November 7, 2012 in Uncategorized
I would happily talk to anyone about how much I loved my Drury experience with no reward for doing so other than to share my story, and one of the first things I would mention is how many deeply intelligent, kind-hearted, all-around wonderful people attend this school with me. So many of them are friends that I would do anything for. Although I’ve met my greatest happinesses here in so many ways, I’ve also had to come to terms with the fact that completely avoidable negativity exists here too, and I’d like to quickly and quietly confront it just one time.
One social media trend is to make satirical Twitter accounts about universities, and Drury has some of its own. The pivotal one that first emerged is pretty funny and, in my opinion, has totally replaced our historical rogue newspaper, Life on the Lane (cue freshman saying “Life on the what?”). After its anonymous tweeting started and became sort of a campus mascot of sorts, others popped up as well, but some took the stance of rumors and complaints about Drury and members of its community. Lately, some of them have become a terrible and false representation of who we are and what Drury is.
To that point, I don’t like that some of my own peers are so easily willing to humiliate each other by posting each others’ mug shots or personal affairs on a social networking site. Gossip has and always will be an eternal vice for young people, but it’s so frustrating to see our friends and classmates guilty of mistakes – sometimes severe, life-altering mistakes – punished even more by being made a public mockery of, especially within a community they probably feel at home at. Being made aware of a student’s situation, whether a legal issue or not, in passing conversation is one thing (not saying it’s okay, just that it’s just on one end of a spectrum) – sharing it with the rest of the world just for fun is another. Franky, it’s cruel.
Some might defend that it’s all in good fun and that nobody really gets hurt, but in my opinion that’s such an overused excuse it shouldn’t even be valid and shrugs off responsibility. I’m not a saint here – just like nearly everyone else in the world, I fall under the spell of gossip, and let’s not forget that Drury is a small place, sometimes infamously so. But I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of gossip for the most trivial things, and when my conscious is alert enough, the sting of those memories reminds me to hold my tongue. Everyone has been gossiped about, so why doesn’t it stop us from so severely and permanently doing the same to others?
My simple proposal is that we remember the difference between satire and malice and love our neighbors and peers before we decide to hurt them. At the very least, watch Mean Girls again. I know you all have seen it – maybe you just didn’t get the message.