I know, I know…you are thinking if I don’t like what I see on Facebook then I should quit reading it! You are right and I’m definitely considering it. But deleting an app off my phone and isolating myself from the judgment and righteousness that has now become a huge part of social media does not make it disappear. Nor does it make it ok.
I will continue to keep my opinions and feelings about certain topics flooding my newsfeed to myself, because my opinion really doesn’t matter. The point of this post is not to “have my say” but to remind us all that the words we type behind the protection of our electronic devices are in some cases more damaging than even the words we speak. At least when we “talk” to others, we can gauge body language. We can immediately hear a different perspective. We can see the emotion that results in our words. We are accountable.
As you type hurtful comments about someone (maybe even rightfully deserved), remember that person has a family. A mother, a grandfather, a sister, a son, a daughter. In most of these cases, these families are paying a high enough price. We cannot even begin to imagine the pain they are enduring and reading comments from you based on a story on the internet that may or may not even be completely true has got to be heartbreaking. Every time I read a tragic story, no matter how outraged or appalled I am, I immediately think it could be me one day. It could be one of my close friends or family members, that due to one bad choice or a lifetime of mental illness, find themselves in the headlines and therefore in the spotlight for every person to feel entitled to tear them down. I believe those who have committed terrible crimes or made stupid decisions must have consequences and pay for their actions, but I also believe that it’s not up to me to make a horrible situation worse by making unknowledgeable, unkind and unhelpful comments in a public forum. Sadly, I’ve done it and have regretted it later after I understood more clearly the situation or realized the hurt I caused someone I care about.
I am in no way saying we should keep our opinions to ourselves. I have benefited from many posts I firmly disagreed with as I began to read, but in the end came away with a different perspective or a new appreciation for a side to the issue I was unable to formulate myself. I admire those who are passionate about what they believe in and are not afraid to make a stand. All of these things can be done in a respectful way though and that’s when the greatest impact is made.
Life is hard enough without the eyes of judgment staring us down. Can we seriously look at ourselves in the mirror and see such perfection in our reflection that we can justify judging another human being? I know I can’t.