For every person who thinks the internet is having negative effects on our species, there’s this.
I don’t disagree that it has its moments, that kids might as well have their phones permanently embedded in their palms, that sometimes you don’t even think anymore, you just use your alternative brain, Google. But I have recently become part of an online offshoot of a writing class I just completed, and if I could even explain to you how this group has become like a hammock of pure and total love, a receptacle for our worse selves, our fears, our shame, our paralysis, you’d think I was making it up. This group, on the daily, doles out the kind of support you’d get if you could put double Spanx on your soul. Not only that, this collective of non-judgemental, rawesome, smart and amazingly loving humans are experienced in the pain and suffering the world can dish out. It’s almost impossible to explain how this love fest happened because it’s nothing short of a bizarre little miracle.
None of us know each other, as in ever met one another in person. We met online taking a class that the objective of was to write to the bottom of a topic—the very, very bottom–the truth– and come out the top. Some of these topics were a 27,000 on the pain scale, and some were not. The truth was what we were there to learn, in an effort to improve our writing.
Now maybe it’s that a course like this would just attract supportive and affectionate people, or maybe there is some magicosity that has occurred with this group that has created an atmosphere of openness and acceptance. There is nothing too embarrassing you can’t say, too shameful you can’t share, too gross you can’t drone on about. This group holds you in their online arms like a newborn. It’s like a wall of scaffolding that is making people stand up and shout out their truths like they were at a protest march, write out their innermost fears like they had a gun to their heads, scream at the top of their lungs about what it is they simply won’t stand one more second for.
It’s made me consider how much better the world would be if we all just gave each other the benefit of the doubt and offered support more freely. This sort of blind faith in people that’s showing up in this group is empowering. People are shifting and changing and getting in touch with the weighty shit that’s keeping them down. What if, offline, we were all just a little more supportive? Might that help us all to accomplish what we think we can’t?
Gratitude for the online cheerleading squad I’m lucky enough to be part of. You guys are the fucking light.