Another sad shooting resulting in the killing of 9 innocent victims. Our country is littered with violence, particularly against the innocent.
Through the darkness, millions come together in prayer, urging others to not seek revenge, but opt for forgiveness instead. Throughout all time, violence has occurred. Unfortunately in today’s society, social media has been playing a role in violence. Social media itself isn’t to blame. It’s how people are choosing to use it that matters.
According to the Boston Globe, the young man – Dylann Roof – accused of killing 9 innocent people at Emanuel African Methodist Church, one of Charleston’s historically black churches, had 81 facebook friends. His “friends” seemed to fall into two categories. “Cute high school girls who didn’t give him the time of day, and black guys who aspire to be hip-hop artists.”
The author of the article, Farah Stockmann, was able to go through Roof’s facebook page before it was taken down. She states “I couldn’t help but notice that Roof had a penchant for befriending black people who post over-the-top photos: One of his “friends” was a self-described rapper with a mouth full of gold teeth and a stack of $100 bills. Another worked at “X-Rated Mafia Records.” A third was a young black woman who posted numerous pictures of male genitalia, accompanied by belittling comments.”
“I can only imagine what a racist mind makes of those photographs, and the intimate chatter that strangers can witness — out of context — from afar. It’s a cautionary tale of how virulent racism can feed itself in the era of social media.”
Stockmann is right. Out of context and from afar, photographs and chatter of strangers can be twisted to cause a racist mind to unthinkable things.
According to NPR.org, a facebook photo of Roof, reportedly shows him “wearing a jacket with two patches. One is an apartheid-era flag of South Africa, and the other is the flag for Rhodesia, the previously white-ruled country now called Zimbabwe.”
What are you posting on social media? Who is following you and being your “friend”. Are you accepting friend requests from people you don’t know? It’s time to think twice about what you are saying online. What images are being posted on social media. There is no excuse for the murder of the 9 victims at church. Was the accused man on drugs at the time? He was recently arrested for trespassing and again for drugs, according to NPR.org.
If you are friends with people on social media who aren’t adding value to your life, it’s time to use the un-friend feature. I’m sure nearly all 81 facebook “friends” were oblivious to Roofs existence. They didn’t know a sick mind was watching them and planning on killing innocent victims.
A good friend told me years ago when I first started using social media. She cautioned me to make sure I used Social Media to bring good to the world and not a platform to vent. I have heeded her advice and strive to make sure my posts add smiles or value to the world. If there are people in your social media family who are not adding value to your world, it’s time to let them go.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments below and I will respond.