Radio Silence

03/25/2015 05:17 pm ET Updated May 25, 2015

There are a whole lot of things going awry in the world -- the world at large as well as our individual worlds. Many of these things are enough to drive me to radio silence online when I just can't handle another thing like X, Y, Z in my life. It's this idea that has me including things like "trigger warning" on posts regarding IPV (intimate partner violence) or most any other sort of abuse. This is important because even when regarding your closest friends you may not know of all the roads that they have travelled. You may not know of all the things they have experienced or continually experience. Even when you do know where they've been, what they've seen, you don't know how things will impact your friends.

I know someone who recently had a friend who committed suicide following allegations of statutory rape. This person's suicide left behind a young child. The person I know who's connected with this tragic story has been close friends with both parents and the young child. Now the story is all over their newsfeed and timeline. Hence, the person I know going to radio silence. Sometimes worse than the comments from complete strangers, which are always sure to drive a person's blood pressure up (can't just be mine, right?), sometimes it's the commentary from people you know that will rub salt in an already raw and painful wound. Like an earlier post entreating you to be aware of the boundaries people put up, with this post I entreat you to be aware of how posts that you put up might impact your friends and family in ways you may not even realize.

Chances are good if you've gotten this far you have very strong opinions about a lot of things. With all the ways to share your strong opinions -- your own words, other people's words, social media, whatever -- it can be tough to restrain yourself from sharing said opinions, but we all need to remember sometimes that with all the ways to share said opinions, they aren't going to people who think exactly the same way we do. They're not going to people who've had the same life we have. They're not going to people with the same spheres of influence.

With the prevalence of social media and the Internet -- even in developing countries too often thought to be "behind the times" -- nothing we say or write online is a standalone thought.


In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

In the U.S., call 1-800-656-HOPE for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

If you -- or someone you know -- need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.