Is truth too much to ask ?

It’s beginning to feel in the world today that whatever you speak up about you will be criticised. A world where we are supposed to be more educated, more aware seems a lot more narrow minded than before. The live and let live attitude is lost under the intense noise of keyboard shouters and newsfeed want to be’s. Sectors of the media saying what it wants without fact checking, it seems asking forgiveness is better than permission.

I truly love that marginalised communities are being heard, not finding their voices, they have always had them but actually being heard. Yet the anger and hate directed towards them is hard to watch ( I’m privileged I know). 

I know it’s wishful thinking that the core of who we are is what will be celebrated, that our differences are special, but our hearts, our souls are ultimately the same, one source, one love.

Yet with this wide reaching social media the world seems louder and crueller. The hate that was hidden in shadows is now out in the light, radicalism is greater than ever. Telling people who they should be, what they should believe and how they should look is now classified as freedom of speech, our right. Do we really have a right to be cruel to be destructive, to harm others?  Morally and it should be legally not. We don’t have the right to destroy another, to mock, to insult, too troll.

From princes to not princesses the world has an opinion yet under the noise their are people. People that hurt, people that cry, people that die due to the words shared openly and cruelly. 

I follow the criteria of “don’t write what you would not say to someone’s face” it’s simple but it’s true. Would I impact another with my words if they stood there in front of me, would I mock their child, would I slander their reputation? Would I openly insult their lives, be racist, be sexist, be cruel if their eyes could see mine?

Let’s be honest I hope I wouldn’t do any of these things anyway but you get the point.

Social media and the news seem to be full of opinions but no facts. It’s crazy that our newspaper articles have not fact checking their sources. Is this true, did this happen, was this the reason? When I studied journalism at college I was told “do not speculate” I wonder if today’s course’s state “write the most explosive story ever and fact check it later”. The amount of lives I’ve seen ruined by guilty by public persecution and the media only for the criminal trial to prove innocent. 

Lives ruined by headlines often not true.

Yet why is this still allowed, why do we still read the headlines, why do we still click the links?

What worries me is those being lost in the noise, those whose voices that should be heard . Those making a difference in the lives of others, those in need of help. Lost in the noise of ego, hate and more ego.

How do you change the overflowing tirade of misinformation and false opinion? Should we close ourselves off from the internet, stop writing, stop reading? 

I don’t think so,  I just feel a two strand approach is needed. Firstly the law does need to change, anyone causing harm, being abusive online should follow the same rules as in real life. If something abused you in real life they would be prosecuted so being behind a keyboard does not make you less destroying. 

Secondly I think as a society we need to be holding our media to account. Headlines should be truth not fiction, the law should be holding those in power accountable. I want to read my news and read an unbiased evidenced based truth not speculation.

I just really want change, social media especially has become such a big part of peoples lives, yet if we are going to allow the words of others to impact our perceptions please let those words be truth. 

Is this too much to ask? 

Be true 

Transparency how I love this word, yes I may have mentioned this before but I just cannot help it, it actually may be one of my favourite words. I celebrate that what you see is what you get and I want that for me, I want that to be me. 

For a long time I have felt like I was living life at 60% hiding away for so long, hiding from my emotions being embarrassed by my empathetic nature. I am now finally embracing my transparency and loving life a hell of a lot more.

Does this get me into trouble ? At times maybe , but being open and honest matters, it’s allowing my soul the freedom that it sorely needs. 

I don’t want people in my life to not to know what I think of them, how much I love, cherish and admire them. I don’t want to wish for second chances or to cry over missed opportunities. I want to die empty with nothing held back. 

I often think of Livvy and her transparency, anyone who was with Livvy knew exactly how she was feeling, happy or sad. If Livvy loved you she made sure you knew it. Her eyes, her smile surrounding you in the warmth of true love. The flip side being if she wasn’t keen she also let you know that too. The looks that little madam could give you well, it’s lucky some didn’t turn into stone. I will never forget one doctor turning to the nurses after prodding her with needles for way to long and saying “I don’t think she likes me” the nurses burst into laughter because Livvy had made her opinion clear I mean from turning her back to him to refusing to look up when he was near. She was totally transparent and I loved her for it. 

It’s this need for openness and truth that is leaving me struggling right now. When the country seems to be changing in front of my eyes. People I have known or thought I knew having opinions that seriously shock me. Statements of pure hate coming from those I though were about love. 

Yes I can accept that the country is scared  the right wing propaganda is blaming immigrants for everything. Hey I burnt my toast this morning, blooming immigrants,  but this blame game isn’t one of truth.

People are falling for the lies, the blatant misdirection of the corrupt. Blame these people whilst we screw you over as you look the other way.

Yet we aren’t all gullible, at times I think we know we are being sold a pile of horse poo but it’s easier to blame that it is to fight. To stand up against the hate and say enough. 

It’s the hiding in shadows that is tearing at my heart right now. When the people in power are playing egotistical games with the vulnerable. When winning points is more important than saving lives. 

I’m craving for transparency, for the curtains to fall away and the whole stage to be seen. 

It’s time for a change. 

This world needs transparency and it also needs accountability, another rather wonderful word. 

People need to be accountable for their actions, their words, their decisions, their votes. 

Imagine a world where you had to be accountable for every decision you made.

For every word your spoke.

For every action you took or didn’t take.

I truly think the world would be a different place. 

A place where people thought before they spoke. 

Deliberated before they acted.

This world would be a kinder place.

We would have a more loving world. 

And a hell of a lot more happiness and laughter. 

Live life full, live life transparent and live life true. 

Stop and think before you publish

Sometimes I wonder about this world of social media and question if the reality of it is actually a good thing.

Yes we can communicate a lot faster and over oceans and continents. No more waiting for the postman to arrive or for telegraphs to be sent.

Yes we can open our circle of friends a lot wider and learn so much more than ever. Be part of support groups or fan clubs that we would never have managed before.

But like everything it life it has a contrast.

Words can be spurred easily from behind a computer screen.

Words that maybe people would think twice about saying in person are now flown out across Facebook pages, twitter and so much more.

Sometimes yes those words can and are used to lift people up but as I have been finding recently they are more often used to tear others down.

Now I am not saying each and everyone is entitled to there own opinion but I always go by the presumption of innocence before guilty.

Yet the mob mentality that is becoming part of this virtual world seems to be leaving this behind.

Children are being bullied to their deaths. They are hounded by those they know but also by those who have jumped into a thread or comment line for fun.

Lives are being ruined by malicious gossip that once written can never be removed.

Trolls are invading people’s minds and hearts for little more than a reaction.

I remember years ago reading accounts of trials by media and the consequences that was often brought about by them. Now it’s trial by social media.

I know many of you may be thinking that we still have liability laws for protection, but let’s be honest a tweet, an email, a video can now go viral in minutes.

Liability after the fact is still to little to late.

Damage control can only go so far.

Once it’s out there you CANNOT get it back.

Now I’m not saying lets boycott all the social media sites, I’m not saying this at all. In fact it’s well known I am a lover of social media sites and you will find me spending many hours on them. They have helped me share my story, meet new people and even been (are) my support network.

What I am saying is we all need to have accountability.

Let us know the full story before we write that tweet or post that update.

Let us be aware of the full picture before we join in on a witch hunt or a bullying episode and to be honest let’s not anyway.

Lets be sure of what position we hold before we like a post or retweet a tweet.

You may not have written the words yourself but you endorse them with your promotion.

Have your own opinion before you validate another’s.

Lets be accountable.

It isn’t easy and as a social media lover I don’t want there to be restrictions to the use of social networks but what I do want is there to be quick and severe consequences for those who abuse it.

I do want protection in place for our children who have yet to learn the savagery of the real world or the true consequences of their actions.

This isn’t about the squashing our freedom of speech.

We are all entitled to our own opinions but we also have to be able to stand by them.

Speak the truth

Know your heart

Before you touch that keyboard.

Be accountable

I know do.

Do you?

“Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.”
― Warren W. Wiersbe