Finger wagging

It’s easy to point fingers. You might even say it is natural human behaviour. So much easier to find fault in others, to shout angrily, to condemn and tut your way to feeling some kind of victory against all the bad things that regularly happen in the world.

I listened to this excellent podcast by Stephen Fry recently (or it could have been last year, I lose track of time). He examines the 7 deadly sins, and in general explores the idea of what constitute bad behaviour. But he also makes the point, and it really made me stop and think, about how we love to get into a rage about everything but rarely think about our part in the problem and how we can just try to make things better by starting with our own behaviours.

Again this goes back to twitter and social media. I have not been ‘checking in’ for much of this year (and I did quit the other year for some time). People are tired, angry, scared and looking for someone to blame and shout at anyone that comes into their cross hairs. Before the pandemic you just had the usual pedantry, patronising and other unhelpful behaviours.

So I’ve switched off, no more shouting into the void or adding to the tsunami of algorithmically-boosted rage. I’m focusing on friends and family, I’ll advocate on issues I care about through actual petitions or writing to an MP. I’ll try to think what I can do to avoid making the world an unhappier place. I can’t control people, and you can’t shame the shameless.

Minimise the virtual distortion. Try to engage in the real world. Look after your neighbours, friends, community where you can. Be patient.