140 Characters or Less

World Suicide Prevention Day, 2015… It’s not just creative voices that are sometimes silenced by social media.

It’s impossible to fit someone’s story, background, struggles, or underlying issues into a post. You can’t know them or the reasons for their actions in a status update.

And frankly, in our “information at a glance on our mobile devices” world, we wouldn’t take the time to really delve into someone’s story, even if it could be delivered in capsule form.


Isn’t it amazing how adept we are at destroying someone in 140 characters or less? We can smash reputations, flatten self image, or throw a person into the pit of their inner demons in one little post, tweet, or share.

To say nothing of the comments on the aforementioned 140 characters or less – the words “feeding frenzy” are totally appropriate.

I find it both disgusting and sad.

And it makes me wonder…

How many creative voices have we silenced? What ideas will not be explored for fear of the meat grinder of social media? Who will never cry for help, because reaching out only exposes the weakest animal in the herd, inviting the predator to strike? What exquisite music, beautiful words, or magnificent images will never see the light, because of the trolls waiting to smash?

How many of those amazing expressions have already been plowed under, the gentle spirits behind them forever shut down?

Is there hope? I would imagine so. People continue to create – it’s their nature, and they can’t help it. We all create, in our unique ways.

But I wonder what we’ll miss out on, when those creations never get to be seen, heard, or experienced by others.

All gone, in 140 characters or less.


  1. Wow, Cal. Thank you for this. Such venom can be spewed online, with the attacker feeling all right because they aren’t face to face with the victim. Too often, the emotion overflows to “real life” for both. Thank you for lending your voice. This was a powerful post, my friend.

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