Precious little 2-year-old Lane Graves is dead. He was literally attacked by an alligator…in front of his parents…at Disney World. To imagine that, personally, is so horrific that it makes me feel sick to my stomach. The horror that his parents went through and will live with forever is absolutely unimaginable.
There was also the 3-year-old that fell over 10’…into a gorilla exhibit…with a gorilla actually present. He was dragged around by the gorilla and finally rescued when the animal had to be shot dead (spare me the talk about the value of the gorilla’s life – not as valuable as the kid’s – end of story). His mother witnessed the entire scene. Again, this is something so very horrific that I can’t even imagine it. That little boy is lucky to be alive.
Unfortunately, on top of the horror that these parents went through with these situations, there are also plenty of Judgy McJudgersons scrolling through social media willing to offer up their criticisms, opinions and shit talking at a moment’s notice. People criticized the “gorilla mom” for not watching her son well enough. They criticized the “Disney dad” for letting his child get in the water at night. I also see lots of parent shaming on social media about less deadly topics – breast feeding, nutrition, religion, fashion, school work, TV time, and on and on and on. Look, people. I’ve done my share of judging and criticizing. I’m human. But there’s a time and a place for that crap, and it’s in your own home on your own time. All jokes aside, we shouldn’t judge at all. But if we’re going to be realistic, we can all agree that it’s going to happen. Just don’t let it happen through the quick typing of your thumbs on your phone during your lunch break when you were scrolling Facebook for 25 minutes because you were bored. Would you do the same to someone’s face? If the answer is no, then you should definitely keep your rude comments to yourself. You’re hiding behind your little screen talking badly about other parents because…? Yeah, I don’t know why either. If the answer is yes, you would say it to someone’s face, then you should still keep your rude comments to yourself, especially when its concerning a deadly situation with a kid. I mean, seriously, people? Have you no manners? Have you no compassion? Have you no children yourself? – and speaking of that, if you’re not a parent and you’re out there talking crap about parents, you should most definitely hush it. I had my fair share of opinions on parenting before I was a parent but 1) I was smart enough to keep it to myself and only vent in the privacy of my own home, and 2) I learned after becoming a parent just how little the old me knew about, well, anything.
So, what about freedom of speech, you say? Oh, come on. What a scapegoat that is. Our amazing country’s freedom of speech isn’t there to be used as a tool by people that want to act like assholes. You know what it’s there for. So, hush it.
The bottom line is that it just doesn’t take much courage to be mean or rude or critical on social media. It’s not impressive, and it doesn’t make you look cool. In fact, it makes you look quite dumb. If you can’t manage to have a calm, mature discussion about it, then you probably shouldn’t be speaking out publicly. Some folks just aren’t good at communicating in a fair, smart manner. So, let’s all agree that instead of parent shaming, you should do 1 of 2 things – 1) Offer up information calmly and kindly if you truly think you can be of assistance orrr 2) Hush it.
P.S. Dear Media, Stop making hateful internet trolls a headline. Since when was @iamaninternettroll (made that up) on Twitter a headline maker? Have you nothing better to talk about that you need to shine a spotlight on these random, rude people as if their opinions really matter? Just this morning – Justin Timberlake Faces Twitter Backlash – which basically meant that a bunch of bored people talked crap to JT via twitter over a topic that you were just trying to find an excuse to write about anyway because it involves skin color. Just stop.