No. No it’s not a ‘13 Reasons why’ story. Although this does share a common ground with the series which being how our actions have more affect than we would want to accept. And the affect necessarily not being of the positive kind.
I am not as unaffected as I would like myself to be by people’s unkind words for me. I completely lack that courageous exterior. But yes, yes I do manage to keep my head held up high even under most unpleasant circumstances. I guess seeing death from up close way early in life prepares you for all sorts of unexpected horrid events.
So here this goes - This is about how a clip of me involved in a brawl, of which I am definitely not proud of, ended up on YouTube and then nearly year later on Facebook. This is about how the whole scene was taped and shared over and over again among my college mates on WatsApp and YouTube and Facebook. Thanks to our new generation and smart phones. This is about how my university did nothing to do the needed damage control after the clip was made viral from within the premises and more importantly; was filmed by one of my college mate.
Ever wondered how something which you put in the entertainment category could be a reason of unpleasantness for someone else, ranging from anger to sadness? Ever wondered how our reactions to random clips, which flood our social media, affect those involved? I know it’s a human folly to talk about one and another behind their back but what is it with doing something knowing well enough that it could have a negative impact on another person? To which ego does such actions cater to? I can never fathom.
I write this descriptively because I want everyone (from around me) who participated in the ‘like’ , ‘share’ and ‘comment’ of the clip with me in it, as not so protagonist, know how their nasty remarks, their ROFL emoji and all sorts of disgusting use of words made me feel. In all honesty, it made me furious. I was outraged and my very first instinct was to sue them individually for being an accessory to the harassment I felt. It was incredibly difficult for me to choose a different reaction to everything which was being said about me and I couldn’t have done it if I wasn’t an avid reader. If you are a reader like me , you would resonate with the fact that reading lifts your brain and builds you up internally. Your brain learns to absorb shock and knows how to turn it around.
I deliberately subjected myself to the reading and re-reading of all the nasty remarks especially the ones which were made by my college mates from juniors to seniors to even my batchmates. I kept reading and re-reading those words over and over until I felt extremely comfortable reading them and that sort of attitude on my part was alarming too. But I had read somewhere that facing what makes you uncomfortable will in all certainty clear all fears so I did exactly that. And it did the work. I was way more in control than what can be expected of from twenty something someone in similar shoes. And that felt great. I know to this day that I had done a powerful thing. A powerful thing by choosing to react differently to everything which was being said about me.
My questions remains for those who are on the same side of the world as mine and who did opposite of a powerful thing by engaging in a distasteful use of words on the thread of the uploaded link and took it a notch up by publicly sharing the video on their profile with elaborate details. If such actions were only out of mere curiosity, then I wonder why the mean remarks? Or was it simply an effort to put face to the girl in the clip? Why the need to locate the girl in the video in 3D? Why? Why repeated tagging and re-tagging of friends and acquaintances and college mates? And thus in doing, making the content more accessible. Entertaining, right? If you ask me, it’s quite shallow for an individual to find laughter in something which brings displeasure to another person.
As I read one comment after another made by those around me, a feeling kept seeping inside and that was a feeling of rising above it. The names or labels with which people tend to associate you with never throws poor light on you. That only speaks more louder of their character and their morals in particular. I knew I didn’t have to react beyond what was necessary to resolve the situation. I approached with my practical glasses on.
When you are thrown over heap of lemons, don’t just stop at making lemonade. Put a price tag on it,
Author Notes: I could rise above it only because of one of my favourite poem which is titled ‘If’ by Rudyard Kipling.
And the poem begins with - IF YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HEAD WHEN ALL ABOUT YOU ARE LOSING THEIRS AND BLAMING IT ON YOU.
Remember you got the upper hand in choosing what has power over you. Don’t ever relinquish that upper hand.