Thursday, June 14, 2018

The sounds of silence

Recently, my wife mentioned started my blog 10 years ago. She also noticed but I have not really bloggod for months and months. That is completely true.

I start my blog to keep track of memories of our son. My blog changed focused years ago when I had my strokes. 

Since my stroke 6 1/2 years ago, I’ve tried to write about my stroke experience. Honestly, gotten feedback that I should just "get over it." It is time to move on. 

 

At the same time, I was subjected to Internet trolls. For a while I thought about fighting back, because I am a middle aged white male, my opinions don’t really matter because I am "privileged."

A year ago when I was confronted with Internet trolls, I had to find a definition:

"A troll will use shock value to promote arguments in conversations, commonly in Facebook threads and in public online discussions. Named after the wicked troll creatures of children's tales, an internet troll is someone who stirs up drama and abuses their online anonymity by purposely sowing hatred, bigotry, racism, misogyny, or just simple bickering between others."

This is a really good definition. However, my Internet trolls were not anonymous. These trolls blatantly called me out for my opinion.

The reaction was swift and horrifying. Responding to a friend’s social media post, I suggested that her words would hurt her reputation. It was a very benign post.

In response, I was subjected to disgusting Internet troll. Laced with profanity, the bottom line was my opinion doesn’t matter at all because I am "A white privileged middle-aged male." Therefore my opinions don’t matter.

I endured the trolls for a while. I actually thought that some of the comments were pretty funny because the trolls are so hypocritical. I found it ironic when women would tell me that I was mansplaining. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Here is my new term: "womanspaining."


But it did not stop.

Therefore, I took a pause on social media for a couple of weeks and now months.  I used the time to reflect on the situation. I thought about my own biases. 

I do completely understand that I am pretty lucky because I have not had to deal with a lot of prejudice in my life. 

I also started to research social media privacy settings. I only use Facebook and Twitter. I researched those settings to make sure that I felt safe online.  

I deleted hundreds and hundreds of so-called followers and friends. I made sure that I had strict protocols and privacy settings.

And finally, despite all of this, I still feel that my views don’t matter anymore. Throughout my life, tried to be a good person and to be fair to all. But I am again I am a middle-aged white male so I am to privileged unless progressives agree with me. 

I do know the strokes cause emotions to change. Maybe I am too sensitive or too paranoid.

But I will try to blog again. But I do feel that my opinion is not valid anymore.


1 comment:

Rebecca Dutton said...

As a stroke survivor I am distressed to read that you think what you say doesn't matter. I read your posts and look forward to your successes and learning how you have handled challenges. My successes and challenges are different, but it is encouraging to read that another stroke survivor has created a life worth living. P.S. If you want me to take the link to your blog off the sidebar of my blog let me know.