Although I did not blog myself, I did find time to take a cursory glance at other blogs I read regularly. My attention was caught by a post on the e-Church blog in which Stuart seemed to suggest self harm could be akin to the sacraments - " blood as liquid emotion". The link was to an article entitled Self injury and the Sacraments by Stacey. I was a little dubious about the idea of self harm as sacrament, partly because self harm does seem to be a growing trend, and can have an unfortunate glamour. Can I be quite clear here that I am not unsympathetic to those who self harm, it is a well documented response to pain and trauma, I just think there may be dangers if it is dignified/ mystified as "sacramental" in some way.
Anyhow, it then emerged that Stacey had also written a rather offensive post and as a result was receiving death threats and having her details published on antagonistic websites. The post was most unedifying and really did say more about Stacey tendency to over react to supposed homosexuals than anything else, but the comments did also shock me and made me think about the way the Internet often brings out the worst in all of us. I am an enthusiastic blogger and I love the Internet, but the instantaneous and potentially anonymous nature of communication it affords can free us to to say and do things that we might otherwise hesitate over.
Most schools have a non bullying policy, but more and more they face the problem of how to deal with situations where a member of the school community bullies another through email or social networking sites. I have heard some awful stories on the news about young people driven to contemplate or commit suicide because of cyber bullying, sometimes involving targeted "hate pages" set up about them. Blogging is a slightly different field to social networking. Bloggers put their opinions, which are sometimes controversial or provocative, out there for comment and , to an extent, should be able to carry the can. There are limits though; on the Internet, as in real life, we should not match hatred for hatred.
All in all, I was quite glad I'd prioritised the gym...