In a bit of a followup to my own post earlier this week, I found this comment of James’s from the article below interesting, and insightful:
“So when we look at the news and social media or listen to our conversations, we need to observe carefully, not just the content we are taking in, but our own inner thoughts and feelings. We need to notice our own assuming and judging. This is the starting place for cultivating a new choice on how we respond, if we really need to respond at all. For there is a healing power in taking time, not engaging, being quiet, finding calm.”
Social media isn’t designed for thoughtfulness and calm. It’s easy to emotionally respond to anything online, and when we do, it’s easy to find ourselves being less than careful about our words. We say things that are not helpful, not loving as James talks about in the article below, and that, in turn, leads to more bad words in response, and on and on we go. In all the years I’ve been online, one of the things I have never regretted is staying silent. I know that in our modern, activist world, staying silent is “condoning” whatever it may be, but I also find that speaking when I don’t really have anything helpful to say, purely based on emotion, never leads to anything useful either.
Perhaps the famous quote we should be thinking about when we are outraged, or want to respond emotionally online is the old, mysterious quote:
Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt
More importantly, better to think about how our social media feeds may be affecting our perceptions of the world, and other people. Other human beings.