FREEDOM OF SPEECH (What is it really?)

I have mixed feelings about Freedom of Speech. Most people do not truly understand what it is or what it’s for. I’m going to go over some key points and how Freedom of Speech relates to today.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

What it allows:

  • The right not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag) 1943
  • Students have the right to wear black armbands to school to protest a war 1969
  • The right to use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages 1971
  • The right to contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns 1976
  • The right to advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions) 1977
  • The right to engage in symbolic speech 1990

What it doesn’t allow:

  • You can not incite actions that would harm others 1919
  • You can’t make or distribute obscene materials 1957
  • You can’t burn your draft card 1968
  • Students can’t print articles in a school newspaper over the objection of the school administration 1988
  • Students can’t make obscene speech at a school sponsored event 1986
  • Students can’t advocate illegal drug use at a school sponsored event 2007

THE INTERNET

People treat the Internet like a public space. But social media spaces like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and blogs are privately owned spaces. There is no obligation to allow you to speak freely in their space.

Too often online Freedom of Speech is used as a defense mechanism to deflect criticism. People believe social media is a harmless place where people can say what they want and it’s meaningless with no consequence. Unfortunately this isn’t true.

Example based on a true story:

What if you began receiving Photoshopped pictures with nooses next to your head, threats of rape and suffocation, your home address and social security number posted in online forums? Why? Because of your job as a game developer and software programmer. The response from authorities was to move, change your routine, and to watch for people or cars that you see more than once in your area. Not much of a solution.

THE PROBLEM

Freedom of Speech laws were written before the internet was invented. It’s one thing to call someone names or insult them. Threats and posting secure personal information isn’t Freedom of Speech it’s harassment and criminal.

POINT OF VIEW

I like to go on YouTube to look at music videos because you can’t find them on MTV anymore. I have made the mistake of scrolling down and reading the comments on some of them. I’m the type of person who is loyal. Specifically if I know the person. When I see someone calling a band that does have political views a “bunch of pussy faggots that if they don’t like it here they should just f*cking leave”. The negative comments continued and were brutal. This group has been for the working class, the underdog, the misfits, people who feel like they don’t fit in, they are against homophobic people, racists, bullies, anyone who humiliates or suppresses others. They are generous with their time and money. I may have responded a little passionately.

I don’t see the point in going on a band’s Twitter page or YouTube video just to trash them. If you don’t like them, don’t listen. Are people that insecure that this is the only way to make themselves feel better? I will never understand.

There has to be new guidelines put in place for online Speech. I have been the victim of threats because I write about Mental Illness. I have also been threatened because I have written about Domestic Abuse or Violence by a close person. Nothing helps you to heal more than being threatened after writing about a violent experience.

Most people could brush it off. I have Conversion Disorder and I’m Bipolar. Every word spins in my head over and over. I start to doubt my role in that time period. I start to think maybe it was my fault and I deserved it. Maybe I should apologize to the guy for blaming him all these years. After all I was Bipolar and didn’t know it and an alcoholic myself. I must have said or done something to set him off.

To think this way is toxic. To get back on track I had to talk to someone who knew us both at the time. I felt better after. It shouldn’t be that way. I shouldn’t need to validate how I feel or doubt how I feel because of threats from unknown people.

It’s the comments I read from strangers on someone’s Twitter page that bother me the most. Everyone believes because they are “anonymous” they can say what they want. If you wouldn’t say it to their face don’t type it on social media. I can guarantee that 90% of people would never say the things they write on social media to the person’s face.

It’s the coward’s way and I’m tired of it.

 

EXCRUCIATING! Watching Q & A’s On Social Media and Feeling Invisible.

From time to time I will watch a Live Question and Answer session on a Social Media platform. I don’t do it often because I find myself become irritated, sad, and then feeling more isolated than I already do.

When the person answering the questions has answered the SAME EXACT QUESTIONS AT LEAST 5 TIMES PREVIOUSLY and literally asks that no one else ask the same questions again, it’s more than annoying.

BUT not as frustrating as when I finally work up courage to write something and it’s always ignored or sent back to me. I don’t know if that’s just how it works because I try not to do it often. Why? Because I then start to do the infamous snowballing.

Questions start swirling in my overactive brain. Has everyone blocked me and I just don’t know about it? Do they think I am a security threat because it links to blog about Bipolar Disorder? Oh, wait! Everyone they follow has dark hair and I’m a red head, maybe they don’t like red heads? Everyone they follow that’s female is pretty. Maybe I’m not considered pretty enough to follow like a velvet rope system but for Social Media. Did I offend the person and not realize it? Should I apologize? Maybe I should consider breast implants or some Botox.

Then I think “I really miss drinking when I didn’t give a shit what anyone thought no matter who they were.” When I even told a famous singer to go F*ck himself because he grabbed me on his tour bus and wouldn’t let me go. I could see the track marks on his arm and he smelled like he hadn’t showered in months. Back then the alcohol made me not overthink everything. Granted it also helped my erratic behavior, impulsiveness, and sometimes I wasn’t rational enough to know when a situation had gone too far.

This spineless, doubting, invisibility, is killing me. I just want to know I exist sometimes. My entire life I blamed so much on my weight. Now that the weight is gone I actually hide more than I ever did. Now that I can actually dress up and feel like I fit in I do nothing.

The only thing stopping me is me. Fear that it will be the same. Rejection. I can’t go through everything I’ve already been through again. So what now?am-i-invisible-1024x683

TWITTER BOOBS (I have to clarify my statements again)

The people that were commenting on a podcast I was listening to about breasts were doing so in a comedic manor. They were not trying to be sexist or hurt anyone’s feelings. I have a tendency to take things personally because of my own problems with self-esteem and body image.

When I look in the mirror most of the time I don’t like what I see. I still see a 270 pound woman who was bullied and mocked for most of her life. That’s my problem no one else’s.

My family has never even commented on the fact that I am literally half the person I used to be. No one has said a positive thing about the way I look. They have commented when my weight went down to 119 pounds that I looked “horrible”, “skeleton like”, “anorexic”, and “sickly”. They were correct. I didn’t know I was in Kidney Failure and that was why my weight kept dropping. Now that I am at a healthy weight they say nothing. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this. Again it goes back to validation. Something I always seem to want. It’s something I have always struggled with. The need to fit in or to feel like I belong. Part of it is because I’m Bipolar and the feeling never goes away completely.

It isn’t easy to live a life where you constantly feel uncomfortable no matter where you are or who you are with. When you live with nonstop doubt in your head and feel you were never meant to be or exist.

This feeling is compounded by being a twin. For some reason I have always thought there should’ve only been one of us, my sister. She is the “normal” one. She has done everything that I imagine a “normal” woman would do. She went to college, dated, got engaged, married, bought a house, and had 2 children. I wasn’t able to do any of that and wondered if it was for a reason.

I have to try harder than most people to distract my brain from focusing on these thoughts. It isn’t easy. Medication and therapy has not been successful due to my late diagnosis, alcoholism, and other factors. But I keep trying. I will always make mistakes. I will always own up to them if I can realize that I’ve made them. Talking openly about it is the only way I know to work through it.