Whether it be a simple disagreement or a blatant act of insensitivity, the way we choose to react can change the outcome of an entire situation.
Alicia Ann Lynch, a 22-year-old from Michigan, dressed as a bloody Boston Marathon bombing victim for Halloween, according to The Huffington Post.
Shortly after posting the image on Twitter, Lynch’s feed was bombarded with death threats and criticism.
Lynch received this tweet from
@Jennabennabeanz: “You actually should kill yourself, even better, tell the mom who buried her 8yr old child why you find that funny.”
@LisainDallas tweeted, “Wow. If she has kids, would she put them in bloodied Sandy Hook shirts?”
Lynch responded to the backlash by apologizing for what she thought would just be a joke.
“I have been fired from my job. I am paying for what I thought was a simple joke. I know it was wrong now. I wasn’t thinking,” Lynch tweeted Nov. 1.
Lynch had to ask people to stop threatening her parents, who quickly became victims after the release of the image.
“Plz stop with the death threats toward my parents. They did nothing wrong. I was the one in the wrong and I am paying for being insensitive,” she wrote on Nov. 1. “Please stop spreading around my parents’ number and my home address. THEY DID NOTHING WRONG.”
In an interview with the New York Daily News on Nov. 7, Lynch said while what she did was inappropriate, getting threatened was equally wrong.
Lynch, who was a victim of assault in 2012, said the threats she received only made the situation worse.
“What I did may have been wrong, but is it truly right to wish harm on someone and say that you’re doing it for the victims?” Lynch said. “As being a part of a tragic event [her previous assault], I never would ever wish what had happened to me on someone else, as I can say most people wouldn’t wish death on someone to ‘make it right.’”
@TheAshleysRR tweeted shortly after the Boston Bombing costume, “Def a horrible, insensitive costume but how is cyberbullying her for it any better?”
@H50undercover tweeted, “wow, the ugly social media response to [Alicia Ann Lynch] is actually more criminal, offensive and insensitive than her transgression.”
This was an opportunity for society to show compassion and to teach a lesson, but instead, people reacted in anger, which is just as insensitive as dressing as a bomb victim.
On a smaller scale, in 2011, a gro of like-minded individuals created the Anti-Twilight Movement.
The aim of the gro was to, “attack, violently, anyone who expresses even the slightest interest in Twilight, no matter his or her reasoning or degree of fandom,” according to an article written by Organization for Transformative Works.
The fact that this gro had one motive — to harm — should be an indication that something needs to change in the way society chooses to react. If a gro of people is willing to violently injure someone based solely on their opinion of a teen fantasy fiction novel, where will we draw the line when it comes to more important things?
Why do we always resort to violence when trying to change someone’s opinion?
Across the pond, two British college girls dressed as the burning Twin Towers and received a cash prize for best dressed, according to New York Daily News.
Patricia Bingley, who lost her son in the attacks, responded to the two girls, not with death threats, but with a thoughtful questioning of their actions.
“This is unbelievable — 9/11 happened in their lifetime,” Bingley said. “It’s hard to understand where they’ve come from to do this without a thought for those who died or the families left behind.”
Bingley, who has reason to be set and even hostile, simply asked the girls to question their decision and perhaps learn from this experience.
So what’s the moral here?
Think before you act. Ask yourself whether your actions will offend someone else. But also think before you react. Ask yourself if your reaction is worth the fight.