Want to ruin practically any party or start a troll fight on the internet? Utter words like “Vaccinations” or “Trump” and nearly everyone will either panic and run, or puff themselves up and go grab their soap box. We currently live in an extremely polarized society,“You’re either IN or you’re OUT” or “You’re 100% FOR or AGAINST” type mentality. We have bought into the lie that HUGE issues are black or white, hardly ever gray. What is even worse, is we have taken the liberty to state our opinions, loudly, forgetting that we are not merely talking about issues…we are talking about PEOPLE.
The INTERNET SHAME GAME invites everyone to play, but there are absolutely no winners.
We have to stop judging people based on issues, especially those that do not actually define us. Gospel issues are the only ones we cannot compromise on, and no where in the Bible does Jesus address sin by shaming people. So why is the “INTERNET SHAME GAME” so prevalent today? Well, one reason is that people tend to feel they can say whatever they want without any consequences.
Real leaders do not flee accountability. Internet shaming feeds off of the illusion of anonymity and the built-in soapboxes that social media provides. Everyone thinks that their opinion needs to be heard, usually without any solicitation.
Be wary of those who voice their opinions, yet refuse to take any responsibility for them or acknowledge when they are wrong.
Aside from personal attacks and hurting hearts, the internet shaming phenomenon has done something else that is dreadfully harmful. We have lost the platform to learn from one another, to ask questions, and to get informed without getting harassed. We are completely inundated with people’s opinions and constantly sold the “one-size fits all” approach, or we are forcibly lined up next to a universal measuring stick. The sad part is, the opinions that are the most toxic tend to be the ones shouted the most at us. Why?
Confidence is quiet, insecurity is LOUD. People who fill their lives with joy simply do not attack or force themselves on others, only hearts full of hatred do.
Start showing each other GRACE instead of criticizing anyone who does things a little differently than you do. Whether I choose to vaccinate my children, or not vaccinate them, does not inherently make me a bad mother. Choosing to go back to work, or staying at home with your kids, does not determine your “ranking” on “team motherhood.” We cannot live our lives trying to flee other people’s judgement, because sadly that is impossible. The “shame game” is completely illogical, and there will always be someone who disagrees with you.
An example of this is the fact that I have both gotten applauded for nursing my children, and then immediately torn apart for it less than 24 hours after they turned a year old. I have been told I have “ruined my children” or “disrupted God’s natural order” simply by the decisions my husband and I have made in our parenting. My children have also been the target of horrendous remarks, but I refuse to give those words any more life by repeating them. At first we wanted to hide, but that doesn’t fix the problem, it only permeates it. We have to start being part of the solution, and modeling what that looks like to the rest of the world. We have to dare to be vulnerable. Do not let their hate choke out our joy or ability to do life well and openly with others.
So here it goes…My name is Sharon. My twin daughters are incredibly happy and vibrant little girls. I have chosen to vaccinate them, and no adverse side effects have occurred. They have had both formula and breastmilk as a result of being preemies, so I can tell you that FED is best. They eat mostly organic veggies, protein, and fruit, but I also give them puffs and occasionally let them have sugar. We are all about balance, because I want to teach them how to have a healthy relationship with food. I still nurse one of them when she wants to nurse, and the other twin self-weaned at 13 months old. I do not have a firm plan on when I will be completely done nursing, but I do know that my daughter and I will know when it is time. My husband and I co-slept with them both for awhile (with sleep monitors and extra mattress space) out of mere survival, but they now sleep in their cribs on a regular schedule and with little-to-no fuss. We do what works best for our own family, which always involves blocking out hateful voices, and seeking wisdom from those that speak truth in love.
Now, your world has not changed by my vunerability, nothing I have said has changed the trajectory of your life, and the internet did not explode. Notice, I shared all of this without feeling the need for shaming anyone for doing things differently. You are welcome to ask my questions about any of my decisions, especially if you are trying to make any of these decisions for yourself or your children. Any questions or comments made merely for the sake of trolling and shaming will be ignored or deleted.
It is okay to live loud and proud, and to march to the beat of our own motherhood drum. Even if yours has a totally different tune, or you’re marching the completely opposite way I am, I’ll just wink your way as we pass and pleasantly smile. Drum on, Sister.