This may or may not be a soapbox blog. But I assure you, I have Bible to back this one up. However, lately I have been shocked with the amount of blunt and downright insensitive words written by people on social media. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or some other venue, people as a whole have been so disappointing with their representation of the human race as a whole on the internet.
It seems that there is a hard and face rule, formed by society, that I just didn’t get the memo about.
“If we thought it in our head, we must therefore type it with our fingers.”
It seems somewhat archaic, but it is the theme lately. With the back and forth bashing over politics. The name calling, by grown adults!
The unrequested advice given.
It is all maddening and sad to watch as it plays out.
When we as a family put ourselves out there on social media four years ago soon after Molly’s diagnosis, I never thought we would have such an amazing support group from a beautiful band of people. Our plan was to keep family and friends updated on her care by starting a page on Facebook. But when we reached over 13,000 people, we were blown away with the love and care that was offered.
With those 13,000, there were a few bad apples that unintentionally said things that hurt us to the core. I am sure these people meant well and were in some strange way trying to help, but I assure you, telling a cancer mom that their child may have gotten cancer because I chose to vaccinate was NOT the right response to the hard day of radiation we had just posted about. Or after being up for 24 hours because my daughter had neurosurgery, the last thing I wanted to hear was that I was feeding her cancer with the pizza I just gave her.
There have been a few “trolls” that had no good intentions.Comparing my daughter’s weight to an airplane after her weight gain on steroids was the most memorable. We are all adults here, and we know very well there was nothing in that statement meant to bring help.
Even recently, I had a reader tell me I should stop homeschooling my children because I made spelling mistakes on my blog. Can I just tell you right now, I NEVER made any promises in my writing’s perfection or professionalism. The comments were meant to be mean and anger me, I am sure, but I laughed so hard because anyone who is close to me knows that I am an atrocious speller and an even worse editor. But I keep writing because that is what I like to do. And I am pretty sure I will keep schooling my girls because even though I can’t spell the best, they still like having me around.
I am sure you all have your own social media stories to share. Which makes this all the more maddening and grievous to me.
Where has the kindness in the world gone?
Why have we forgotten as a society that words matter and we should choose them very wisely?
We are bolder with our talk, but definitely not wiser. In fact, as a whole, I feel we come off less intelligent than before.
Do you know what is smart? Keeping our mouths shut. Not always of course, but a whole lot more than we do now. “
King Solomon, said to be the wisest man in the world, penned the words,
“He that hath knowledge spareth his words…”
Then of course there is one of my favorites, Mark Twain, who said,
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
The famous child rhyme about sticks and stones and words never hurting are the furthest thing from the truth. Words break more than bones, they break souls. They stay in the mind and heart and often form who we are. If you tell a child that they can be whatever they want when they grow up, you have just handed them the gift of having dreams and flying with them. But if you tell a child that they are dumb and will never amount to anything, you have handed them a life sentence.
Can we just take a minute and really think before we type? The boldness that we feel behind a glowing, blue screen is actually the opposite of fearlessness. Those that say whatever they want on the internet are full of fear. The reason I know this is because it takes courage to be kind, loving, and gracious. It takes strength to move on when you do not agree. It takes guts to bite your tongue.
Those that spill out ugly are fools. Let us be wise. When they drop their rants and spew out their hate, let use drip with love and nail them with wisdom.