Shelter Stories: A Mr.Frisky Blog
Why Doesn't Someone Say Something?!
Uniting the World to Adopt Love Give. It's an ambitious mission. And in today's political and social climate, one that often seems doomed to fail. The world is less united and more divisive than ever.
Social media is the proverbial curse and blessing. On the plus side, it is an essential tool for animal shelters, rescues, and sanctuaries to reach potential adopters, foster, donors, and other organizations to partner. It allows them to reach beyond their local community, and that power results in more animals saved. That's the power of 280 characters in a global world with online donating and shipping!
On the dark and nihilistic flip-side, when shelters and rescues (or their partners and volunteers) share their needs and animals on social media, there are people that feel the need to hijack those tweets and spread rage and hate. Suprise, suprise, these trolls are often anonymous because it's so much easier to sucker punch someone and run when your handle is about a real as the Great Pumpkin.
Social media has become like the historic Roman Coliseum where people wage bloody fights while a crowd that is privileged yet hopeless slack-asses jeer. In today's context, the social media crowd spends it's time hijacking, baiting, taunting, name calling, falsely accusing, and always without fail trying to mix their political agenda into a discussion about a diabetic senior cat that needs a home.
I've always followed Mum's advice: Never allow yourself to be bullied and hounded out of what you believe in. That takes a lot of patience these days, as we live in a world where people feel they have the right to defame, slander, harass and threaten you if you dare to speak up. To be crystal clear, I am not saying spend your time arguing with trolls. That's like teaching a pig to sing - it wastes your time and annoys the pig. What I am saying is two things:
First, I am concerned because I have watched - and am watching - good people who care about animals leaving social media due to these slack-ass sewer trollers. They are succeeding in their narcissistic, nihilistic, power tripping, non-contributing, hateful, worse-than-useless, mission: cutting shelters and rescuers off from reaching beyond their community for help and adopters and fosters. For shelters in poor economic areas of this country or other countries, that means they can not help as many animals - or may have to stop altogether because they need to be able to reach beyond their city/county/state or country borders to survive.
Secondly, WHY DOESN"T ANYONE SAY SOMETHING?!
My Mum also always told me: "Never start a fight but if someone starts one with you, finish it." Translating that into social media terms, for every snarky slack-ass, there should be 20, no 100 voices of positivity drowning out their toxic tweet. Their hate will fall to the bottom (of the thread) where it belongs.
Good people need to stop being afraid to stand up against the slack-ass mob. There are more of us than them; it just doesn't seem like it because they have more free time. It helps when you do nothing to help anyone nor animals; you have lots of free time to be vocal with malicious intent. And let's not turn this into "two can play at that game" (remember hate is their game), nor "two wrongs make a right". When haters bombard a shelter or rescue, that shelter and rescue loses people who might have adopted, fostered, or donated. All of those things would have saved an animal. Hate does not save animals.
So please, say something: for every toxic response to a tweet of an animal shelter or rescue in need, respond to the original tweet with positivity and support so that animal can get food, medication, and a home.