It’s long been my view that there are far too many people in life who fail to recognise why we all have two ears and one mouth. I have always tried to remember that listening is one of the most important things we can do. In the world of social media, as in other aspects of life, there is too much talk and not enough responsiveness.
Today, in the Our Digital Planet Internet Station, I spent more than an hour listening to someone’s life story. It was far from an easy listen. He told me he was desperate to tell his life story to someone, and that he wanted to do it to a camera. Failing that, he would seek to go on the Jeremy Kyle programme because he felt the need to tell the world why he is like he is. I told him that I could provide a camera and he is coming back on Thursday.
I am not at all sure that is a good idea. The story he told me is one of child abuse, physical and sexual; crime, petty and not so petty; drug abuse, his own and that of those around him; and of finding his sister’s husband brutally murdered when he was 12 (he described this in graphic terms). It was interspersed with affectionate tales of the pets he had loved, most of which seemed to have come to an untimely end.
I think he needs counselling. I agreed to provide the camera for his interview because it seemed a better idea than him going on Jeremy Kyle. If he comes back, should I do the interview? And, if I do, should it be made public?