Essays,  Technology

Forgive me for the mistakes I’ll make online

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‘I wanted to say something but I feared that anything I say will be picked on, but then I realized that the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing’

– Meghan Markle

In 2017, I traveled to Uganda.. and visited/worked in a refugee camp in Arua for a week and went back home.

I had taken pictures of the way people were living in the camps and posted them on Facebook.

My post was loved by people, they thought I was a good person and it mattered to me what they thought.. but I did that without thinking because it’s what everyone does after travelling or going in a short mission trip.

My heart wasn’t at peace for sometime after that, I kept on asking myself if I would be okay if someone posted pictures of me without asking me? If someone posted pictures of how my situation is in a refugee camp on Facebook just for them to feel good about themselves, how would I feel about it? I just couldn’t feel ok with what I did.

And so I deleted my social media accounts.

I went on a journey of knowing myself, why I do what I do because obviously following what others do wasn’t for me.. And I feel so bad for posting those pictures to date, even though I deleted everything.

I think it is safe to say that in 2020, I’m officially back on social media, more mindful than I was in 2017.

Here is a thing, social media shows you the good side and the bad side of the world.

And of yourself.

People do a lot of good, and people do a lot of evil.

People say a lot of wise things and people say a lot of dumb things.

As a blogger, a YouTuber and a soon to be podcaster, I am in social media a lot, but also I’m a community worker who gets frustrated with how things go in our communities /continent and I vent on social media, that’s the place where you can easily be heard even though it is noisy.

In social media, you can’t be a saint forever. I’ve seen people who were praised and worshipped in January only to be hated/cancelled in March.

I have seen people who have done what someone else got cancelled for, only to be praised for it instead of getting the same treatment. It actually depends on what you say, when you say it, and are you on the good or the bad side of people at the time when you say what you say.

What we all forget sometimes is that social media amplifies our thoughts, amplifies who we are. We are these things, we feel these things but now social media has given us a stage and everyone can see our life experiences.

Social media is a tool, a powerful one, that can work for us or can destroy us.

But it is not social media that does that, it is us, people in it who have that power.

And we tend to forget that..

Some of us are still growing, in public,

My thoughts are growing with me in public,

I’m learning and growing in public as well..

So are you.

Why don’t we show each other grace in our journey of growth?

It’s easy to pick a person apart in social media without knowing that words hurt.

Without knowing that people have ego, and when we pick them apart they don’t learn, they become defensive.

You are not just a social media account, you are a real person with feelings.

She/he is not just an account, she/he is a person.

You can’t win on social media, but maybe you shouldn’t be looking for that.

You can’t please everyone but maybe you shouldn’t be after that either.

I will make mistakes and when I do, please forgive me for the mistakes I make online.

It is good to learn than not too.

I am outspoken, I have opinions and I love having conversations, and with that combination, I’m gonna say the right things, I’m gonna say the wrong things too, and when I do, please tell me what I did wrong, help me learn and please forgive me for the mistakes I make online.

And because social media is a mirror for who we are in real life, forgive me for the mistakes I make in real life too. I’m learning.

Eunice

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