The new cyberbullying

I’ve finally realized what call-out culture is.

It is Newspeak for codependency.

If you focus on what is wrong with other people you don’t have to work on what is wrong with yourself.

And deep down, further back, it is the old “speck and plank” tale all over again.

And worse – it is a new form of cyberbullying.

There are very few people who make an effort to make their social media page a safe space to discuss ideas. All too often I have been dogpiled by friends of friends to the extent that I don’t feel safe discussing anything with them. So sometimes I bring the discussion over to my own page, where I know that my friends are civil and can discuss without being ugly.

This image is a case in point –

The idea of “we can agree to disagree” is the topic – but note the derogatory term from the lady on the right. The use of the word “bitch” immediately changes the conversation into something hostile.

I had two friends who consider themselves to be activists (both white) who grew very upset about this post, saying that my focusing on the language of the lady on the right is more concerning.

I said that “Change will not happen by insulting, silencing, or cancelling people.”

The one who had originally posted the image said “I think you’re missing the woods for the tree here. And I don’t appreciated being subposted on your timeline to make a point.”

She was trying to shame me to remove it, which I did. But I also unfriended and blocked her. The post was not her creation, nor did I tag her in it. It was not connected to her. So I don’t understand how she could be upset.

However, she proved my point. It is impossible to discuss anything of meaning these days.

Another former friend finally admitted that she had no desire to educate people who had less-progressive ideas. (Translation: agree with her.)  Her activism consists of quickly and vigorously telling people they are wrong. She has no desire to change people’s hearts and minds or actually break down barriers. She just wants to be angry.

I was surprised how virulent their friends were towards me when I would ask a question about something she had posted on her page. But, that is her page, so her choice.  I chose not to discuss anything on her page.  But then she started arguing with my friends on my page and I asked her not to.  She complied and limited her arguments to just me.

After a while it became interesting to note how quickly she would argue with anything controversial that I posted.  Guaranteed within 10 minutes she would protest and tell me how wrong I was. She would rarely comment on anything else.

Please understand: I am for polite disagreement.  I am not for arguing and being talked down to.  I finally realized she had zero desire to educate – it was simply all about arguing and calling out.  I feel that kind of activism is counter-productive. It can actually cause someone who was on the fence to become radical.

I have considered myself a liberal, but these days I’m not so sure. I’ve been attacked by liberals in their effort to be “woke”. And if you don’t use whatever the current New Speak term to talk about an issue, you are demonized.

Soon we will all be in echo chambers of our own creation, where we are surrounded by people who think just like we do. There will be no growth.

Imagine, instead, remaining friends with someone who thinks differently from you but is still open to conversation. You will continue to have a chance to influence them. But if you silence them, they will most likely become more racist or homophobic, or any other “-ist” or “-ic” you can think of.

It is a mark of maturity to be able to discuss topics from different viewpoints without insulting each other. Otherwise no one will ever develop informed and mature opinions. And it is also very likely that someone who might have been an ally could become an opponent from being badly treated.

Please note: I have not named anyone or given details about them. There is nothing to indicate who I am talking about. Demanding that I remove this post (this has happened to me before, so I’m not being paranoid) is censorship.