Back when I first dipped my toes in the digital waters, I found myself playing a role as a system operator on a platform called CompuServe. How? Through an industry association I was active in.
I discovered different online groups, and unknowingly became a community manager before it was mainstream. Behind the screen, I learned about human nature, started discussions, sparked ideas. We didn’t have followers, likes or emojis, but we had real conversations. Real talk.
We couldn’t share links then—the Internet was still in diapers. We were the CompuServe pioneers who explored an uncharted digital world, even meeting in person at international conferences.
Being a community manager wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, though. Despite rules, some people used the platform as a battlefield for their personal issues. It was a new reality exposing human behavior.
CompuServe was later eaten up by AOL, a platform more focused on consumer broadcasting. The genuine connection and conversation were lost. Enter social media, boasting emojis, followers, influencers. Quantity over quality. These platforms revealed the bullying and polarization lurking in society’s shadows.
I recently shared a post on Facebook, fully aware of a certain angry man who would inevitably lash out because it was a pattern. Sure enough, he threw stones with angry words that were never meant for me. Because he doesn’t really know me. His anger blinds him to the fact that I don’t believe in idolizing heroes or gurus. My dream is a world where we understand leadership comes from within, not from others.
I suggested he unfriend me if I upset him, wishing him peace instead of anger. No response.
Inner peace is within our grasp. It takes work and mindfulness. It begins when we refuse to let anyone tint our world with their colors.
There will always be people who may be toxic to us. We can’t change that. But ww are in charge of our reactions. Instead of entering someone’s inner hell, we can respond with kindness rather than engaging in unnecessary banter.
Yes, I felt a tinge of sadness, not for pity’s sake, but a realization. The divisions in our world blind us, preventing us from seeing what’s truly there.
As Jim Morrison puts it, people fear their feelings, especially pain. But pain isn’t evil, it’s a wake-up call. How we carry it, matters. If we hide it out of shame, we let society destroy our reality.
So let’s not hide. Let’s face our pain, our feelings, our reality. It’s not about the hurt, it’s about how we carry it. Kindness and compassion are ways of life. And we choose to be real or silent. We can fight or choose a path of healing.
We all feel the push to stop tolerating any form of negativity from others. No more accepting, enduring, enabling, co-depending, or complying. When we compromise our truth, we lose our strength. As we peel away the false layers of illusion, we begin to breath.
Now, it’s time to be true to ourselves, not accepting any negativity that tries to seep into our lives. And it’s ok to release whatever or whoever needs to be left by the wayside
I await the day when true social networks and healthy communities connect us in dialogue and creation, uniting us based on our genuine interests and values; where we can truly simply be ourselves.