Keyboard Warriors
April 12, 2020

The Vigilante Culture on Social Media

There can be a certain level of trial by social media in some of the groups I’m following. I’m particularly talking about the responses in the wake of Coronavirus.

Keyboard warrior

Someone posts something along the lines of:
– People aren’t social distancing (but I am)
– People are stock piling (but I’m not)
– Free magazines are a health risk (am I the only one observing the rules?)
– It’s terrible people aren’t clapping the NHS on Thursdays (but I am)

What then seems to follow is a pile-up of responses. Some people try to out-do the original post with their stories of woe. Whilst others muscle in keyboard warrior style to prove the original post-writer wrong.

I’m no angel. I’ve sat in front of my keyboard and typed furiously (then deleted furiously) then typed some more and then either deleted it and walked away – or sometimes rather than delete I’ve pressed ‘post’. You see at some point I think we’re all guilty as charged.

We’ve all got sucked into a narrative and reacted from a place of anger, agreement, outrage, self-righteousness … and so the list goes on.

Are there rules for engagement on Facebook or Twitter?

Rather than providing social-media rules for engagement I’d like to offer an understanding of what is going on.

1. When we read someone’s post and it appears to be accusatory or threatening, then that means the author was feeling insecure or scared at the time of writing it. It doesn’t mean that they are a bigot, wrong, stupid or selfish.

2. When we find ourselves ‘reacting’ to a post from a place of being indignant or angry, then that’s a sign. It’s a reminder that we’ve temporarily lost sight of our True Nature. It’s not a sign of how wrong, unkind or unfriendly the other person is.

3. When we respond to someone’s insecurity from our insecurity then we will fan the flames further. It’s very rare to see someone back down, or graciously stand aside from a sharp-worded retort.

4. When we respond from a space of groundedness and connection then we won’t be attached to the result, we will have expressed ourselves from our true self.

In summary

Our feelings are only letting us know one thing; they are letting us know whether we are aligned with the energy of True Nature or not..

If we are responding from a space of compassion or love that is our True Nature.

If we are operating from our separate self we’ll feel anger, annoyance and frustration.

What are your thoughts about this? Do you agree or disagree? I’d love to hear your views.

2 Comments

  1. Maggie Cameron

    Very well put Liz. Something seems to be going on whereby the other person is only posting about something already in my current thinking. At the moment that my ego for want of a better word clocks it it is already mine, ie experienced only through my thoughts. So in some way the poster is kind of irrelevant and I am talking to myself. Maybe I could be a bit kinder to myself! So any tit for tat I get into feels like self harm to me, followed by a cascade of self ciritisism for doing it.

    Reply
  2. Peter Hirst

    It’s all thought so better to be neutral and just do what seems sensible or at least hold the response lightly.

    Reply

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About Inner Compass

Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are trainers, coaches and speakers. They work with individuals and groups across the UK. They also help develop coaching cultures (founded on wellbeing) within schools and organisations.

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