is feeding us a cocktail of stimuli that make us all worse people. Our habits online make it *not* okay to agree to disagree in personal and professional settings.
I want to disappear right now, and it feels like most people in my life also think it would be better if I just faded away. I felt extremely uncomfortable at Allison Hart’s Chalk-in Memorial
on Sunday. It felt like most of the safer streets advocates I know at that event seem to think I’ve caused another polarizing incident, “poisoning the well” for coalition building: what you do and say in public doesn’t help our cause, so go away.
What’s the point in believing things and doing them if it ruins your life and makes the people you care about walk away?
I’m not okay. But, I’m working on it. I’m trying to move past this experience. I’m not sure if I want to do anymore “getting involved.” But, it’s hard for me to stay on the sidelines. Children get run over every day now
I’ve spent my adult life and my career trying to prove myself to toxic people who don’t think I’m doing things right. I’m trying to stop doing that. I rub some people the wrong way and that’s who I am. I am competent, I have immense skills and passion. Who and how I am is not up for your consideration.
This post was for me and for you: don’t think “everyday, regular people” are okay when you make them viral. You ruin their lives. How often do their actions justify it? Less often than you think. ■