Thursday, December 4, 2014

Callous People

The internet has made us a callous people.

We let ourselves be convinced, if we hide behind our screens and our keyboards when we say cruel things, that it doesn't matter.  If we can't see the pain we cause, then it's like we didn't do it. Is it really our fault if someone reads what we said and assumes it's about them?  Even if it is... we didn't say it to them. We just... sort of... said it somewhere that they might be likely to read it.

Sometimes we're not really brave enough to come right out and say the things. Oh no... someone we respect might know what we really think and that our hearts are really eaten up with ugly inside.  So we hide behind veiled comments and fakely nice responses. Or we post in ways that make people wonder what we're talking about... and infer and assume...  but we're off the hook because we didn't just come right out and say it.  A friend of mine calls that vaguebooking.

The internet has made us a callous people.

Only that's not quite true, is it? What is the internet but a web of technical connections?

We have made us a callous people. We have forgotten that there are people on the other side. We have forgotten the pain that our words can cause, the destruction that our faceless cruelty can wreak -- even if we can't see the outcome, even if we can't see the hurt that we made.

I don't want us to be a callous people. I don't want to be a callous person. I want to be aware of what my words do... and I want to be the kind of person that uses them for good.

I'm not always that person. I can admit that, even if it's with disappointment in myself. Sometimes...  sometimes I am the callous one.

But, moment by moment, I'm trying to be different. I'm trying to be the one that speaks more with kindness and less with cruelty.

Faceless doesn't mean you have to be callous. It just might mean that we have to be more aware. More deliberate.

More kind.


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