Tuesday, October 20, 2015

We need to think before we post words, images, and video, etc. on any type of social media. WARNING included

Here's something that has been bothering me & I think I may be personally at fault too.

This is my personal opinion and I know I could get flack from it but I feel the need to share this. I write this in a non-judgement capacity and out of love. I do not want to take away from what I think were positive intentions, nor do I want to come across as bashing this woman, she has been through a lot, I know this because I've been walking a similar road for 2 years now.

WARNING: I will be describing an image I have seen circulating on FB of a former cancer patient that I feel is inappropriate. I however, will not be sharing this image. I also describe an abusive video that was circulating months ago. Continue reading if you choose.

There is a picture that is circulating on the internet, mostly FB, and while I think I understand the reasoning behind this woman posting her picture after having a double mastectomy and radiation treatment and I think chemo as well, I do not agree with the posting of it, especially with no warning in the description that it will show a woman topless. While I believe that her heart is wanting to do the right thing by encouraging women who may get the same diagnosis as her to fight, or her desire to encourage people to educate themselves on breast cancer, or her desire to share with people who have no idea what it may look like to go through treatment of breast cancer, and her desire to give God the glory for getting her through this ordeal,  I do not think it is okay to have this picture all over FB and here is why...

I am trying to teach my children, especially my girls to be modest and this picture, though it does not contain breast tissue as people are used to seeing, it is still the part of a woman that is typically covered by a swimsuit making it private and therefore should at the very least come with a warning. Another reason, this one is near and dear to my heart, is that I have at least 1 child who is very visual. God created her with a phenomenal imagination which means that when she reads something, she very vividly has a picture pop into her head & she can come up with some amazing things to write out with her imagination. It also means that when she does not have enough information about something, her imagination can fill in the gaps and sometimes that can be very scary for a child. It also means that when she sees an actual image, it is burned into her memory. Actually, I've read info from studies done that shows that images of people with few or no clothes on are burned into a person's mind forever, both male & female & I don't think it is limited to an age. So if my child happens to come across an image such as I have described above, it will forever be in his/her mind. What about a person who has a mother that has gone through some of the same treatments as the woman sharing on FB.  Another reason I think this image should have contained a warning at the beginning of it's description is because I'm sure I'm not the only mother who has children, specifically girls that may wonder if this will happen to them because it happened to their mom or someone they know. I am speaking about all children in general, whether young or old. Children are dear to my heart, that's why I volunteer to work with them in many capacities. I believe we should help preserve their innocence for as long as possible. They already grow up too quickly and are exposed at younger and younger ages to things they should not be.
Whether you think I'm a prude or fuddy-duddy, or over-protective please know I just want the best for children and want them to enjoy their childhood without being scarred for life. I've worked with and seen far too many people that are grown adults and have so much hurt and pain to work through because of things that they experienced early in life when they should have been protected & they unwillingly pass it to their own children in some way, shape, or form. As for my own children, I do not feel that I am over-protective. Anyone that knows me knows that I do not shield my children from the truth or from bad things that happen, we face them head on and with God's help and we've had more than our fair share of practice. So when I say that it should be my choice of what to share with my children and when an appropriate time is to share these sensitive issues with them, I do it out of what I believe is in their best interest. I have had many private talks with my children addressing all sorts of subjects, including some uncomfortable ones that needed to be talked about. I do not hide them from the world but I know my children and what they can handle better than someone else and at least having a WARNING about content of words or images should have been included in the previously mentioned FB post.

Please remember that  FB is not only for adults and quite honestly, even if it was, this image is not what I would consider appropriate. I have thought about reporting it and have not decided whether that is the way to go or not but I thought that I would at least jump on my soapbox for a minute and give people some other things to consider when posting images on FB. Please think before you share. As I type this, I am reminded that some people don't want to read all the things that I have going on for the last 2 years with a cancer diagnosis. They choose to pray for me and think positive for me rather than reading all the updates.  Some people feel deeper than others, it's how God created them and they need to find a balance so they can continue to function in life without being overwhelmed with feeling everything.  I completely understand and it's why I try to say that I'll be talking about an update including the diagnosis at the beginning of my post if I can remember. No I'm not perfect, no one is. But I felt it was necessary to remind people to please think before you share, especially an image or a video. For example I saw a description for a video about a woman doing horrible abuse to a small child and I did NOT click on the video. I chose not to. Not because I didn't care about that child but because I knew that imagery would be burned into my mind and I don't like to put all that negative stuff in my mind. I know it happens, I don't need to see it to know it either. Watching things like that, especially done to children, makes it more difficult for me to stay positive and heal. I will admit that I prayed for that little girl right then and there and I prayed for that woman to be held accountable for her actions and to get the help that she needs since she clearly lacked control and proper thinking. My heart tells me that she was hurt, probably in a similar way or saw these kinds of actions and it sickeningly seemed normal to her.  I did not agree with what the video description said about the woman deserving to get the same kind of treatment. I'm pretty sure she already did so what good does that do? nothing, she needs Jesus and she needs help to heal & to understand that behavior is not okay.

My point about the original image I described is this post is this; just because stupid cancer was involved in how this woman came to have a double mastectomy and radiation and shared a photo of her bare torso does not make it entirely different then if a woman that had not had these atrocities happen to her shared her photo. It's not quite apples to apples but also not apples to oranges in comparison either.

There is no denying that Cancer SUCKS!!!! Mastectomies SUCK!!!! Chemo SUCKS!!! Radiation, the kind that takes several weeks and often causes a sunburn affect on the spots treated, SUCKS!!!!
I don't mean to step on toes or accuse anyone or hurt anyone, I say this in love, we need to be careful of what we share on social media, regardless of the circumstances.  We need to think about the BIG PICTURE. For every intention that is meant to help someone, think about whether it should come with a warning to give a reader a chance to make a choice for themselves whether they want to proceed with reading and especially viewing an image or video.  I will certainly be trying to do this from now on as I type about my journey to health and healing through my faith and how God is directing my path.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. If you have opinions regarding this matter and plan to leave a comment, please be considerate and kind in what you write whether you agree with me or not. I don't want this woman to be bashed because I know that she's been through a lot and she is a survivor. Please be respectful. You may or may not see it in the same way I do...that's ok but please be loving and kind. I have fairly thick skin but I don't want this woman to be bashed.  Thanks. Oh and if the image that I have talked about is posted anywhere on my page or shared in my comments, I will remove it.

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