Is being vulnerable online wound porn?

Is being vulnerable online wound porn?

"Sophia's Back" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward Like this cartoon. Buy a print of this or any of my art HERE. I drew this cartoon to convey the grim reality that even though many people appear to be just fine, they are bearing wounds from serious abuse. I encourage them to bare these wounds in safe places where they can share their experiences, be heard, believed, and supported. I read an interesting post by Jonathan Merritt, Put Your Clothes Back On: Oversharing Online Isn't Wise. His original subtitle was "Even Virtual Vomit Goes Viral". It seems that Merritt lumps being vulnerable online into two groups:
  1. Sensationalism: He suggests that some are being overly vulnerable online just for the sake of sensationalism and getting attention and traffic.
  2. Desire to help: He intimates that others are being vulnerable online in order to help others own, share, and heal from their own wounds.
Merritt concludes after considering these two options, "Regardless, it is time Christians¬†think more seriously about when, what, where, how and to whom we should share ourselves." He quotes Anne Marie Miller in¬†Lean On Me: Finding Intentional, Vulnerable, and Consistent Community, "the bare-all culture that has progressed into our social media feeds sometimes exploit the brokenness instead of glorifying the Redeemer.‚Äù I fear that the power behind Merritt's¬†warning to show restraint pushes the abused towards silence. Again. I would agree that we need to practice discernment on ourselves and post our stories thoughtfully.¬†But this is my concern: I believe that sharing our stories and showing our wounds is a new trend for one major reason. For so long wounds have been an embarrassment, something to be ashamed of, things to be silent about, marks that bare ugly truths. Why? Mainly because our culture has been in the habit of protecting abusers. The code of silence around abuse and the abused is so powerfully enforced that there have been no avenues for the abused or wounded to find and raise their voices. It cost money, demanded documents, required inaccessible platforms, and resulted in stigmatization. Then the internet happened. It's cheap, doesn't require proof, is an accessible platform to almost everybody, and raised awareness of abuse to the point where more people are realizing that abuse is not a bizarre, exceptional¬†incident, but a cultural disease running rampant throughout almost all of our systems like marriage, family, business, and church, etcetera. In other words, abuse is not isolated, but systemic with specific manifestations. Yes, there is bad porn. Gratuitous! But there is good porn. Helpful! It doesn't take a very discerning person to tell the difference. I think there is some wound porn. Gratuitous! But there is also good wound porn. So very helpful! When I read about other peoples' experiences, almost all of the time I think it is helpful. Seldom do I come across someone's story that I feel is gratuitous, selfish, exploitive, or mongering for traffic. In fact, in case you didn't know, this is what The Lasting Supper is all about. We have created a safe space where you can bare your wounds, be heard, understood, supported and cared for. Some wounds shown there are fresh, others are healing, and others are only the lingering scars. Whatever your story, whatever the condition of your wounds, you can show them off here. I invite you to take the leap and join us HERE.    

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