Submitted by greatprocrastinationgodsledyouto
Submitted by greatprocrastinationgodsledyouto
There’s a dog at work today who is a real life deviantart oc. He’s a border collie with long blonde 90s surfer dude bangs and it’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen since I started this job.
Nature is a wonder.
I was being 100% serious.
heres the thing: i really, honestly think that if youre an adult and youre going to inform a child that their opinion on something is harmful on tumblr
there is literally no excuse for doing it in the form of a reblog. message them privately if you absolutely feel that it is necessary for you to engage them and that you can conduct yourself in an appropriate and gentle way
i dont think its appropriate to publicly correct a young teenager or pre-teen, especially one who you do not have any kind of a relationship with, especially in a way that shames them and exposes their mistakes to a wider adult audience
like this is honestly the minimum expectation and i thought expecting adults not to gang up on teenagers was setting the bar pretty low but you guys keep doing it over and over again
Okay, so I’m reblogging this because of reasons and I am not sure they are good reasons, but I feel it merits a response.
And originally the response was going to be to explain why I disagreed, but I have started thinking about it, and I’m seeing a problem, which is that there are multiple goals people usually have when reblogging things to comment on them, and some of them are absolutely going to require reblogging, and some will be rendered impractical through reblogging.
But your post here has caused me to realize something that I either didn’t know or hadn’t thought about.
Let me tell you, first, that as a person who frequently reblogs (with corrections) things that are harmful, without a moment’s consideration as to whether they’re written by teens or not: It had never even occurred to me to consider this to be a kind of shaming. Seriously. It just wouldn’t have occurred to me. Exposing mistakes, well, sort of. But that’s exactly why people tend to do things as reblogs; because they want to comment on how a thing is harmful, so that other people doing that harmful thing can see that explanation.
I don’t think there’s any intention of “ganging up” involved. Indeed, the only times I’ve seen things like this result in “ganging up”, it’s been when a bunch of the teenagers get mad and all start sending anon hate to someone. And I think the perception of ganging up on, and the perception of shaming, are both tied to a thing which I have not been adequately considering:
Teenagers will typically interpret a lot of interactions very differently than adults would interpret the same interactions.
Most adults wouldn’t even remotely consider someone reblogging them to argue with them to be “ganging up on them” or “shaming”. Okay, maybe people in their early 20s. Past that, though, no. We are all aware that people tend to respond publically because if the original thing, which was harmful, is public, and there are no public rebuttals, that will be interpreted as a public endorsement — no one has a problem with this, or else they’d have said something.
And that brings me to the observation that: Yes, there is an excuse. There is in fact a compelling reason. But it may not be a strong enough reason to overcome the fact that teenagers tend to be thinking about these things a lot differently, and the public response may make it impossible for them to even consider the merits of the claim, because they are too busy being on the defensive.
But I think it is, and I’d like to explain why, with a nice concrete example. A while back, one of the teenagers who sends people anon hate was writing about how it’s “gross” to tell people to kill themselves, but telling them to “just die” is totally okay. This is actually not a meaningful distinction, and it turns out both of those are pretty horrible. So I wrote back with a pretty long and detailed post on the topic of why it’s actually a big deal, and why the people telling you not to do that are not just “overreacting” or whatever. And one of my friends reblogged that, and added a long story about what it was like when her cousin committed suicide, and what the aftermath is like, well over a year later.
And she got an anon message from someone, who had actually been planning to kill themselves, and then they read that, and they realized that they did not want to do that to their friends and family, so they were not going to do that now. And that doesn’t mean that exactly one person was dissuaded; it means that one person who was dissuaded felt strongly enough about it being related to a specific post to tell the author of that post.
Which is to say, those public responses have huge effects on many people other than the teenager being reblogged. And I totally get that this may not matter much to the person being reblogged, because they’re mostly thinking about themselves and how they look and whether they’re being shamed or accepted or whatever. And that’s not a shameful thing, that’s a phase of personal growth that basically everyone has to go through to develop into healthy adults. But while it’s not a shameful thing, it’s also a thing that is going to be really unpleasant sometimes, and sometimes people are going to have to say “look, it sucks that this is going to hurt you, but I need to protect people from harm and your ego is in the way right now.”
I think you make a good point, though, that if people really want to convince a given person, public commentary is unlikely to do it. And I think people should be at least more aware of the fact that teenagers are generally not going to think about the other audience you might be writing to except in terms of how that other audience will view them.
I drew this skeleton on one of the tablets at Best Buy and I made it the wallpaper