More and more, I look beyond my own world to find meaning in the big picture, the whys behind the chaos and the presumed purpose of some of the actions I find wicked. We in the ASD world talk about bullies and bullying all the time, for surely we are often the innocent prey to awful predators. But it dawns on me that we are far from alone in being an underdog. In fact, I wonder if every human everywhere isn't vulnerable to something or someone's wrath or self-righteous sense of 'justice' that spits in the face of all that is good and reasonable.
The decent into sadness can slide into our hearts so very easily. Tears drip. Smiles rip. The body aches. Drugs and booze twinkle until they have your full attention, and your soul. Memories of good times tip toe away as the dark ones steal the light. Depression. It is a hungry beast.
Listen closely, humankind, and you may hear the dangerous Despair and his powerful roar. Watch vigilantly, friends, taking care to notice if the sparkle in someone's eyes fades to dim. Know that the allure of a forever escape can take hold more strongly than all the love in the world can comfort. Get help for those who are in pain, for they may not have the strength to save themselves.
~ In memory of Robin Williams, a lovely comedian and divine actor who’s suffering was only briefly stifled by the laughter he spread. ~
#robinwilliams #RIProbinwilliams #depression #saveafriend
The linguistic professor part of me is absolutely certain social media is making life for many of us on the spectrum far more complicated and troublesome than it needs to be. In addition to the cyber bullying that is taking place at warp speed, the simple communications end of the cyber world is creating a vortex where in a new language is arising. This language of new spellings, phrase short cuts, and the lack of much background information around which we can build reliable context, is leaving many of us to assume someone meant one thing in a social media exchange, when in fact, they they meant something all together different. This creates the possibility for a combustible reality that is creating a whole new force of bullies and hurt feelings and loneliness via cyber space.
People from all walks of life are committing suicide over cyber bullying. This is nothing new, but add in a dose of an ASD and we have an even hotter mess on our hands. So what can we do? Social media is here for the very long run...probably forever. I think this means we really have to change our way of thinking when it comes to our take on basic communicating. First and foremost, we'd best all grow some thick skin,try not to take offense so easily, learn to forgive quickly, and leave lots of doors open for a period of "wait, what did you really mean to say?" or "did I understand you to imply or say...". In other words, we must train ourselves not to rely on our first interpretation of what we receive through social media.
Just as we with AS learn the regular social norms and rules, boom- here comes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, Youtube, Vine, Snapchat (and those are just at the beginning of the online social world!). Now we absolutely must learn a whole new set of language rules with even less context clues to go on. As we endeavor to learn the new rules, I'm hopeful we learn to relax, stay calm and carry on with optimism. In summary...Research the social media outlet you're interested in, before you engage with it. Don't assume the worst. Ask for elaborated explanations before engaging in a debate or discussion you may be misunderstanding without even knowing it. And never ever forget, social media and the people who use it cannot hurt you if you refuse to let them do so. Oh for sure, words and insults and bad photos or embarrassing moments caught on tape, can damage the psyche and self-esteem, but you get to control how you react. My dad used to say, "Let insults flow off your back like water flows off a duck's back." Make that motto your mantra. But if things get really bad, find someone to help you sort out the icky stuff you may well find on social media.