Social media (Twitter & Facebook specifically) have become a place that spews vitriol, condemns without knowing the whole story and is downright hateful. I’ve watched as it has become increasingly worse over the last several months. To the point where those who claim they are defending others are the ones enabling the bullying and hate they claim to despise.
Differences of opinion are only natural, and thoughtful debate and discourse can take place. But what is happening now isn’t either of those things. People are disparaging others in public forums, and the mob mentality sets in. Hate piles on, accusations made, and the vicious cycle continues.
If you want to make a real difference in the world, start by looking in the mirror each morning. Ask yourself how you want others to treat you, and work on giving others that same level of respect. There are many brilliant minds online, ones that we can all learn from and should listen to. But if we intend always to be correct, we’ll never make progress. It’s okay to be different, and it is okay to be wrong. Real courage comes in admitting it.
Be wary of the echo chamber that social media has become. It’s a tool that can be used for both good and bad. I’m not advocating against change; change is good and needed. However, it must not come at the expense of common decency.
“Every time we think we’ve measured our capacity to reach a challenge, we look up, and we’re reminded that capacity may well be limitless.” — President Bartlet (The West Wing)