I apologize. Two words with so much meaning and yet today, in this culture’s climate, they no longer form something with meaning but rather seem to self serve a throwaway purpose that is to make you look better or to make someone else “feel better.” Apologizing shouldn’t ever be something another person forces, but rather something you do with sincerity when you’re in the wrong. Instead, today its a social media message push to apologize when you shouldn’t.SOCIETY SAYS APOLOGIZE WHEN IT'S WRONG. BUT LET'S NOT WHEN IT'S RIGHT. #CULTURE #OPINIONS #SOCIETY #APOLOGIES #CANCELCULTURE #SOCIALMEDIA Click To Tweet
As I observe the actions and reactions of people on social media, this is a mentality that I find troubling. In this edition of the series I think of as social media combat (and pop culture in general), I’m talking about the mistaken assumptions that now seem to accompany apologies. Here’s the definition of “apologize.”
[ uh-pol-uh-jahyz ]
verb (used without object), a·pol·o·gized, a·pol·o·giz·ing.
to offer an apology or excuse for some fault, insult, failure, or injury: He apologized for accusing her falsely.
to make a formal defense in speech or writing.
While many will say this definition does accurately depict when an apology is necessary, I would argue, it does not. Here’s my bullet point thoughts on what apologies mean.
*This is based on the understanding we’re talking about adults and not the parent-child relationship; it also isn’t looking at every single scenario, but it does apply to things I observe on social media, and do find very troubling.
WHEN YOU SHOULD APOLOGIZE
1: APOLOGIZE FOR INTENTIONAL HARM
Sometimes a person intentionally harms another person in a destructive or maybe just an unkind way. When this is done, it’s always the act of a kind person to apologize, all without coercion or prompting. In fact, most of the time when we want to apologize, which is always how an apology should be given, it’s because we’re convicted.
Meaning, it’s because we know that what we did is wrong.
2: APOLOGIZE IF YOU SPREAD RUMORS [ABOUT A PERSON]
Anytime you spread something that’s a harmful rumor (by going on a social media campaign), and state it as fact about someone, even if it’s because you “followed” everyone else says, you should apologize. You’re helping to spread rumor that may not (or may) be accurate. Giving an opinion on something that the person SAID in an interview or their social media platform is different than a perceived, subjective opinion and rumor of someone. If you are the instigator of rumor or say something about a person you don’t know is fact, you’re not showing grace or being kind.
WHEN YOU SHOULDN’T APOLOGIZE
1: DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR THE PERCEPTION OF WRONG
This actually walks hand in hand with my first point in the first section. Just because the Internet or trolls on the Internet say you should apologize, doesn’t mean you should. I hope everyone knows this; I hope you live this. I hope you believe this. If we don’t, then that’s scary.
If you’ve examined your heart, spoke to someone you love and most important, you know you didn’t do what the Internet accuses you of, then don’t ever apologize. It’s not for a band of Internet trolls (which by the way, aren’t always as mighty as they seem since many are bot accounts created to give the illusion of many), to be judge and jury. More important, if you’ve done nothing wrong, you are fixing nothing by abiding by this kind of “apologize when you shouldn’t” rule. Especially true if it’s for a perceived wrong.
I’ve seen too many people apologize just because the Internet tells them to and they think the “drama” or “rumor” will go away. That’s no way to live and certainly no way to stand up for yourself.
2: DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR PRINCIPLES
I’m so weary of seeing people bend and cave to anyone who comes on their page to inform them that they, their best friend or mother are “triggered” or something you post offends them. When it’s on your page, and sharing something you find inspiring, or you’re educated about or you enjoy, don’t apologize. It’s not your job to protect everyone on your page or your website. You have a right to share what you want in a way that makes sense, is informed, or works for you.
It’s not our job to ensure everyone is ok or confident in their beliefs. It’s also not our job to cater to everyone. First that would be impossible and secondly, it’s not wise to try to cater to everyone. You lose a principle here and there if you do until finally you have none left.
Here’s a scenario I would say is wrong. I read Christian fiction. Not everyone else on my page does, but that’s ok because again it’s MY page. Here’s where I would believe I’m wrong. It would be wrong for me to go to a person’s page who I know dislikes Christian fiction and to actively comment on their page, suggesting they read books from the genre.
3: DON’T APOLOGIZE AND MAKE THINGS WORSE
If you apologize for a principle that someone else finds offensive, it’s actually harmful. Not only does it do away with grace (from the perspective of those demanding an apology), but it disallows people from having convictions. It also harms the sincerity of genuine apology. If we apologize for every principle we have because it doesn’t align with the current culture, we’re agreeing with a one-thought mentality and giving up a piece of ourselves in the process.
If we lose our principles or let go of our educated convictions, then we lose ourselves and that creates a ripple effect.
Just because someone thinks they’re owned an apology, doesn’t mean they are.
Let’s learn to unapologize.
What about you? What are your thoughts on this ” apologize when you shouldn’t“ topic? Do you agree or disagree? What points would you change; or what have you observed about the social media mentality that has changed (or hasn’t changed) the people you follow? Comment all of your thoughts down below.
PINTEREST PIN – SAVE AND SHARE
Thank you for visiting! Please, do come back soon.