The more time I spend on social media the more I value what silence brings to my life. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love being able to connect with friends and family online, and having the ability to keep in touch with classmates and people I haven’t seen in practically forever. People who touched my heart in one way or another. Social media is great for that.
But not so good for a nice, meaningful conversation when strangers jump in offering their own two cents. That’s when things get noisy and out of hand. Or at least, that’s my experience, and somehow, I don’t think I’m alone. Politics appears to be the worst topic to bring up online. Everyone has an opinion and manners be damned, everyone will be heard no matter how loud and long they have to scream over another voice. Even a harmless comment turns into a political debate – or, should I say tirade. Another observation – it’s all mine, so don’t start screaming about it elsewhere – is the less informed and less you know about a subject the more it demands you raise your voice and invoke ugly language. Add to the mix assumptions (I don’t really need to say it do I?) and leaps of logic that baffle the intelligence, and you have a normal day on FaceBook or Twitter.
Which is why I value silence. Not every post needs to have an ongoing dialogue. A person should be able to express a thought or opinion without being eviscerated. You can like a post, or show your displeasure but you don’t have the right to verbally assault the writer. Freedom of speech, in this day and age, only applies if you agree with the opinion of the reader. Otherwise, you have no right to put forth an opinion and you will be attacked. It’s so very sad. And very unnecessary. Let there be moments of silence. Listen to the crickets chirping. Digest the thought and then move on. People will never all agree on anything. Let’s learn to be civilized.