Talking to many students in regards to social networking – they all make the comment that there is “comfort” within this form of relationship.
Even though you’re publishing content for all the world to see, you really don’t have to face the public who might (you hope) stumbles across your words.
In the privacy of your home or office, its just you and a computer screen. So we tend to let loose and speak in a way we may not if we actually had to let those words lose from our mouths.
This creative flow is one of the strengths of the connected generation. It allows for unedited expression and perceived connection with people miles away.
But this lack of digital inhibition can be a major weakness. Because as we sit with manufactured courage in the privacy of our office space, we’re publishing words to the world that may come back to haunt us in a variety of ways. Not to mention we are also in the process of we’re creating a digital paper trail that could easily affect our God-given calling in the future.
I heard it many times growing up, “If everything we thought or said was made public, we’d be ashamed.” Now, it seems everything everyone hears or says is being made public, but we’re not ashamed.
Now, I’m a huge fan of the digital age. I’m on Facebook & Twitter. But I’m worried about a culture that is slowly lacking the ability to think before it speaks. The journey from mind to mouth to keyboard to web happens so fast, it lacks the necessary self-editing skills we had before the computer age was born.
Communication is clearly not going back to a previous age and I don’t think it should. 21st century tools have made the world smaller, creating new channels for the transmission of truth and hope and light.
We all need to self-edit before we press send or share or publish. Are the words we are blasting to cyberspace words we’d be proud to claim in a roomful of dignified people?
Are they words peppered with affirmations of God’s grace? Do they show strains of self-absorption by revealing too much about ourselves? Private things that nobody but our loved ones needs to know?
Definitely something to think about…what are your thoughts?