There are the finger wagers who say “ you’re too angry”, the rage blinded trolls who make personal attacks, and the indifference and fear of the middle. I wont be arrogant enough to count myself amongst any of these group but do count myself with those that work to make change in our community be it for the most vulnerable, or for business, or for political change. I count myself amongst those who week in/ week out, on social media, and in endless meetings, add our collective community effort to creating change.
But on social media it doesn’t matter what you say or do you’re going to be be criticized. Recently i was criticized for being to “angry” on twitter. I have been told that I have burnt too many bridges, or that i won’t get anything i care about done if i am demanding, and have been told I am not demanding or angry enough. Both of these are common complaints hurled at my feet.
Up until very recently I was deeply wounded by these words. I would carry them around inside for months or would try to “change my behaviour”. But more recently I have come to realize that while some might think me to angry and some thing I don’t go far enough, I have decided that both sides are right but that their criticism are fundamentally flawed.
Sure we can stand around shaking our heads at those on social media who are demanding or angry or scream at those who aren’t “doing enough”” but ultimately both are a restricting way to move the world forward.
Frankly when issues from poverty, social issues, wages fairness, basic equity and equality haven’t changed in decades, I feel justified in not only being angry but furious. I no longer have the patience to “work through the system” or to “ join institutions “ while the fundamentals of our communities get worse. I have been working on some of these issues for more than 20 years and so, having some serious skin in the game, I have a right to get worked up and to point my finger at the slow movements of our leaders in the face of the real human sufferance I can see around me.
Then there are the trolls and the haters who pollute social media and take these issues and weaponize them for their own entertainment or out of a need for revenge. These people take what is good clean outrage, or a great coming together of community, and they be-foul it. These people make it nearly impossible for themselves to be a part of the solution and end up making everyone flee the field rather than be personally attacked day after day.
Then there are the people in the middle. They sway back and forth between the finger wagers, the righteous angry, and the trolls. But really they mostly end up nowhere and would rather not bother than get involved. Some say that we should feel sorry for those in the middle because they are caught between these groups but i have no sympathy for them. The majority middle needs to wake up and stop being so preciously self involved that they’d rather not get help at all unless it Si to quietly drop of some food in an anonymous box at the checkout. It was this group that elected an Ontario government that seems to be working at dismantling our provincial social safety net. It was this delicate middle that elected governments that gutted education, health care, and allowed tax cuts to the largest corporations and most wealthy. So I don’t have sympathy if they flee social media and the public square. They have been doing this for decades before twitter and its no surprise that they still do this today.
As for the finger wagers and the trolls? They are what they are and will not change, and even if they don’t, I’m happy to talk to most of them. As for me I’m still furious and still trying to work on change despite the indifference of the middle and the finger wagging and trolling of the others. But I, and so many others, could use your help.