The Weight of Our Words
Do we trully understand the weight of our words? I think in this digital age we do not. Many things are said behind computer screens that are just as bad as if they were said in person. Many things are said behind computer screens that I doubt would be said to anyone in person. I think our digital age makes it easier to be "armchair quarterbacks" as well as to give our unsolicited opinions. I am here to tell you I have been just as guilty of doing both.
I believe this digital age makes it easier to bully and be mean to people because there is that buffer of a computer screen and they aren't right in front of you. I have been bullied online. I have had horrible, demeaning things said to me online that that same person would not dare to say to my face. Why? Because is impersonal, it's easy and it's what you do when you don't like yourself or your life. Sadly, these individuals most likely pick on other people in person as well as online. They don't love themselves so they can't like or love anyone else.
Our words carry weight, whether in person or online. You can make or break someone with your words. You can destroy their self-image with your words. You can wound them with wounds that will take years to heal. I am sure all of us have been wounded that way by a miserable person at least once. That miserable person was wounded too, keep that in mind.
Here a couple of tips that have helped me navigate this social media and digital age. I hope they will help you too:
1) Don't get drawn into arguments with someone who won't change their mind or is trying to change yours, that is just a recipe for social media disaster.
2) Don't engage a hate-filled person and try to reason with them, you can't reason with them. Period. You can't reason with evil.
3) Agree to disagree and move on.
4) Delete, block or unfollow someone who threatens you, harrases you, or is bullying you on social media. Also report this to social media administrators. You don't deserve that and the bully doesn't deserve the attention.
5) Be kind if you have to be firm and move on.
6) Be quiet if you feel it would be best, you are probably right to stay quiet.
7) If you are going to state your opinion on the internet, be prepared for what might happen. Not everyone will agree with you so don't be surprised.
8) And lastly, don't perpetuate social media rumors or fake news. Rumors are lies. Lies hurt people. Fake news is lies. Lies hurt people. If you mess up, fess up.
I will leave you with this verse to ponder:
James 3:6-10 (AMP): And the tongue is [in a sense] a fire, the very world of injustice and unrighteousness; the tongue is set among our members as that which contaminates the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life [the cycle of man’s existence], and is itself set on fire by [a]hell (Gehenna). For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the human tongue; it is a restless evil [undisciplined, unstable], full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. These things, my brothers, should not be this way [for we have a moral obligation to speak in a manner that reflects our fear of God and profound respect for His precepts].
Until next time,