Minding Your Words Before and Behind A Computer Screen
With internet usage spreading across the globe, it’s easy to take our opinions and put them everywhere that has an open text field. When other people – friends and strangers alike – come into the mix, arguing on this seemingly faceless media can make getting carried away very easy.
Growing up in the internet age, I’ve seen how posting words online can destroy peoples lives, if not seriously damage one’s reputation or personal relationships. My parents relationship took its final blow when my I found sexually explicit e-mail exchanges between my father and a woman who was not my mother. They were shortly divorced after seventeen years of marriage.
I remember a website that had a chat forum where people would verbally abuse others just because they could hind behind a computer miles away. If one person had a differing opinion, others would take part in a verbal stoning in a petty experiment to see how long a person could endure before quitting the website. If a person could with stand the verbal abuse, they would make it in the “club”.
Other people, I’ve noticed, purposely post controversial materials waiting to see someone else contradict them. Someone told me that they were engaging in this kind of behavior to correct those who are living immorally. I’m still not sure if this method has proven itself affective, but I do wonder if this person is really trying to validate their choice in lifestyle or prove to others why s/he is right and they are wrong.
It’s also advisable to avoid spreading gossip and lies in addition to making commitments you will not live up to. Say what you intend on doing and make the realization that your words can hurt others. For example, if your friend mails you an online invitation to an event, be honest about coming or not. When you don’t show up, your failure to attend is not canceled out simply because you were invited online.
It’s very sad to see that people do not understand the great power of their words and how they say them. Words are, in many cases, the very first manifestation of personal creation. Our words not only tell others what we intend on doing, but how we feel, how we see the world and how we see ourselves. Much harm can be done if we speak carelessly and aggressively. It is obvious that screaming at others hurts, but making sideway insults, spreading rumors, and simply lying is another way to abuse others and oneself.
There is no such thing as useless words. Living with purpose involves thinking thoughtfully and speaking about those things that you wish to uplift and spread more of. Getting carried away with our words and emotions can only put us in vulnerable positions that affect everyone in very negative ways.