The other day, my friend Todd and I were having a conversation about Facebook and social media. We were discussing the dynamics of post popularity, commenting, Likes, sharing...all that. We were trying to determine what makes a post like-able. Why do some posts get a million hits while others just sit there with only crickets chirping behind them?
My point was that when people go to Facebook, it's like happy hour. They go to chat up friends and get some little blips of conversations about daily happenings. Check out some pictures. Maybe make some plans for the weekend. Reading a heavy headline sometimes brings down the light airy mood you're looking for when you sign onto your profile.
But the truth is, all that heavy stuff does that in real life, doesn't it? Every once in a while something smacks you in the face that pulls you down into the heavy with no warning. It just grabs you. You can try to ignore it, but it takes you anyway.
Seeing posts on Facebook that are unsettling feels bad in my gut. They make me cringe and wish they weren't there. But there they sit - Posts about people dying. Posts about love lost. Posts about sad things we don't like to talk about.
I comment my condolensces on everything that I can't change, because I'm sad for my friends who feel pain. But why don't I comment on the things that CAN change? Because I'm scared.
I'm glad Todd and I had that converation, because it made me realize how silly that is.
When someone posts a heavy status, it's most certainly because they need help. I'M scared? How ridiculous. The person who posted it is scared. And brave. Why not give a minute to try and help?
The reason I was having this conversation with Todd of all people is because HE is the ony who has been posting about the heavy. He is the one that needs help.
Todd has been working really hard to get two bills passed in NJ that will change the statute of limitation laws for filing charges against sexual predators. Right now, the law states that if you were abused as a child, you can not file charges past 2 years after your 18th birthday.
So what this means is, once you turn 21, you can no longer bring your abuser to justice. I can understand that type of law if you are talking about someone dinging your car door in the grocery store parking lot. It makes no sense in the case of child abuse.
When you are 18, 19 or even 20, you're adult life is in its infant stage, if that makes sense. You THINK you know what you're doing, but it really is a farce. Being 37 now looking back, it was all a dream. In your late teens, you are at the stage where you crave independence and can actually get it. It's surreal. But if you were abused as a child, that stupid statute it telling you that you will need to relive your past immediately. You can not wait until you are ready to face it.
How is that possible when most young adults have either blocked out their abused past or are trying to run from it? Why should there be any type of limit on when you can press charges against your abuser?
Some apposers claim that lifting the statute will cause an influx of accusers to come forward bringing up cases from the past that will be difficult to solve. Well, yeah. Isn't that the point? Isn't it the point to stop child abuse?
So I want to help Todd. By commenting on his posts. By actually DOING something about it. He has asked that we call our local assembly persons and senators to ask them to support bills A2405 and S1651 which will lift that statute of limitations and allow abused children to report the abuse on their own time - when it makes more sense.
I'm calling today.
And from now on, when I see a post that might be a little heavier than I would like, I'm going to take a minute to read it and comment. Enough with this Being Quiet bologna. The only way to eliminate the heavy posts is to help try and lift up the one who posted them. Help when you can.