Friday, March 23, 2018

SJW's and Social Media

A young man I know proudly considers himself a social justice warrior, also known by its acronym SJW. A socially awkward chin-on-chest mumbler who, in person, cannot string together a coherent sentence, hides behind his computer screen. He is one of the many who spends inordinate amounts of time on social media stabbing his harshly written opinion, coupled with links to obscure oddball websites, into the comment streams of anyone with whom he disagrees about social issues. Like a pit bull terrier with a hunk of raw meat, he never lets go, viciously hurling insults, coarse terms, and demeaning epithets. You know the type. You may even be the victim of a shocking, hurtful SJW diatribe.

Generally speaking, if an SJW realizes he cannot turn you, he or she immediately begins a campaign of humiliation, vilification, and isolation the aim of which is to utterly destroy credibility. He wants you to tremble at his words and back down. Then, he'll kick you again. Twice.

I've been giving this phenomenon some thought. Though I immediately discovered the uselessness of engaging an SJW - just don't! - still, the behavior mystifies me and, to be quite honest, brings out a personal reaction I'm not okay with. To become distractedly frustrated - or even angered - enough to wreck a day or two is not acceptable. Really not acceptable at all.

Rather than stoop to the uncivilized level of these misguided superhero wannabes by clashing with them on social media, might merely ignoring them be a perfect response? Imagine willingly allowing their hostile, condescending remarks to sit unanswered in comment streams? Who cares if these snarky scribes consider it a win? Simply walking away into the sunshine of our self-discipline and freedom clears the air of the effects of the SJW's vitriolic verbosity.

Yes, this is the advice of parents everywhere, "Ignore them and they'll stop," but sometimes, in some cases, it actually works. At the very least refusing to engage will save us unnecessary aggravation.

If revenge is a life well lived, and the best defense is a good offense, then, perhaps the most productive and efficient way to deal with the unpleasant SJW is to not become the anti-SJW. Instead of pandering to the irrationality by mimicking the pointless arguing, how about we simply reject the bait, walk away, model graciousness and poise?

During the 16th through early 20th centuries, Parisians (and others) hosted salons in their homes. A salon was a hand-picked gathering of people from various walks of life who held diverse world views and contrasting interests. These salons could be lively, but they were civil. The intellectual pushing and pulling of vigorous discussions on a number of topics created opportunities for people to grapple with new ideas and evaluate their own perspectives. Illumination occurred.

Compare the cultured salon approach with the blanket bombing method of communication wielded by the SJW. Where a salon offers permission to fervently disagree, then, cordially shake hands at leave taking, the overbearing, intolerance of the SJW method leaves a clenching restriction on free-thought and connection. It creates alienation. Courteous intellectual discussions nurture the mind, create bridges of understanding. Malicious, hastily scribbled venom turns an opponent into an enemy.  What good can possibly come from such behavior? Salons grow deep friendships, nurture community cohesion. SJW's rarely make disciples of those who challenge them. Instead, they foster division.

Here is a place where a small change in procedure can make a difference. Not only will courteously countering the social media boorishness of the SJW crowd be a blow to its anarchic mentality, but it will be a boon to the ideal of dignified living.

Like a detained child creeping to his bedroom door contritely asking Mommy if he can come out now, the young social justice warrior I previously mentioned has been known to, when a vitriolic comment of his is left alone smelling up a comment stream, meekly inquire if he has offended his target. He has even apologized.

Travel the high road. It's better.
An ounce of restraint is worth a pound of exasperation.


Louisa Wah said...

Excellent advice. I especially like your last sentence :-)

Cherie said...

Thanks, Louisa! I'm not at all surprised that you and I are on the same page about this, and about that last sentence. I appreciate your comment very much. :)