Saturday, December 30, 2006

As The Internet Turns

Yes, it has become a soap opera in many ways. There are factions, feuds, cliques and those who feel excluded and disregarded. People make deep relationships with people they have never laid eyes on and, in many cases, with whom they have never spoken.

Disparate views are treated with the same attacks that might be reserved for someone doing something REALLY bad and there are those who just want to be at the top of the heap, no matter what. There are self-designated "experts" and those who criticize and those who want 15 minutes of fame or more. Then there are our friends, the people on OUR side, who feel they need to set themselves up as the hand-slapping conscience of the groups and decide what should be said and what shouldn't be said. Add to that the depressed and self-involved that see every commission and omission directed solely at them. That already looks like a giant, dysfunctional family, doesn't it?

I have seen online news forums used, usually by adoption facilitators, adopters, grateful adoptees and "happy burfmuggles" to attack activist moms and those moms who still grieve their loss. Some of the comments are so hateful ("she's the one who spread her legs" as if this person made it to marital bliss untouched..right?) that they can take the breath from your lungs in sympathy with the person or groups attacked. Mothers of adoption loss (yes, I think we suffered a terrible loss and I use this term without apologies to those "fer us and agin us") are prime targets of this vitriol and the individuals among us who speak out are targeted, with relish, by some of the above-mentioned persons.

I sometimes want to laugh and say, "hit us with your best shot," because we Moms of the BSE have already been there and done that. We're old hands at being called loose, sluts, promiscuous, etc. "Crackwhore" is relatively new, but I am sure that if crack addiction had been a social problem of that magnitude in our era, we would have had that label affixed to us, as well. That is something for the adopters of today to point to whenever their greedy need is in question.

So, one of the greatest tools for fast communication, education and enlightenment ever to emerge on to the scene, the Internet, is becoming a sad combination of feuding ground, gossip column and hate-mail purveyor. For every heartfelt story that is published in a blog or website or on a mailing list or forum, there are dozens of people who will argue, cut, abuse and ridicule and safely do so, to the point of slander, from the safety of their anonymous keyboards.

Sometimes I take a bit of a break away from the larger Internet out There and concentrate on my real life and smaller groups where there is less turmoil. Even then, on these private groups, you can run into some sticky situations. But, in my own living room, away from the one-eyed monster, I remember what life and love is and that the faceless people with their smugness and hate and self-interest run riot are just words on a screen with a nick-name attached. What is said or not said, a year down the line, will probably not matter at all in the larger picture of real life.

I'm 61 any my husband is 67. We are watching retirement for both of us becoming a reality within months and I probably will not spend as much time at this keyboard. Our life together and the good use of the years we have left are my number one priority. Yes, I care about the struggle against adoption and I will continue to write and send my letters to the editors and congresspeople. But, I am still waiting for some cohesion, some justice and some kind of activism that puts egos and dogmatic absolutes to one side to do more. Right now, the Internet turns and anarchy reigns.

1 comment:

Joy said...

I think you are selling yourself short.

You have mattered to me a lot.