We’ve all experienced road rage in one form or another. Maybe someone has cut you off, flipped you the bird, maybe you’ve been intentionally boxed in on the highway or have been honked at because you didn’t move fast enough when a light turned green. Road rage is dangerous because it causes accidents. Road rage is dangerous because it can hurt people.
Now imagine one of those or all of those scenarios minus the car. A person is walking down the street. The likelihood of that person now giving you an insulting hand gesture, slowing down in front of you so you can’t pass, or yelling at you over and over because you’re not walking fast enough is a bit slim. Can it happen? Sure it can, there are rude people everywhere, but when people are behind the safety of their car, when they don’t have to look at you in the eyes or see your face fall after being told you’re too slow, they feel a false sense of bravado and security.
The same thing can be said about Facebook and the internet. The false sense of security we can feel behind our computer is exactly that; false. Facebook is a tool to keep up with your friends’ lives and to share things about your own. It was fun in the beginning but then something started to happen. People started to use Facebook as a weapon. They started to use it to hurt other people. Others started to use Facebook as a measurement tool for how liked they were, keeping track of comments and posts. Insecurities started to be revealed in status updates. Facebook started to be a tool that enabled people to not only share their lives and interests, it became a tool to hurt others or measure ourselves in ways that are simply unhealthy.
How you use Facebook says a lot about you as a person. If you make a snarky remark about a friend or acquaintance, you don’t have to see their face when they read it, you don’t have to be accountable for your ugliness. Or do you? I believe that when we hurt others and spread toxic emotions we chip away at our own beautiful self, our own souls and our own worth. I often wonder why people have friends on Facebook that are simply not their friends. Why do people subject themselves to others that do not have the same moral compass as their own?
If you would not say something to someone’s face, if you cannot look into their eyes and verbalize your status update, perhaps you shouldn’t post that status update at all. In the same token, if a Facebook friend constantly annoys you with updates of meanness or negativity, you are only one click away from not being annoyed any longer. Spread love, spread joy, use your words to lift people up. Surround yourself with positive people, spread positive energy and be accountable for what you put out into the universe.
The old adage stands firm and true; if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.