Tik Tok. It was fun, except for the whole “Cyberbullying/Deaf Mafia” part

5s8m5m5sd3s (furious) AND/OR 2s8m5m5sd3s (curious)

Since Cole’s death in April I have been doing a few things differently. One of those things is trying to have a lot more fun. Fun is something that’s been missing from my life for quite a long time now and that’s mostly because I became consumed by responsibilities. Unspeakable responsibilities that no one should have to deal with, but I don’t really want to write about that right now. The point is that I need more fun. I know a few kids who have been on Tik Tok (TT) and they laugh their assess off. I also know that some kids have been bullied pretty hard on TT. Seems to me that’s a pretty rough playground for some of the kids. Anyway, last winter one of my LinkedIn friends who is my age pretty much dared me to try my TT game. And being a daredevil, I knew that I would eventually do it. Now I can’t remember exactly when I starting on TT, but that’s beside the point. Over the summer (at about the same time I started teaching preschoolers again) I started posting on TT. A lot. And it was mostly just a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it was also causing a lot of stress for some of the people who saw my posts. Here’s the thing. I was having the kind of fun that I often have at home, mostly at my family’s expense. That is, I turn my voice off and I say and cue things silently to them. (I also sometimes spontaneously speak in pig latin and write cued speech code all over the house.) And sometimes someone in my family will play with me. And oftentimes they just ignore me. It just depends on how busy they are + how much they want or need to understand what I’m saying. Anyway, this is the version of myself that I played on TT for a few months and it was fun + I was actually starting to make some new friends. It was a good time for me just being myself. But the thing is I was also starting to make some new enemies. You see, most people have never actually seen someone like me out in the big wild world. Someone who is mute and uses Cued Speech or ASL to silently convey ideas. But I’ve been doing exactly that for most of my motherhood, so it’s just my second nature. It’s my mother nature. And it’s my mother nature that triggered some people on TT. Roughly one thousand people if I’m counting. And I was counting how many people I triggered. Because it became very obvious to me as I fielded the sometimes furious comments to post captions and stop cueing or pretending to sign. Sometimes it turned into arguments as I explained what I was doing and sometimes posted to defend my cueing and my muteness so that I could keep on playing myself on TT. Most of the time, other people were jumping in to my defense. Some of the time people were not furious at all, instead they were curious and making specific requests for me to cue phrases. That was the best! People were learning from my TT! Sadly, I am now off TT completely. It was brought to my attention by one of the kids and then processed through my therapist that TT is a social media space where I am just not welcome right now. And that’s not because I am mute or because I am cueing or signing. It’s simply because I am too old. My first clue early on that I was too old should have been the number of people who called me “Karen”. What a ridiculous insult. That’s all I can say about that. Go ahead. Call me Karen. I really don’t mind at all. For all the real Karens out there. I’m sorry “they” have tried to weaponize your name. I think it’s a perfectly good name. But my name is actually Lisa. It’s Dick Rudofski if you’re nasty. And I am definitely a player and I already know I’m cool. So there.

Final thoughts. I’m almost always curious. And I’m working out the furious. TT was helping. Now I’m seeking out other creative outlets that are just as much fun as TT since I’m now banned. I’m getting there. One day at a time. The truth is it’s never too late.

Are you curious or furious? I guess that’s my final question today.

6m6s1s1m3s (worldpeace)


Published by stuckinmybra

First and foremost, I am a mother, but I am also an educator and an activist. I've been told by my closest friends that I am a fighter, but I actually despise that part of my identity because I really don't enjoy fighting. I write about whatever is on my mind, which feels like a big mess sometimes. I mostly think about my kids and the people they are and how to help them become who they want to be in this world. I love them more than anything in this world. Sometimes I write about giftedness, autism, trauma, schools, mental health and chronic illness because those are all things that affect me. I write about my own life and the people in it and I try not to hurt people's feelings in the writing process. I hope what I write touches peoples hearts and opens people’s minds because I think people in our world need to have more understanding and compassion. I'm to tell it like it is.

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