As if it wasn’t enough this morning to read the heartbreaking parting words of Hugo Schwyzer as he said his goodbyes to online writing for now after finally being beaten hard enough that he has conceded defeat, deciding to finally bow out and say his goodbyes. To quote the wording in his post, “I’ve been more sinned against than sinning,”
I then read this heart wrenching farewell written by another woman, Hadassah Margolese from Beit Shemesh, who has put her soul and her words online with the intent of trying to help people, make changes and get her message across. She seems too, to have lost her will to be out there, if only temporarily, in her current place of residence, as she bowed out gracefully, devastated, sharing her sentiments in her goodbye post, not being able to take the verbal abuse and humiliation anymore that she has endured over the past few months. Her biggest crime being that she wrote honestly and sincerely about a topic that was not exactly what the Rabbi ordered hoping to help others who feel like her. Her feelings of being gossiped about and humiliated seemed to be attributed to, but not exclusive to, the city she was living in and hopefully with her move to a new city, she will be motivated to continue on her journey as she sees fit.
I learned once that causing someone embarrassment is a sin that is comparable to spilling their blood since the mere fact that the blood flows into their cheeks causing them to blush is a terrible transgression indeed.
When someone sits in the protective nature of their home or work space and starts to type out a message, a prayer, a thought or an idea and then they click on the “publish” button, they get that overwhelming feeling of simultaneous relief and fear, not really knowing where this post will take them or what the backlash will be.
Investigative reporter Shea Allen was fired yesterday for writing a post called “Confessions of a Red Headed Reporter” which apparently her boss at WAAY thought was way too candid for them. They still haven’t commented as to what their reasoning was but the fact remains that she walked the walk and is now paying the online media price.
Seems almost unbelievable to think that only yesterday I had a discussion online with some of my fellow bloggers about how we writers try hard to ensure that we are protective of those we love, that we assess what our risks are before publishing, that we know whom and what we fear and that we still somehow manage to miraculously get a piece of writing out there that we are glad and proud to have our names on.
This social media equivalent to road rage is all about people’s ability to call names, humiliate and abuse others online, while feeling protected in the comfort of their protective virtual shell. Not having to face the person makes people act abusively and down right mean.
This abuse has got to stop and I for one can only say “I am truly sorry. We will continue to fight for the right to express ourselves candidly and honestly.”