With 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. If 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, I’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. We 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?