The internet treats me pretty well, all in all. I’ve made friends with wonderful people who I may never meet, booked amazing holidays without having to speak to a live human and saved in my bookmarks the Youtube results for ‘cats in water’. Sometimes though, I like to do a big hidey from the internet. Occasionally, this is because I’m feeling low, or had some bad news, and don’t want to just sit on Twitter posting endless *sad face* tweets. People are very lovely at times like this, I get messages from friends checking I’m not just sat in a corner, crying, and doing some real damage to a block of cheese (sometimes I am).
At other times though, I’m not on there because I’m just elsewhere, being happy, and whilst I’m not ignoring the evils in the world, I’m sort of just not letting them get to me on a daily basis. It’s so easy to get caught up in it too, we send this nonsense round, retweeting the opinions of a fool, and making more people sad, cross, catching them in vulnerable moments where they might actually choose to engage with these bastards.
I do it too. “Oh my God!”, I think. “How appalling! Let me just show everyone else what a wanker this person is!” I’ve made a ‘beginning of May’ resolution though (not really a thing, apparently) to not do this anymore, or at least not with someone else’s opinions. I’m going to try to assess whether it’s something anyone really needs to be aware of, or is so ridiculous that we can just laugh at it, but I’m going cold turkey on putting nasty shit out there just to add to the seething pit of righteousness that is Twitter. It stands to reason that if so many of us have experienced rape or sexual violence, there are plenty of people in existence who think that it is a fine and reasonable thing to do. I know that they exist, I just don’t really want to read what they’re saying. We’re all entitled to freedom of speech, so the argument goes, but I don’t want to publicise anyone’s comments just because I think they’re wrong, or idiotic, or worse.
It worries me who is reading these retweets as well, flung in a carefree fashion into our timelines. What if someone’s horrible experience is uppermost in their minds at that time? If they were to see some cretin spouting horrendous opinions, they might well be in a place to ‘go on a mental’ at the offender. (I tried, unsuccessfully to copyright this manoeuvre several years ago). If I could change one thing about my blog, it would be that I put some sort of trigger warning about it when I sent it out there, so that people could choose whether they felt in the right sort of place to read it. That was really stupid and unthinking of me, and I regret that hugely. Since I did it, I’ve been more aware of the things that Twitter can just shove in your face with no warning. I was enjoying a particularly hilarious Twitter conversation with two of my best internet friends the other day, when amongst their replies crept in someone else’s question to me: “On the whole, do you think it was a good thing that you were raped?”
Um, I thought. Ha! Woah. Then I had a little lie down on the floor (underneath the table, obviously, it’s safer). I worked on my best “Why don’t you go screw yourself” type response, then decided not to bother. It can sod off, frankly, as can retweets of remarks by any misogynistic no marks who would benefit from a good old slap off their mums. Like DM links, ignorant remarks about rape, and purported news articles judging women on their appearance, I would like that stuff kept out of my (averagely attractive, please rank me accordingly) face.