I don’t lurk around the internet as much as I used to.
Truth is, I don’t think that the internet inherently brings out the worst in people. I think that it’s being used to manipulate people into awful behavior.
But anyway, I used to really love blogs and read a fair number of them. As a writer, I’m a bit of a voyeur when it comes to other people’s minds, and blogs were the perfect way to peer into a wide range of thoughts and lifestyles. My reading list ranged from the-Mormon-next-door to BDSM sex blogs … Maybe I shouldn’t admit to that, lol.
Several years ago, a woman I followed had a miscarriage. In the ensuing emotional fallout, she broke up with her boyfriend because he reminded her of their lost baby, wrote about how she was drifting aimlessly, and frequently referenced how unexpected and painful it had been.
Last year, someone else I followed also had a miscarriage. However, this time it was referenced as a short note explaining why they were taking time off, and they were back to their usual posts literally three days later. The miscarriage was never mentioned again.
Philosophically, I’m a vitalist. Our existence as living beings matters.
The woman, who’s entire world was shattered over the loss of her baby, was fundamentally alive. She experienced and expressed her pain in a way that made sense and was relatable as a human being. While I didn’t agree with all of her choices (her boyfriend sounded like one of those wonderful supportive sorts, and breaking up with him when he was similarly hurting seemed pointlessly destructive), I could at least understand why she made those choices.
But, the person last year who had a miscarriage came across more like a bot. Okay, so they didn’t want to air their private life on the internet, but … only three days offline? Since when is that an appropriate mourning period for a tragic loss?
Heck, when I had my own miscarriage, I dedicated an entire month to mourning, wallowing, and tantruming, and even that felt like I was putting my emotional recovery on the fast track. Heaven knows how long it would have taken if I hadn’t so singularly focused on it.
Three days is just sociopathic.
I don’t like the comparisons between then and now. I don’t like knowing that the virus for zombification is electronically transmitted through the internet.
I don’t like peeking into other people’s minds anymore.