I was going to publish a post today about my favorite travel websites but that’s going to have to wait. As you know, on Sunday evening there was a horrific tragedy in Las Vegas. I feel angry and I feel hopeless. But it’s not about what I feel in reaction to events such as Sunday evening. It’s about what I choose to do – my actions in response to this and any other tragedies.
Many bloggers, celebrities, and friends that I follow on social media took to their platforms to share how to help. Many shared their emotions. Some wrote they were keeping Vegas in their prayers.
I’ve thought long and hard about what I want to say about this. It’s not easy and I am not really going to sugarcoat it, so if I offend you that’s not my intention however I sincerely apologize. My goal is to provide some food for thought and start a conversation. If you are a praying person, please do pray. If you aren’t and you don’t actually intend on praying, it’s okay to use your hurt and anger in another way. Call your representatives. Donate blood. Truthfully, I think we all just feel helpless in tragedies – especially when they aren’t in our communities. So we do what’s easy. We publicly announce that those affected are in our thoughts and prayers.
There’s nothing wrong with praying and keeping people in your thoughts. (If we want to get really personal, I was raised in church and have gone since I was an infant. So praying is as normal to me as anything.) I hope my point isn’t lost here – but what I’m saying is please, let’s think before we write things like “my thoughts and prayers are with _____”. Take some time to process and then share your feelings. In my opinion, it can be disingenuous when we share things like an outfit photo, link all of the clothes we’re wearing, then slap on a sentence at the end of the caption about said tragedy.
So…by now you know that I’m referring specifically to bloggers. This is a touchy subject that I have seen debates on allll over recently. Many bloggers choose not to address political issues or tragedies or natural disasters on their platforms. They are, after all, generally niche bloggers who only write about a certain subset of topics. No one should expect that a blogger will cover all topics or all tragedies out there. There are bad things happening every single day and a blog that addressed all events would literally be a news site. I understand both sides of the coin. Sharing the tough stuff like politics and world issues isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s off brand for some. It’s uncomfortable. It’s personal.
There are a lot of reasons why some bloggers may be silent and are not addressing topics. And you know what? That’s perfectly okay. Just because someone doesn’t Instagram story something about a tragedy does not mean they are not supporting those affected, grieving for them, and reacting to it. I know that we tend to overshare our lives on social media but I think I speak for all when I say we don’t bare it all. There is a lot that does not get shared.
For those that do want to use their platform to speak about topics outside of the norm of fashion, beauty, etc. here are my two cents. Should you want to post a photo on Instagram and write a caption that helps others find ways to support a tragedy or express your sadness, there is a tasteful way to do so. (Moorea Seal did a great job with this here.) Maybe post your outfit photo the following day and that caption can be 100% about your outfit. Or if you do want to share your outfit that day because you have chosen to not address certain topics on your platform, own that decision. It’s okay and don’t let others bully you into thinking it’s not.
The world needs more kindness and love, tragedy or not. It’s unfortunate that some people are shaming others when more negativity is the last thing we need. But I digress. It’s a hard topic. My own words might sound hypocritical though it’s not my intention. I genuinely hope that for those who are in the same boat as me and confused with how we should respond to some of life’s tragedies, that this just gives you some food for thought. We can’t please everyone whichever choice we do make, but we can do our best to be kind whichever way we do choose.
If you made it to the end, thanks for reading. TLDR: Be nicer than necessary.