For any of those familiar with my past work or essays this may sound like quite a familiar sentiment.
I used to run a site about the internet. Weird things people would publish on the internet, strange groups created on the internet or mysterious things that could only happen because of the internet. I also railed against social media quite a bit.
Of course, the irony was never lost on me as I consistently utilized social media to promote my own essays highlighting the perils of humanity and our society’s crumbling mental health. Which I’m sure I will do the same with this very piece as well, to reach the broadest audience I can to inform them of a few simple key things about how I work and feel.
1.) YOU DON’T OWE ME ANYTHING
There are plenty of people I follow on WordPress and Instagram that I support for different reasons. Some bloggers – I love their material. I’m simply interested in what they write about. Others the opposite. I follow an anime blog and I don’t really watch anime but the way the writer carefully crafts their work I enjoy. I’ve learned a lot about how to blog from reading different blogs managed by far superior writers than myself. Others I just follow and support because I like the people behind the sites. I like being in the digital company of funny, intellectual people.
So I do my best to support or encourage other bloggers when I can. It’s not much but I try. But do ANY of these people owe me for my support? Absolutely not. That’s the whole fucking point of supporting someone. 😂 You don’t go in supporting someone on your own volition and expect something out of them. It’s not a transaction.
With that said:
2.) I DONT OWE YOU ANYTHING
Yes, of course I appreciate support and encouragement from friends and members of the blogging community and I do like to entertain readers but I am not a performer. You didn’t hire me. You’re not paying me. You have every right to unfollow or block me as much as I have every right to tell you to, “Fuck off”.
I have always been an open person and get along easily with most everyone. But there are a few online trends of the past ten years now that I just can’t stand. And I’ve seen good, decent people fall into these lazy interactions: Taking up the role of the Socio-Media Victim.
Now there are some things I think just about everyone can agree we don’t agree with/won’t tolerate online. Anything racist or homophobic/transphobic is bullshit. It’s 2021. This shit should have been eradicated decades ago.
But social media victimization is not caused by legitimate threats, bullying, racism or harassment. It comes from someone telling you what they don’t find funny and why you’re wrong for saying or posting it.
The Socio-Media Victim (or SMV) will scroll through all of their social media feeds looking for the dumbest hill to die on that day. It’s not enough to see something stupid and continue scrolling. No, this must be addressed. And it will also be absolutely irrefutable – impossible to argue – because whatever unbelievably benign subject the funny meme or clip addressed – the social media victim has been suffering horribly from in silence. UNTIL THIS VERY MOMENT – WHERE THE MADNESS MUST STOP – THEY MUST TAKE A STAND.
THE SOCIO-MEDIA VICTIM PARADOX
Say someone shares a meme online of little to no consequence. It’s a stupid joke that features an illustration of someone holding their head indicating a headache. It’s vague and dumb but innocent enough.
99% of people who didn’t snort at it keep scrolling. Others even unfollow. But then a special type of person comes around: The SMV – The Socio-Media Victim.
The SMV has seen this meme and has become irate. The SMV has had a headache in the past. They might l even suffer from chronic migraines that can be debilitating. This illustration invalidates all of their pain. How could this person post this so thoughtlessly? How could they post a meme before thinking of every single person on Earth? How could they post something of absolutely no consequence without considering how the SMV feels??
But herein lies the SMV Paradox:
How does the SMV know that the original poster of the meme doesn’t suffer from chronic migraines as well? How do they know that the same image triggered a response with the original poster as well – making them think of their own migraines but the way they cope with their pain is through humor. Does the SMV realize that by attacking the original poster they are now invalidating others? Do they realize they have became the same undermining imbecile they were rallying against?
No. They don’t consider this. Do you want to know why?
Because it was never about anyone else but them to begin with. They were not grandstanding for everyone who suffers from headaches. They were pitching a fit for attention.
No apologies are owed to the socio-media victim. The only thing that is owed to the SMV is from themselves – they owe it to themselves to find a new hobby.
Give me food, money, beer or kill me: https://ko-fi.com/colinsik
If for some reason you’d like to read more of my thoughts or follow me on social media or my website: https://linktr.ee/BuffaloRetro
10 thoughts on “The Socio-Media Victim Paradox”
I’ve never heard it called SMV, but I can feel you on this. This is really how I blog and read other blogs ~ I post what I want, and people can like it or not. I read what I want, and if I ever get really tired of it, instead of claiming victimhood I just unfollow and move on. That’s actually how the internet functioned pre-2012 or so.
I once “offended” someone by using the word kid (as in, “So-and-so artist, I love this kid’s music!”) and ever since I’m just my normal self and not worry much about the pearl-clutching, butt clenching crowd 🤷 If “kid” offends them, then I don’t know what to think.
I have done no research on it but I’m just going to blindly claim to have invented the term 😂 😅
I’m with you though. Old school internet. If I don’t like it who cares? I turn it off. 🤷🏻♂️
That’s simply not enough anymore for some.
And the “kid” comment is funny. I’ve always used the term, “kid” affectionately as well. Literally anyone younger than me that I like 😂
Silly to be offended by that
I’m still scratching my head about that kid thing… Old school internet was the wild west. It was a lot of fun, too. Hahaha
I considered all the ways to respond to this, and I decided to write a response here because it might actually make some people less ignorant about people with chronic illness and disabilities.
Hi, I’m the person this post is aimed at.
I’m not a “socio-media victim”, I’m a real person who lives with 7 chronic illnesses every day and yes, you do owe me something. You owe me the same respect and lack of prejudice you claim in your second point. You sit here claiming you’ll not stand for racism and homophobia yet you spout ableist garbage and laugh at memes about people in pain.
This entire post is basically you trying to claim you’re a good guy and then making an excuse for your bad behaviour. “It’s not me, it’s them.” You’ve even looked up (or by the looks of it, created for your own purposes) a dodgy psychological term to try to make yourself seem more credible.
Speaking up about ableism is not about attention-seeking, the fact that you think actually consider that to be true shows how ignorant you are. Would you say to a non-white person, sorry I don’t want to hear about racism, you’re just attention-seeking? No. The fact that you think someone with chronic health conditions is automatically attention-seeking is one of the biggest problems people with invisible illnesses face.
But it’s good to know you’re mature enough to talk to someone face to face when they do something you don’t like.
While your repeated responses to things I have posted on my own personal accounts did inspire me to discuss this social media phenomenon, it’s not a personal attack. It’s something I have noticed for years. Twitter is notorious for it. If Twitter were a sport, users would wear a jacket listing every single disability, sickness, illness and bad thing that’s ever happened to them because our internet society somewhere decided it makes you more interesting.
I don’t doubt that you live in chronic pain and if I had an antidote to help you live a pain free life, I’d give it to ya. No problem. But I don’t. And by acting like me posting a meme about a stomach ache – something everyone on Earth has had at one point or another (and most see it for what it is – a stupid harmless joke) is some sort of personal slight against YOU specifically is what I have a problem with.
But all of this is fine. This is all stuff that could be hashed out and discussed. But there are some things that you have said that are just so off the mark I feel compelled to retort so harshly. But we’ll get there.
Secondly – you don’t even touch base on the paradox. Literally one of my main argument points. I’ve had GI issues since my teens. People handle things differently. Some with humor. Some take it more seriously. I’m not wrong for not handling life like you do. Don’t try to punish me for it. If you don’t like how I cope with this crazy ride we call life then move on. No wonder you feel like shit – you’re constantly looking for small hills to die on instead of just rolling your eyes and scrolling by. You are absolutely hell bent on trying to charge me with some sort of social crime you have made up.
Now for the reason I’m actually upset. Don’t compare your illness to racism in the world. Just don’t. Don’t compare me posting a stupid meme about a tummy ache to homophobia. That’s not even remotely close and you have to know that. At least I would hope you do. I am ignorant to your specific illness because I’m not a doctor. But to even come close to lumping me in the same sentence as trash racists is way too far and ignorant as fuck.
Keep it to me being ignorant about your illness. Claim I’ve done anything nearly as atrocious as racism or being homophobic and you can go get fucked.
I didn’t compare my illness to racism. I compared ONE type of prejudice to ANOTHER type of prejudice. That is what ableism is. This isn’t just my personal view, this is a wide view held by a lot of people in the disability community. It’s not my fault that you’re ignorant to that fact.
Heather, I’m not doing this with you.
It’s obvious neither of us are going to budge on this so there is no point in arguing. If what I write or how I go about my life offends you no one is forcing you to follow me on social media or comment on this website.