On Your Mark, Be Safe
It’s been a while since I’ve looked at Facebook. With so many more bitesized streams of information, the powerhouse social media monster website has taken a major downturn in holding my attention. I can hide ranty or negative posts and unfollow ranty or negative people, but there still always is a hurtful video, or overly political statement, or animal cruelty photo that slips in and feels like an icepick stabbing me in the chest as I scroll.
It’s been like this for a few months, after I did a serious social media detox.
I was battling cancer and going through chemotherapy, which is a very harsh, toxic way to weaken the body’s immune system — and entire soul. You feel it everywhere, including your emotions. Dramatic or hateful things that normally would roll right off my shoulders were absorbed deeply into every fiber and tissue, causing me physical pain in my chest.
I had to be very careful to only look at things that brought me pure joy — children, art, animals, nature, laughter, family, dancing. Food is a huge no, as I was very strict with what I could eat, so that also left Instagram out of my sight. I did well with Snapchat, as that allows you to consume only what/who you want. I can choose to watch people who always make me laugh and feel joy.
Meanwhile back to Facebook, I had no idea there was a serious terror attack happening in Europe until I opened my Facebook to see that a number of my friends were marked “safe.”
Huge relief poured over me but also confusion. There are a number of these types of mass killings happening all over the world — and only in Paris there is this feature?
It turns out this Safety Check feature that Facebook has created was launched in 2014 after a number of natural disasters. There had been five such previous checks, all for hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. The day before the Paris attacks, there was a double-suicide bombing in the capital city of Lebanon that killed 43 people and injured 200 in the worst attack Beirut has seen in years. Facebook deciding to allow human disasters only after Paris erupted caused uproar for lack of compassion for those dying and continuing to die in the Middle East. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in a Facebook post: “Until yesterday, our policy was only to activate Safety Check for natural disasters. We just changed this and now plan to activate Safety Check for more human disasters going forward as well.”
For humanity’s sake, I hope this isn’t a feature that needs to be activated very often, but it is extremely useful to know that your friends and loved ones in a crisis area are safe.
CHRISTA WITTMIER IS “SUPERCW” ON ALL SOCIAL MEDIA. FIND HER ON SNAPCHAT, SOUNDCLOUD, TWITTER, VINE AND INSTAGRAM. BY NIGHT, SHE IS KNOWN AS DJ SUPERCW. BY DAY, SHE IS KNOWN AS SENIOR MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR YOUNG’S MARKET COMPANY OF HAWAII. HER NIGHTLIFE BLOG SUPERCITY RUNS EVERY WEDNESDAY ON HONOLULUPULSE.COM