Several weeks back, I left Facebook. It had just become too much; I was constantly being fed bad news, day after day, and was witness to (and sometimes participated in) outrage. Usually the outrage was political, but sometimes it was over the most mundane things. I realized that this had made Facebook a place where it was no longer enjoyable to be. I did not Facebook to tell me the country is a frightening place, and I didn’t need it adding to my anxiety.
So, I left. I deactivated my account and took a social media break. I still have other social media accounts, such as Twitter and Instagram, but there’s rarely as much drama on those…or so I thought. My first week on Twitter, I was witness to this.
That’s S. E. Hinton, author of The Outsiders, disparaging graphic novels, and, oh boy, it was an eruption. Every librarian, book fan, and comics professional I follow on Twitter was reposting the tweet with a comment plus commenting on the initial thread. It was shared thousands of times and within minutes articles like this appeared. I’m telling you, it felt like an explosion. Within hours, Hinton had apologized.
And yet, despite her swift apology and her obvious willingness to listen and accept new information, Twitter was still coming for Hinton. Even today, I’ve seen calls to HASHTAG CANCEL SE HINTON LIKE OMG. Thus seems to be the inescapable blight of social media; a transgression spreads at the speed of light, but not an apology. Hinton was wrong, of course, comics is a perfectly valid medium and reading comics is perfectly valid reading. I wrote an entire a book about this topic. But cancelling S. E. Hinton with calls to start boycotting her books is, in my opinion, an incredible overreaction. There’s so much in the current world to be outraged about, why add to it?
Looks like I may be ditching Twitter, too, and just sticking to the harmless (and focused) social media platforms of Goodreads and Litsy.