Monica Lewinsky advocates for a safer and more compassionate social media environment, drawing from her unique experiences at the epicenter of a media maelstrom in 1998.
“We could all learn a few things from Monica Lewinsky, particularly about ourselves.” —CNN.com
Ms. Lewinsky is articulate, substantive, and courageous. She is hardly the person painted by the media and others (a picture accepted by the public) 20 years ago. Every young person should watch this video.
From a father’s standpoint, the story of this young woman is a tragedy that every parent can use to teach their own children an incredibly valuable lesson. Taking advantage of someone just because you can is an act of pure selfish evil. It has devastating and long term consequences, and is NEVER alright.
Indeed, the Price and the Profit of Public Shaming another person is real, seems to have become routine, and speaks much more of the absence of the character of the shamer than the shamed.
Are Christians any different than the culture? What do you think? We would hope so, yet Christians regularly engage and participate in cyberbullying under the guise of “prayerful concerns,” “God told them,” or “It’s like what Martin Luther did when he nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.” As Christians we need to stand against this public shaming, hold each other accountable, and encourage a more compassionate and positive tenor on the Internet.
In her talk, The Price of Shame, Monica Lewinsky says:
The more we saturate our culture with public shaming, the more accepted it is, the more we will see behavior like cyberbullying, trolling, some forms of hacking, and online harassment. Why? Because they all have humiliation at their cores. This behavior is a symptom of the culture we’ve created. Just think about it.
Public shaming as a blood sport has to stop, and it’s time for an intervention on the Internet and in our culture… The shift begins with something simple, but it’s not easy. We need to return to a long-held value of compassion—compassion and empathy. Online, we’ve got a compassion deficit, an empathy crisis.
Anyone who is suffering from shame and public humiliation needs to know one thing: You can survive it. I know it’s hard. It may not be painless, quick or easy, but you can insist on a different ending to your story. Have compassion for yourself. We all deserve compassion, and to live both online and off in a more compassionate world.
TED suggests: Why you should listen to Monica Lewinsky “take back my narrative.”
After becoming the focus of the history-changing federal investigation into her private life, Monica Lewinsky found herself, at 24 years old, one of the first targets of a “culture of humiliation”: a now-familiar cycle of media, political and personal harassment – particularly online.
Lewinsky survived to reclaim her personal narrative. During a decade of silence she received her Masters in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2014, Lewinsky returned to the public eye with an acclaimed essay for Vanity Fair, which has been nominated for a National Magazine Award for best Essay Writing, and with a widely viewed speech at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit.
Photo via Mashable