If all of your social media comments were compiled and published in a book, would you be comfortable with what you have said?
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Social media has become an integral aspect of our lives but are we diminishing social etiquette and common decency along with its growth? Has there been a culture shift plus the layer of protection of sitting behind a screen that has created a bravado that you can essentially say anything you want without any forethought to what, where and how the words will land?
It is apparent that we are living in the age of advanced technology in many aspects, particularly the way in which we interact with one another and whether there is a differentiation between our ‘real life’ and how we live via social media. People appear less concerned about how their comments will be received – is this because communication is primarily occurring through messaging and people are no longer seeing the reaction of the information they are conveying? Is the human element removed to an extent because of this? Would we say the same thing if we were faced with the person?
We are the very first generation that has been exposed to social media and it has been a steep learning curve. With all things new, there are no clear boundaries and society is left in limbo trying to create them on the fly. We haven’t been taught how to use social media because this form of interaction is greater and far more complex than has ever existed before. However of note, these problems have always existed, they are merely amplified on a global platform that lacks any form of control. Suddenly, virtually everyone is reachable from those in your real world to celebrities and public figures and even John Smith living many kilometres away and someone you may never cross paths with in real life.
Issues such as bullying, stalking, infidelity, terrorism, racism, sexism and virtually any ‘ism’ have always existed within real life yet the internet has pushed all of these issues into a realm beyond any boundaries and everything is now being played out on a global stage and one which has the capacity to draw everyone in and everyone seems to feel comfortable weighing in on each topic without holding back. Topics such as religion and politics are no longer considered off limits. Previous taboo subjects that are no longer…
So again, if all of your social media comments were compiled and published in a book, would you be comfortable with what you have said and essentially how you are portrayed based on your words only? Let’s be more specific. Have you weighed in on any of the trending topics of 2015 such as Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlin Jenner, the Kardashian’s, the Essendon AFL drug saga, one of the many Australian Prime Ministers taking seat, or the gun debate in the US or even Donald Trump? No doubt your head is swirling with your opinions on one or any of the above – that is expected… but if any of your opinions are judgemental and you have voiced it, did you think about the negative footprint you have left behind that could land upon the soul of the person you make the judgement about? And just because everyone is sharing their negative opinion it doesn’t lessen your responsibility for your words. Yet you may very well stand by your comments – and again, it is your call… but we need to remind ourselves that our world is what we have created and that includes the human interactions.
There have been countless times where I have read the comments on a Facebook post and just shook my head at what I was reading – what was posted for the world to read… grown adults throwing insult after insulting and engaging in a cyber fight because of differing opinions. People getting angry and allowing the escalation of a disagreement turn into name calling and abusive tirades. Our online world seeps out into our real life – are you comfortable with this perception you have created?
I am far from perfect and have had many judgmental thoughts but before I voice many of them (and admittedly I have typed a comment and deleted it many times over), I remember that I too live in a glass house and I have no idea of the personal struggles that exist within the hearts of others. I also imagine the reaction of the person who I am talking about standing before me and hearing the comment – including the most famous of people – they read things too.
It’s all a working progress of where my feet fit into the world… even in the world of social media but I am working to live by my motto of positivity and as such I am conscious of the words I share. I truly believe in the power of words and I would rather believe that leaving a positive comment may be the difference in someone’s day – or on the flip side – I don’t wish to be the reason someone is having a bad one…
Here’s to making the effort to share words of positivity and painting the world in colours of peace, happiness and harmony…