Most of us can admit that we've been on sites like People of Walmart. And yes, we've laughed. It seems so harmless. But the Internet does that - it disconnects us from the fact that there are real people behind these photos that we are laughing at. And these people have feelings.
Recently, one of these people spoke out. Her name is Jennifer Knapp Wilkinson and her picture was taken by young teenage girls who just happened to be there to capture her unfortunate accident, using their cell phones. And this picture went viral with millions of people sharing it, laughing at her, saying mean things, and spreading misinformation.
Jennifer is a real person and what happened was hurtful to her.
In the article she wrote, she explains a few things that you should know before you start judging her:
1. She has a physical health condition called spondylolisthesis, which is the result of a degenerative disc condition. It is a hereditary condition. She didn't bring it on herself
This condition came about before she had a problem with her weight.
2. She has mental health issues including PTSD and depressive disorder and avoidant personality disorder.
So, the next time you're tempted to click that share button or retweet something, ask yourself - if this was ME how would I feel about people sharing it in this context. Because those people? They are real. And chances are they are going to see the photos that people are sharing. How do you think they will feel about it.
It's time to put a stop to this de-personalization of Internet use. It starts with you. What are you going to do about it?