Cheri Speak

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Do You Engage to Enrage?

Social MediaWith the explosion of Social Media more people are writing than ever before. The topics all vary and the tones can be anything from light hearted and cute to serious feather ruffling essays and comments. The language we use may come from Webster’s Dictionary, but the voice in which we write can sometimes be straight from a politician’s playbook. In other words, some people merely engage to enrage.

Writing is an art and has the power to make one feel. words have feelingsIf you cannot create feeling in your reader you have not done your job, but what feelings are appropriate? What feelings do you or can you create that have a positive impact on not only your reader, but on the conscience of the world? If we engage only to enrage it is worth noting that negativity often breeds more negativity and rarely results in anything worth sharing, embracing, or supporting.

Points are meant to be made and opinions are meant to be influenced by what we write, this is true. But, as my Mom used to say, “It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it.” Are you giving your reader more than just your opinion? Are you creating an avenue of action for their feelings? Is what you write written with more purpose then merely proving a point or damning an idea or person? These are important questions we need to ask ourselves more frequently before we publish, post, or send.

Many of us think when we go online and share differing opinions by commenting on other people’s posts that each disagreement is a “debate” however, bevisI’d argue that the definition of debate has been lost to technology like many people’s manners. The definition of debate does not include derogatory behavior, name-calling, and tangents. When you move away from facts and figures to “asshats” and “trolls” you immediately lose not only the so-called “debate”, but also credibility to the point you are making. A debate is full of concise thought presented with logic and facts and it is for a purpose outside of voicing an opinion simply because we can. We need to adjust our settings. evolving worldWe need to re-boot our capacity for compassion, tolerance, and patience and we need to do it now.

The world we live in is continuously being created and just like any other organic happening it is doing so according to those that live in it and the acceptance of which is based only on the evolution of our own behaviors. Do you engage to enrage or do you involve to evolve?

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25 comments on “Do You Engage to Enrage?

  1. Aoife O'Riordan
    December 6, 2012

    I love this post! I love the idea of looking towards what you hope to gain from conversations, making them something more than just throwing your opinions out there and seeing what they hit.
    And thanks for the linking 🙂


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  3. Joe Cardillo
    January 1, 2013

    Super interesting, I think about this all the time as well. The easy anonymity of the web bothers me because people feel like they can say whatever’s at the top of their head without examining it first. As someone who thinks stupid thoughts all the time, I value the ability to look at what I think and how I came to it.

    The other thing at play is the feedback you get for being a big ‘ol trollface, especially on social networks. What really needs to be developed is a “this person’s a troll” button where those of us interested in thoughtful communication and being compassionate to each other can click them down and eventually they’ll disappear into the bottomless muck where they came from. Frankly, I don’t take anonymous comments very seriously, nor do I engage with people who prefer simple answers and name calling. Almost everything in this world that’s worth thinking about is complex.


  4. slepsnor
    January 21, 2013

    Beautifully said and I love the title.


    • C. R.
      January 21, 2013

      Thank you. Please share widely. I think it’s an important message.


  5. slepsnor
    January 21, 2013

    Reblogged this on Legends of Windemere and commented:
    This is a beautifully written article about something that I’ve thought about a lot of the last year. I would recommend that everyone give this blog a look and read her intriguing and insightful articles.


  6. minisculegiants
    January 22, 2013

    Very thoughtful.

    I’ve read somewhere that the best books or articles are ones that get people talking, and that most of the time the ones that get people talking are the ones that make people angry over something. Maybe that’s happening now, but I don’t believe that’s the only way to get people started talking about your book.

    Me, I’m a fan of being happy. If a book makes me happy and makes me think about life, I’ll probably love it. That goes for writing of any kind.

    Thanks again for addressing this.


    • C. R.
      January 22, 2013

      Thank you very much. I too like to be happy, but sadly so many people have lost the art of communication.


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  8. Bastet
    October 10, 2013

    Great article like your ideas about the art of writing and communication…very well written indeed.


  9. Bastet
    October 10, 2013

    Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet's Library and commented:
    Another fine post from Cheri Speak on the problems of “community” life…a great read!


  10. ajmacdonaldjr
    October 10, 2013

    Good article Cheri 🙂


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