Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Speaking Without Accountability

In the age of internet and its social media people are expressing things online that they would never say face to face.  There is a culture to comment on everything and everyone without fear of consequences.  There is a certain anonymity with posting a feeling or thought when a real person is not there.  The potential for harm is enormous because these internet posts have a potential audience of millions.  A person reading posts should value himself enough to determine whether a post is just nasty or has true value.  It is our right as a human being to weigh the worth of information received.  We do not need to internalize and process every bit of chatter just because it is there.  Comments that are anonymous should not be trusted.  If a person will not identify themselves and their relationship to the subject matter, then the value of the comment is questionable.

Researchers are finding that as a society people are increasingly making off color comments.  These comments are recorded and spread more easily because of the internet.  These strange comments are attributed to our reliance on social media.  People's face to face interaction has been steadily declining as social media is being substituted.  With people's personal interaction becoming less frequent, empathy has experienced a sharp 40% decline in the past two decades.  A face to face meeting provides communication without words.  There is body language, facial expression and eye movements that communicate beyond words.  People can see and feel what is truly being communicated.  This teaches us to learn and feel empathy.  This communication is far more satisfying.  It also teaches people to think before they speak.  Our ability to speak is what distinguishes us from the other species.  It is a privilege that deserves respect, so honor it and honor yourself.

Stay healthy & well,

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