There has been an absolutely gut-wrenching situation going on at one of my favorite blogs. It feels like it’s been going on for so long, and even when it seemed like an end was in sight, things got worse instead of better. I just can’t imagine.
Here’s the thing, though – I don’t know this person. I read her blog. Now, while I know some of my favorite blogs are not a true representation of any real person (I just hate thinking that Ana couldn’t be my friend in real life, because she’s fake – every time the true author of the blog reminds me of that fact, I feel a slight hiccuppy cry try to escape from my body), that’s far from always the case. And since it appears that other bloggers who I’ve followed for even longer have a personal relationship with Lag Liv, I doubt it’s the case for her.
(Even though I do have moments where my conspiracy-theory-believing self comes out and I can picture one person creating several blogging personas and maintaining them for years – all with this end goal in sight – a devestating story, corroborating tales, and alas, a paypal account.)
It is difficult for me. People have commented that they’re sobbing at their computers while reading the story of the baby being taken from his home, and I just don’t feel the same thing. I don’t feel 100% conviction I’ve read the entire truth. We all have such freedom, such flexibility – as we sit in our homes with our glowing screens, and a multitude of possibilities, requiring NOTHING of us. Nothing. No investment, no accountability, no information verification.
We all (or most of us) benefit from this anonymity. We are able to say what we want to say without compromising our real-life selves. We can be honest without hurting friends’ feelings. We can put ourselves out there without opening ourselves up to scrunity from future employees. We can get support without requirements of investing time into a real life friendship, without having to wonder if people approve of our external selves. Without having to put on clothes.
Do we deserve these benefits, without having to endure some of the liabilities?
People don’t know who we are. They don’t know, really, if we have presented ourselves accurately. Like the very tired story about pen pal kids in grade school “my mom is a rock star!” “I live in a mansion!” “I go skiing every weekend!” “I had 3 home runs in last week’s baseball game!”
Let’s pause to be clear: I don’t think that this mother is hurting her child. I don’t think this father is hurting his child.
That’s not at all what I’m trying to say.
I just don’t feel that I *know* that there is an injustice being done, either.
And in some ways, it sits poorly with me that so many people do.
I think it’s more a distrust of the “virtual community” than it is any sort of testament about this story in particular. But we create these communities, and we feel like we’re a part of something real. But are we?
As parents we know that we have to talk to our kids about internet safety. About how they can’t always know that someone is who they say they are. How you can’t give out your personal information. How you have to be careful what you reveal. How you have to question and re-question every thing. And how they shouldn’t go giving people they don’t know money over the internet.
And if kids do have a blind trust – they could get hurt. Really hurt.
Why is that less true for the adults?
I don’t think it is.
And it shouldn’t be.
And what do we miss out on? How many people in our community – our REAL communities, you know, the people down the street from us? The other families in our buildings? – are going through similarly tragic situations? Do we know? Do we care? Would we trust them, if they told us of the injustices that they were facing, that they were being honest? That they were sharing the whole story? Or would we back off, edge away, afraid of people bringing their troubles to our doorsteps?
Even though we know their names, their addresses. We could help them in the little ways. We could cook them a meal, and bring it to their homes. We could testify in court on their behalf. We could care for their other children or pets while they sat in the hospital for hours on end.
But instead, we spend our time reading the stories on the internets. And when people go through these difficulties, they have to pull the troops in on airplanes. They have to hope that strangers will donate to help ease the financial strain.
My hope is that on Tuesday, when Lag Liv goes to court, that the Powers that Be listen to her story, see her evidence, and realize the errors that have been made. I hope that she and her husband can find the answer to their baby’s pain, and show it to those who have accused them wrongly. I hope that the hospital will be scared soooo shitless of a lawsuit that they do not bill for the night upon night that Lag Liv and her family were kept in the hospital. I hope that because Landon is so young, he will grow up having no memory of this horrendous time, and that he be oblivious, because he will be safe and happy with his parents.
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