A piece I wrote during my September "Facebook hiatus" was published today on the Collegeville Institute's blog. You can read it here.
Perhaps it's strange that, during a season in which I felt compelled to step back from social media, in part due to some unfortunate experiences with what I will simply sum up as bullying, I also felt compelled to write about why I love the internet. Yet it makes sense: when a space that is often home to stimulating conversations and upbuilding friendships becomes hurtful, even dangerous, it's not the location itself that's at fault. I wrote about the internet in part because I was mad that I had been made to feel (at the very least) unwelcome, if not unsafe, expressing myself in a place that is normally a boon to my creativity and well being. I was angry that I felt the need to silence an entire social network on account of a few misogynist fools. I shut out supportive voices because of the fear instilled by a few hurtful ones. That should not have felt necessary, but it did and it was.
Words can be weapons if we want them to be. But they can also be gifts.