I’ve been asked a million times to write a thread about how to be outspoken in an age of online harassment and... I’ve been resistant to it, but I think I might have an angle for you.
It’s inspired by Spiderverse and NASA. To get in the mood:https://t.co/dkKn54CLEX
Let’s go. pic.twitter.com/qTNgQBMXJk
So, there are a couple of disclaimers that come with this thread...
First of all: This is about my personal experience and it might not st all work for you. There is no rule set I can offer that is ultimate. In the end you’ll need to find what works for you and your cause.
I’m not a trained professional, I have not learned anything formally that relates to it. This is how I’ve gotten by because I had to. And it’s a little bit about how I figured it out along the way, found the right resources and how to work through issues.
Further: Nobody can protect you from harassment. Not me, not authorities, nobody. It might happen. Or not. There is nothing I can tell you that will protect you. I’m sorry that’s the reality. What I can promise you is that you can figure it out. But that’s all.
There are resources out there that have helped other people make sense of harassment and go through steps, but they have not helped me. That’s something you’ll have to find out by yourself unfortunately. I have safety procedures, but they are unique.
Also: I feel obliged to tell you that no matter what, this comes with responsibility and you need to be really aware of it. That doesn’t mean you’ll always get it right, but it means you need to know that your words have impact beyond your immediate surroundings.
As with everything leadership: your best bet is to be humble about it. You won’t always be right and do the right thing. You can only be true to your values and never stop adjusting. It’s a long-term commitment, with good and bad sides.
Now, let’s go back to why this was inspired by Spiderverse... The one thing I can tell you about activism in the face of harassment is that there is a part of you that will always be afraid, for your own freedom and your loved ones. Always.
Remember this scene when Miles learns to take the leap...? Notice how the glass still sticks to his fingers when he does? He’s still afraid. But he still does it. Because it’s the right thing to do, because it’s what needs to be done. It’s ok to be afraid. pic.twitter.com/kSVfmvUSNO
This is kinda what it’s like for most of us most of the time. And truth is: you’ll arrive at a point where they’ve done everything to try and hurt you... and you’re still here. And you’ve learned how to leverage it. And there is nothing anymore they can do to stop you.
There is no procedure I can teach you and no ruleset apart from really figuring out your own values and talk about them with passion. Trust that you will find the resilience and mechanisms to work it out every single time. Have people you trust who will help you.
As for actual talking procedures:
Always make compassion your first value. Think about what you can do and say that serves your values and your community the most and try to think about it from a long-term perspective. Everything I say has a larger purpose usually.
Humour is a good thing and some of us use a certain amount of snark. But with everything activism, try to wield it as a tool instead of a weapon. Humour isn’t always easy to get right when things are sensitive and important beyond yourself.
When people actually come after you: block relentlessly. Anybody who doesn’t come to you in good faith. I know people worry that this will give them satisfaction, but it’s not about them: it’s about protecting your community and followers from their influence and worse.
Protect what you care about, what they find satisfactory or not doesn’t matter. The people who trust in you and your platform are more important than them and those are the people you actually want to serve.
Now, you know what’s unique about astronauts? It’s not that they are smarter or not afraid. It’s that they have 2 special traits: the knowledge that they can figure out any situation thrown at them if they need to. And they train to be as prepared for the unknown as they can.
They *know* there will be situations they did not anticipate. Problems they didn’t think they could have. They are afraid just as anybody else. But they need to trust that they can figure it out. It’s the utmost important human strength and I want you to be inspired by it.
And if you decide you want to make the leap... and things go wrong, you need someone to talk or help or strengthen your back - come to me. I’ll be here the second you need me. As a resource or as a friend, my door will be open to you. I got you. pic.twitter.com/sAM0zPzJph
And lastly: my main inspirations for anything related to activism and leadership are @tha_rami and @InnuendoStudios - if you somehow don’t follow their work yet, please do. I would be lost without both of them. 🥰
In that spirit...
Why would a star ever be afraid of the dark? ✨
You got this, friends.
I thought you're posting your spiderverse playlist but it's about being mindful. I think my humor is so deep most people won't even realize. 😂
I think that means you might have to re-evaluate it :)
Not being mindful in a thread about being mindful while being mindful.
Let me try this differently: It wasn't really funny and the thread was not about being mindful :)
And then I realized it's not but I already wrote the first part of the tweet and now it's where it becomes funny. That's like my brain all the time.
Explaining is one of my flaws unfortunately. Basically I found it funny that it was canceling each other out but I was aware of canceling each other.