Every Tuesdays and Thursdays my son goes to preschool for 2 hours. During this glorious time I eat breakfast peacefully without having to get up and get yet another glass of orange juice for the umteenth time and I relax. I log onto facebook and other social media websites and I just surf.
Could I be doing better things like cleaning my kitchen? Sure. Should I do better things like take a shower? Probably. But this is *my* time to do what *I* want with no interruption. Plus, I can shower and clean the kitchen when my son gets home.
So as I was soaking up my newsfeed, I came across a picture. An extremely graphic picture of an aborted fetus. I think I can stop there without going into further details.
Immediately my stomach churned and my day plummeted. It wasn't because I have never seen these type of images before, it's because seeing those violent and graphic pictures elicits a deep emotional response from me.
But that's the point, isn't it? Extreme images evoke extreme feelings which...what? Makes extreme change? I'm assuming thats the reason why these photos get posted in the first place. I'm assuming that you aren't a sadist that just likes to see graphic photos. I'm assuming that you shared this particular photo because it's a cause that you believe in.
And you know what? That's okay that you believe strongly in a cause. I too have ideas that I believe in and change I want to see.
And it's not only abortion photos that now frequent my newsfeed. It's animal rights. It's domestic abuse. It's rape victims. It's abused children. It's starving families.
Is this real life? Yes. Do I want to be exposed to it? Not always.
You see, what you don't realize as you share that picture of an aborted fetus, is that a woman in your friends list had a second-trimester miscarriage the month before. Now she sees these images and the emotions and pain she felt before comes back stronger than ever as she imagines what her precious baby looked like.
And that picture of a woman that was presumably raped and beaten? Another woman in your friends list now gets to spend the rest of her day coping with the intense anxiety, anguish and even shame surrounding the memory of her own rape.
And that video of animal abuse? Another friend just lost their life-long pet to a horrible car accident and now spends the rest of her day remembering the graphic way her kids had to witness the death of their beloved dog in their front yard.
The reality is that bad things do happen and I'm not saying that we should ignore it. What I am saying is that we need to ask ourselves before we share trigger-worthy pictures, "what is the point?" and "is there a better way to post my views?"
The fact is, there probably is. More change can come from positive influences rather than negative.
Or think of it this way, would you post pictures of a man that was murdered? Or a soldier that was caught in a roadside bomb accident? I would hope that out of respect for those people and their families, the answer would be "no".
So please, stop posting graphic images on facebook. Because while those images might be reality, there's a reality that you CAN'T see. It's the woman that miscarried. It's the man that just lost his beloved pet. It's the woman that was raped. It's the family that lives with an abusive parent.
Please, think next time if you could portray your beliefs without the graphic images and if after all that, you can't, at least put a trigger warning in your post.