Encountering Toxicity Online| #WWRRM


This post will have my third day’s submission of black&white photography at the end. Although I don’t have the heart or faith in humanity to include more of the photos in color that came out of today’s shoot (I will try and do some of this this weekend instead), I am going to try and set this post up as best as I can.

There is only one person in the world whose actions and behaviors we can control and that is each of ourselves. We can’t control what people think of us, what judgments they make of us based on our appearance or skin color or outfit, what they think our lives are like based on how many followers we have on social media or the happy photos we share publicly with the world while hiding away the fights, the insecurities and the technical or romantic difficulties.

We can only control what we say, do and act in response to them.

Fact: not everybody is going to like you.

Fact: you’re not going to love everybody around you.

Also fact:

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it” – Charles R. Swindoll

We cannot control the words others speak, the triggers we encounter in the free world, the memories it brings up for us or how tumultuous the emotions that arise in us feel.

What we can control, what really matters, is how we choose to respond to these issues.

No, if you get triggered it’s not your fault. No, if you get offended by X when everyone else is seemingly offended by Y doesn’t make you “wrong” or “right”, “good” or “bad”.

We react to what we react to. Our perspectives are colored by our pasts, our experiences leading up to that moment in time, to how others have interacted with us before and who we may encounter in the future.

I like to think I think of the best in people. I believe in spreading kindness and positivity, of being kind and compassionate and empathetic.

But not every person in humanity is like that.

Some people are cruel, some people want to watch the world burn–and they even ENJOY it. Some people are toxic. Some people are rude. Some people are crude and cruel.

Some people aren’t at all worth your or my own time. Some people just aren’t worth it. What we have to do is tackle each new problem with a clear, WISE mind (ideally), and just try our best, because that really can be enough.

It is in no way easy, and the Internet, especially, can be a cruel and unforgiving place. But we won’t just encounter rude or insensitive pricks on the Internet but in real life as well. Some people don’t believe mental health is a reality. Some people believe in conspiracies. Some people think the Earth is still flat.

We won’t reach everyone with our message, with our stories, with our kindness, with our best interests and others’ best interests in mind.

We can’t necessarily control who we come into contact with on a day to day basis–whether that’s passing by a stranger at the train station or scrolling through your feed. Some people in our encounters will be the worst of humanity rolled up into one person (or if you’re unlucky, multiple people).

And, in a way, that is okay.

Because again, we can only truly control ourselves. So where you can, limit your contact with these “fishers”, people who try to drag you down and are toxic or abusive towards you. Be firm, respectful and end the conversation when it starts to get out of hand. Online we have the option to block or ignore–not every message is worthy of a response from us let alone our time and energy. So where you can, choose to let go. And choose to self-care and do what’s best for you–like writing a blog post about people and the Internet.

We won’t be able to change everyone’s opinions, and maybe, maybe that’s never been the point.

What does matter is reaching those individuals out there in the world and online who matter, who care deeply, who love fully, who are innocent and need protecting. Not necessarily by us “heroes” but to teach them how to save themselves. Because that’s a skill we could all use in our lives more–knowing how to become our very own heroes.

People will come and shit on your campfire sometimes. Some days, they’ll stick their turds onto sticks and try to sell it as a smelly s’mores. Our choice is to consider the source and evaluate whether we need to respond publicly to this person or whether we can handle the situation more privately or even not at all. Because again, we don’t have to answer someone if we don’t want to.

I know it’s tough. It is. And while there may be people in your corner trying to rip through your tent and steal your undies, I promise you that there are people out there who care about you, who want the best for you, who want you to know that you are loved, you are important, that what you’re going through is valid, that you matter, and that people DO care about you, no matter what bullshittery is being fed to you by the shit stickers and the devil behind your eyes.

Your pain is real, your story isn’t over yet, you have a life worth living.

It’s up to you how you face the obstacles.

Choosing strength could inspire hundreds. It’s not about how many times or how far you’ve fallen–it’s about the triumphs of refusing to give up and to carry on another day. When you need to, just take a break from the Internet or from those toxic people in your day to day life. You don’t need that extra pile of shit. And you don’t deserve it.

Ultimately: be kind, be safe, and realize it’s more of a character projection of them than it is on you. We won’t always know why life hands us those shit sticks, or why we attract certain people into our worlds. And maybe it doesn’t matter why at all. Maybe it’s just about how we grow from those experiences. To know when we’re facing criticism rather than solid blocks of hate. It’s no truly peaceful world out there, yet we can choose who we surround ourselves with in some respects and the little tight-knit communities we create in our corners. It may never block out the shadows completely but maybe it’s just about finding the light and the stars to guide us home.

Stay safe.

Much love and light to you all. ❤ ❤ ❤

Today’s chosen black&white photograph (with more details and shots to come this weekend):

IMG_9726 - Copy

The color shots really do wonders for this shoot, but I think the black&white suits this photo well too.

This shoot involved this blue intricate dish, my peacock necklace, and a lot of bokeh from the necklace and the light hitting the bowl (which I will likely use as future background bokeh images). I also got a few shots of Mokeys too.

I will try to have more updates and better, lighter topics this weekend.

Good night!