Last week I discussed how arguing on social media is a pointless cause. Since I wrote that post I’ve seen one of the best examples ever of this play out right on my Facebook feed so this week.
I’m referring to these two memes- the second a supposed rebuttal to the first.
These are both absolute garbage.
On the top one:
First, while it would be nice if solving this problem was as simple as having lunch with the weird kid, it’s not. School shooters don’t fall neatly into any specific social group. Much was made of the how the shooters as Columbine were outcasts. Simply put, that was wildly inaccurate. Yet, the stereotype began and remains to this day. While there ARE some similarities among school shooters- including being white, male, having a difficult home life and having depression or other mental illnesses – who or how plentiful their friends are just isn’t one of them.
second, why on Earth put it on the kids? We are talking about KIDS here. Children aren’t supposed to have to be the ones patrolling and policing schools for safety. That’s on us adults. Kids can’t diagnose mental illness, change policy on gun sales, or do any of the things we adults should be doing to stop these tragedies from happening. It’s not their fault and it’s a terrible thing to try to make it their fault.
Which leads me to the second meme:
First of all, the sanctimonious superiority complex leaking out of this is almost impressive.
Second, we’re not sending a very good message to kids by telling them there are no consequences for their actions. Of COURSE we should all be free to be the best versions of ourselves we can be, but my freedom to swing my fist ends where your face begins. There is a difference between victim shaming and enabling bad behavior. Bullying is real and shouldn’t be tolerated.
Which leads me to, third, I don’t think telling someone to screw off is ever good advice. I can’t recall a single time it lead to a thoughtful, meaningful dialogue about the issues at hand. It’s inflammatory and is a phrase best left for bad breakups and cheesy PG rated rom-coms.
Sadly, thought, meaningful dialogues are hard to come by these days. But substituting bad memes for those difficult discussions doesn’t help anyone, least of all the kids we are all supposedly trying to help. So please, I beg of you, be an adult. There are scant few of those around anymore.