So often things are typed out to be posted online via a FB status or comment or a tweet, that we would never say in person.
You read a blog post and then comment, “That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read!” or “Learn basic grammar before posting online!”. Would you really say these things to the author of the article?? Doubtful.
I see the same things on Facebook. The comments on some pictures and statuses are downright hateful!
People call each other names and insinuate the other people on the thread are not intelligent. In fact, it seems the commenter is the only sane person on the entire thread. Or so it would seem…
Typed words can hurt just as much as spoken words.
Before you type out an insult, imagine the person is sitting right next to you and you are actually speaking the words to them.
If you do that and you feel good about it and feel you actually could speak the words, then feel free to type them out.
If it would make you uncomfortable to say them to the person, or it feels “mean”, then it probably is and you shouldn’t type it out.
Here are a couple of quotes I’ve seen online and maybe you have too, but here’s a reminder. If you can answer yes to any or all of these questions, then you are probably okay to say it or type it out. If not, refraining might be the best idea.
“Before you speak ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, it is true, does it improve upon the silence?”
― Shirdi Sai Baba
This next one is an acronym most likely taken and subsequently expanded on that quote.
- Is it True?
- Is it Helpful?
- Is it Inspiring?
- Is it Necessary?
- Is it Kind?
Now, I realize there are some outspoken people out there that would pretty much say anything in person or online. I can’t really speak to those people because they have a whole different filtration system between their brain and mouth. I sometimes have that same filtration system (the nonexistent kind), so I get it… but I try to filter as much as possible.
At the same time, even if you don’t have much of a filter, you can still use the previous questions as your guide.
Understand… I’m not trying to tell you to lie. If you don’t like something and you are asked, then definitely tell them. Just try to do so in a polite manner.
That being said, if you are not asked, then there is no reason to voice your opinion and tell someone you think their idea is awful!
I guarantee there have been tears behind computers after comments have been made online. What you type does matter, just as it matters in person.
Please be considerate and remember there are real people on the other side of your computer screens that will read what you are typing.
Do you tend to be more free with your words online? Is this something you may need to work on doing more kindly?