In her latest column written before lockdown, Lisa May Young talks about the importance of safe spaces in the virtual and real worlds.
Note from Editor:
Although Lisa wrote this before the lockdown, now more than ever it seems more important than ever before that we are safe and look after each other.
When I visit a café, I sit facing the doorway.
Recently, while working from one of my favourite places in the town, Kirkcaldy Galleries, I sat at my usual spot and unleashed my inner creative, overlooking the pretty, flowered gardens and watching the occasional car arrive and hustle for a parking space.
Then, it occurred to me, from my viewpoint I am sitting as close, as possible, to a doorway.
Hello, my friend, self-actualisation.
As a Trainee Counsellor, self-awareness is always there, you can learn more from a client than from a theory book and every single day is a school day.
I believe we all have our ‘thing’; the pattern or habit fostering security or safety.
Whether it’s buying a bean and potato pie from the bakers because that is what your Dad bought when you were a wee girl or the film you know all the words too you deliberately watch with the intention of falling asleep.
As humans, we seek security and safety.
This made me consider the other world in which I inhabit. The virtual one. I was a late comer to social media.
Nowadays, I utilise the socials for my professional life. Its either about broadcasting or creativity.
Subsequently, I rarely share anything personal unless it inspires a piece of writing.
Nevertheless, I had to ask myself the question; do I feel safe in expressing myself online? Yes, yet I am wary.
I am mindful of being respectful in how others view themselves.
Do I curb my opinions? Absolutely. I very rarely comment on controversial subjects.
I’ve had the private messages at three in the morning via Instagram from random men saying hello. In the virtual world, I am careful and aware, particularly on Twitter, I do not express fully.
The introduction of ‘cancel culture’ concerns me greatly.
One word, a picture, a misinterpreted phrase can lead to years of hard work and reputation going down the drain with the time it takes to add a hashtag.
Imagine for the moment looking online and seeing your name trending next to the word ‘cancel’.
It must be a horrifying experience with a detrimental effect on your mental health.
The tragic suicide of Caroline Flack is heart-breaking and invites us to consider how we conduct ourselves online.
Now, to be clear, the Queendom Community and many other Facebook group are one of the few places I feel safe online, to be myself and see others in authentic glory without fear of recrimination or judgement. However, I don’t feel this sense of security in other areas of my online life.
This sparked a conversation with my good friend and Editor of Queendom of Fife, Cara Forrester, and a burning desire to start a revolution.
What if we affirmed our intentions to be kind to others online?
Last year, suicide rates in Scotland increased by 15%. We know this in Fife, we feel this in Fife.
What if we demonstrated through action and intention an affirmation of kindness to others who may be suffering in silence?
It’s time for a change. It’s time for a revolution of kindness.
Welcome to The Queens of Kindness Club – will you join us? Sign the Queendom Kindness charter here.
Lisa May Young is a Fife broadcaster, writer and creator learn more about her and her fellow Queens of Business here.