I posted this to Facebook this morning.
There’s a place I visit, a little too often. It’s free to get into and I sometimes see and talk with friends there. It’s also loud, and full of things that make me feel bad about myself, for a variety of reasons.
The person who runs this place also lets people who have ill will towards others and the tools to do great physical harm to them congregate and recruit freely.
This someone doesn’t care that the person who currently runs all the places purposely stokes the flames of the things that are the worst of us all.
This place also notes everything I do there. Everything I look at, and interact with. It hears every conversation I have. Also, it tries (and succeeds mostly) to understand everything I do when I’m not even there.
Some say that this place is a great way to advocate for what you believe in. But I have observed differently. When I’m vocal about things I care about (beyond dad and poop jokes) I get reinforced via the echo chamber or fights over mindsets and points of view. Not real conversation.
There are other, better ways to advocate. I’m taking more steps in that regard.
Sometimes when I’m at this place, I have great conversations with people I care about. Most times I just see shit I don’t want to, and because I’m being manipulated I can’t stop myself from looking. Maybe I’m just weak.
There’s this other place that I have to pay 5 bucks a month to get into that has none of the above. None of what I think is bad. But also none of the people I know in real life. But the conversations are good and I’m building real relationships there. I feel good when I enter, leave and even think about that place.
I also have my own tiny place. If you’re reading this consider yourself invited. It’s free and you can come and go as you please.
I’m going to permanently leave the first place soon. I’ll miss conversations with people I care about. I’ll try to be better about reaching out in other ways. And, again, feel free to join me on those other places I mentioned.
The first place is the website you’re reading this on. The other two you can find at chadmoore.net
PS - Sorry if this is vague and a poorly constructed analogy. The first place doesn’t like it when you criticize it. It suppresses those kinds of ideas.
PPS - this post is all a bit dramatic isn’t it? The world is reeling from a pandemic. America is at a crucial point where can choose to be better and work to fix a long standing terrible system or we can be worse to each other. Does my disengaging here matter, in that context? I dunno. It’ll give me some peace and space to do more of what I think I need to do to be a better ally though.