A new modern disease often seen on social networks, especially Facebook in which people tag each other in photos,videos or notes frequently.
The above quote is taken from the Urban Dictionary and defines tagism as a ‘modern disease’. But is it? I mean really?
Of course the Facebook connection is fairly recent and of course we probably all knew what the definition was talking about the minute we saw that connection.
It’s when people stick tags or labels referring to us on the pictures they choose to put up. It’s a way of getting to us and bringing our attention to their pictures. And, let’s be honest here, sometimes – even very often – their pictures aren’t really of us and aren’t even funny.
I wonder, do you have any problems with the explanation that I have given so far? Does it all make sense? Seem to fit?
In my previous posts, I have sometimes referred to the way that I seem to see things slightly differently and often make connections which can go unnoticed by a lot of folk. So when I chose the above title ‘Tagism can be so very wrong – whatever way you look at it!’ I did so for a very deliberate reason and with this in mind.
So let’s look at ‘tagism’ a different way and then look again at the explanation I have written above. Let’s rearrange the letters for a moment.
Of course I am not suggesting for one minute that tagging pictures on Facebook causes stigma. But I am drawing attention to the fact that just like tagging on Facebook Stigma is a form of labeling and both are done to us.
Let’s look again at the seemingly innocuous explanation of tagism that I wrote above and see how sinister it becomes when we apply it to stigma.
“It’s when people stick tags or labels referring to us on the pictures they choose to put up.” Isn’t that at the very core of stigma? Doesn’t stigma often result from the pictures that other people have chosen to put up in their mind? Pictures that are all too often wrong, inappropriate and unjust?
“It’s a way of getting to us and bringing our attention to their pictures.” When does stigma present itself? Isn’t it when others want to ‘get to’ someone? When they want to hit out, to attack? And doesn’t it always simply draw attention to the picture that they have chosen to put up in their mind?
“And, let’s be honest here, sometimes – even very often – their pictures aren’t really of us” Isn’t that one of the tragic realities of it all? That very often the picture – the understanding (or lack of understanding, which is sadly all to often the case) – that they put up in their mind, nearly always bears little to no resemblance to us?
“and aren’t even funny“. And isn’t that also the cold hard reality of it all isn’t it? There is nothing big, clever or humorous about it!
Stigma is unhealthy, unjust, uneducated. Its ignorant, inappropriate, and inciting. Disturbing, disruptive, and disrespectful. It is damaging! So very damaging.
And it should have no place in our attitudes or our hearts or our minds. And it should have no place whatsoever in the lives of those it is all too often targeted at!