Friday, October 17, 2014

Using Our Words for the Postive the Social Media Edition

      Something that has been weighing heavily lately. Is how our words are used. We can be a force for the positive and lift people up. Or we can be a force for the negative and tear people down. This is really hard for me. I used to be really proud of my sarcasm and wit. Seriously not realizing that on the other end of my witty snark, was another person. Maybe I knew them in real life. Maybe this person who was on the receiving end of my snark was a celebrity. Or a reality show celebrity. Not realizing that even though they put their life out there. For all of us to read about. They are still a human being with feelings.
           Having this sort of epiphany. When I was the victim of someone else's alleged snark. And not having done anything to deserve such treatment. I was really upset. And then I realized the error of my ways. Even though I had been having this come to Jesus moment for many months. This one incident was my moment of clarity. Everything came into focus, so to speak. 
           It happened when I posted a picture of my dog, Olivia. I posted it on some unknown Facebook page. With a caption saying that she was the cutest dog. And some faceless internet person said, no actually she is not cute, she is an ugly little dog. Considering neither Olivia, nor I had ever even met this person.  And considering all Olivia has gone through. In her short life. All of her health problems. She was really scrawny and sickly before I took this picture. This comment from an unknown internet person. This comment really hurt my feelings.
           I think that social media and the internet have emboldened people sitting behind their computer, smart phone, or tablet (myself included) And we say a lot of things that we would never dare to say to someone's face (myself included)
           I have to nervously admit that social media like Facebook and Twitter are my guilty pleasure. Along with message boards for my favorite TV shows and singers, etc. And I used to go to the Twitter page of people I didn't like and comment on their status updates. What benefit was there for me? Truth is there was none. Doing this in no way shape or form helps me. It actually makes me a worse person.

           Even if I find the behavior of the one I commented on to be repugnant. Will that help anyone? Especially the one that I am making a commenting about? I have already found out that it just drags me down. It doesn't do me any good. By commenting on a celebrities awful behavior. Will it somehow help the celebrity? I doubt it. I bet it would have the opposite effect. Think about it? Would you change for some random person leaving you a negative comment on social media? Or would that make you feel defensive? I mean, this person doesn't know you.
          I do believe that celebrities and reality TV show celebrities really do read their twitter and Facebook. Along with the message boards. And even those that are regular every day people read write posts on message boards and read the comments. They are all human and have feelings, too. We should be kind to people. Those we know in real life and those we only know from TV and  message boards. We don't know what their daily struggles are. We don't know what their emotions are. I don't want to be the person that posts a negative comment and sends someone over the edge. We may never know if someone is so emotionally fragile that a negative comment will do serious harm. Everyone is fighting a battle. So we should be kind.

          I have started asking myself if what I write is necessary? Does it need to be said? Does it need to be said, by me? Does it need to be said, right now? And even then I still fail. I still post things I shouldn't. What can I say? I am a work in progress.
          Join me as I become a force to use my internet words for the positive. I think the prettiest, strongest and most fabulous are those that build each other up instead of tearing down. Being a positive person is fabulous.

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