1. Have you ever seen a photo like this?
2. It might be easy to forget that this is a photo of a person. Probably someone who doesn’t know he’s being made fun of.
3. Thought experiment: Imagine if you saw such a photo of yourself on the internet.
4. It probably wouldn’t feel all that great. Especially if you started to read comments or even just looked at the view count.
5. In fact, it would probably feel like a whole stadium full of people laughing at you. (Because essentially it is.)
6. The crazy thing? We probably wouldn’t do that in a big stadium. We’d look around and realize, Hey, we’re laughing at a person. That’s kind of mean.
7. But when we’re isolated and staring into our screens, it’s easy to forget how mean we can collectively be.
8. And we forget this incredibly important concept.
10. Like a girl who is just learning guitar.
11. Or even a kid who doesn’t yet know how harsh the world can be.
12. For all you know, it could be someone standing right next to you.
13. All I can know for sure is that all of my keystrokes affect real people.
14. And there are real people out there who could use an encouraging word today.
15. So let’s reward someone who was brave enough to put her work out there. Here’s Michaiah Henry with her original song, “Dreamer.”
16. I don’t know who she is, but she is clearly a person. (And a talented one at that.)
17. Keep up the good work, Michaiah. Keep up all the good things you’re doing, all you real people on the internet.
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