'...about saying nothing'
"I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." -Martin Luther King Jr
Blogs are traditionally a forum you use when you have something to say. However, blogs are also great when you don’t have anything to say. They can be therapeutic. They can contain thoughts that humanize the author, bringing us back to when real live conversation was the only way to share thoughts and opinions.
I found myself with a lot to say yet no way of saying it on Sunday night as I watched President Obama, along with 56 million others, deliver what will be a speech people will never forget. I of course already knew what he was going to say thanks to social media, specifically twitter, where people were building to a fever pitch over the announcement, celebrating social media almost as much as the fact that we had killed Osama bin Laden. I was left feeling uneasy as the tweets became a mix of joy, relief, fear, sarcasm and pride. Each tweet tried to top the last (guilty) as we finally reached the presidential address.
Beyond watching people tweet in celebration. I watched people celebrate, waving flags and popping jerseys, chanting. While great to see our country united, for some reason I felt odd. I don’t know. Maybe it was because this was a celebration of death. Maybe because it seemed that the celebration didn’t fit the situation – a somber situation that should attempt to provide a little peace to not only the friends and families of the 9/11 victims but also to those who lost loved ones during the war on terror. Maybe I felt that the tweets and the chanting trivialized a much heavier moment than simply the death of one man. Maybe I felt people were making it more about tweeting and celebrating than honoring the commitment and sacrifice of our troops or the terrible, terrible crime that had been committed – and nearly 10-year ‘war’ left in its wake.
On the flip side, how were we supposed to act? Maybe part of the reason I felt this way was because there’s no manual for this type of thing. Did anyone ever imagine we would be flooding the streets and bursting into impromptu rallies? Would we have acted the same way nine years ago? How would we have acted? And how has twitter and social media changed how we reacted?
In actuality, there is no right or wrong way to react – that’s what makes this country great. We’re free to react however we want (even Rashard Mendenhall) whether in-person or on-line. But we should take a moment and reflect when handed a situation that doesn’t fit neatly into an emotional category. Sometimes saying nothing in itself is saying something. Even if it’s in a blog.
5/4/2011 6:59:22 AM Comment on '...about saying nothing'