Change Starts with You

I love the power of social media. The fun facts, news, random posts and just plain weird stuff that people disclose.  But with all that good stuff comes the bad, and boy, is there a lot of it!  Have you ever given a second thought about it? Look away,hit delete, block it. As long as it doesn’t directly affect you, why bother caring about it, right?

Have you ever asked yourself  “Who does it affect?”  Ever took action?

This week produced a series of events that led up to me answering that question.  Last week I was reading CSULB’s Daily 49er online, and the author had reported about a blogger at CSULB who takes photos of young woman in tight clothes,and then adds the most inappropriate comments to it. Naturally curious, I followed the digital breadcrumbs from his blog to his Twitter feed and was blown away by the disgusting and completely offensive material in front of me. I was so enraged that this guy had followers, lapping up his disgusting comments about woman, their body parts, and what he’d like to do to them. I honestly felt like his behavior was showing signs, that if not corrected, would lead down the path of a sexual predator. The fact that other people followed him sickened me even more. Why wasn’t anyone telling this guy off?

I blasted his Twitter feed with my thoughts of his disgusting comments, and flagged the feed and blog as inappropriate, in hopes that site administrators would take it down. After that, I honestly forgot all about it.

Fast forward to yesterday. I was in one of my Leadership Academy workshops, and the topic was Ethics. We looked at Ethics from all angles, but primarily from a business perspective. What are ethic business practices, what are the gray areas, etc. The topic then turned to cheating, and the question was posed;  “When it doesn’t affect you, then why bother interfering”. I thought about that sick bastard online.

I told the group that while it may have been easy for me to simply not return to his website anymore, or hit delete, I felt a stronger obligation towards the other woman he’d photographed. Would you take action if you saw a picture of your roommate, girlfriend, classmate? Furthermore, if nobody says or does anything, then doesn’t our inaction give him, and others like him, permission to continue the behavior? When the behavior is continued, my belief is that is that guys like him may progress further into predatory behaviors. So while his stupid little blog really has no affect on my life, I felt a strong ethical drive to be the voice for those girls that had no voice,and to take a stand against a little shithead who thought he could get away with material like that.

So later than evening,I checked both the blog and Twitter accounts, and was elated to find that his accounts had been deactivated. I’m positive that it was the combined actions of people who refused to just ‘look away” that created such a positive change, albeit small.

So next time you come across something unethical, think not about its affect in your life, but think about what actions you can do to change it.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

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