Gee, I take a personal/vacation day and this happens.
My friend Floyd at Live 105 in Halifax was the subject of cyber bullying this morning. Rather than respond in kind, like I would have done, she decided to ask her followers on Twitter to institute the hashtag #hugsnotshrugs.
(Full disclosure: I had a troll on this Blog a couple of years ago. He took great delight in mocking my first name. It was no end of amusement for him to compare me and Patricia and wonder which one of us was the male, and which, the female. Or, maybe, we were both women. Hardy har har. My ribs. My ribs. We eventually found out who the impotent little beachcomber was. I even discussed the issue with a police friend of mine. Perhaps that is what scared the little worm off. The guy, not the cop. Because of the troll, all comments to this blog are now moderated: A lasting legacy of an unpleasant time.)
Within hours, this new hashtag was trending on twitter in Canada. I read earlier this evening that it had made its way across the pond to Scotland. MSN has picked up the story. The Huffington Post has picked it up. The CBC interviewed Floyd on the supper time news this evening, mere hours after the hashtag went live. By the morning, it will probably be trending in the United States.
Floyd, of course, is a friend of mine. She has always been nice to me and generous with her time. She is one of the good ones. We had lunch not long ago, and I hope we have lunch again not long from now. For some internet troll who doesn't know her, has never met her, doesn't know what she is like as a person, to accuse Floyd of capitalizing on a health issue, is simply being hateful and stupid and uncaring about others.
It is very easy to target a person in the media. To many, they are simply voices on a radio, or flickering images on a television. It is easy to succumb to the notion that they are not real human beings with emotions and feelings and mortgages and health issues. You know, like the rest of us are. If I went up to someone at my work or my Toastmasters club or at my mother's nursing home and said, "Gee, you look awful today. You're losing a lot of weight. Do you have an eating disorder; are you lying about having Celiac Disease?", I would not blame that person for reacting angrily. It would be a rude thing for me to do, to put it mildly. But somehow, in some way I do not understand, people in the media are expected to take that crap with a measure of good humour that most of us do not (and should not have to) possess.
Without naming names, I have had friends I work with pronounce negatively about radio people. One person said she didn't like the station of the person I was interviewing at the time, in the presence of this jock. Another essentially accused another female jock of being less than intelligent and would not listen to the station this person worked at, as the jock's voice and demeanour were annoying to her. I can cite other instances.
For Floyd to take this situation and turn it around within hours speaks once again of her high character; my respect for her grows by the day. She did something that I could not have done, that I would not have done, but that I should have done.
Congratulations to Floyd.
And, let's do something nice for someone tomorrow. And the day after. And the day after that.
Oh, here's the link if you want to see the video.
See you tomorrow.