Shame. It's a powerful tool to modify behavior. The Amish shun. Our forefathers used public stocks. The French sent people to the guillotine. For the rest of us, there's always Facebook.
What is it about social media that encourages us to take swings at one another from the comfort of our homes?
We talk about cyber bullying like it's limited to teenagers. It's not. This week, I watched a string of comments publicly humiliate people for a choice they made that upset someone. People piled on the condemnation in support of their friend. No one paused to consider their might be two sides to the story.
We've taken sides on everything from Miley Cyrus to the Middle East. We've decided innocence and guilt based off sketchy facts. We've debated global warming like the PhD's we aren't. And don't get me started on those political rants. The name calling and spite is vitriolic. All this by people who don't know each other but are willing to tear each other to shreds in what has become America's town square.
Before the Internet, before cities became so large you stopped knowing your neighbor, you had to face the people you disagreed with on a regular basis. You knew their children, sat next to them in church, or served on the PTA with them. If you wanted to take a swing at them, there were ramifications to consider before you acted on it. Not any more. Now it's open season.
For shame, indeed!!
As an author, I'm encouraged to interact with people via social media. Well, this week I wanted to "interact" by reaching through my computer screen, grabbing a couple of necks, and bopping some heads together. Let's get back to basic civility, people. Let's check our facts and our egos. And lets relearn how to discuss issues as opposed to using our opinions like boxing gloves.
End of sermon...until next time,