For all the good and fun times social media has afforded people trapped in the confines of their own homes during the quarantine, it can also be said that the digital space can also, somehow, turn into a cesspool of hostility in an instant.
Before one misinterprets this article as a guide to leading an “all-positive, hippie lifestyle” that’s reminiscent of the flower power movement in the ‘70s, this article merely invites readers to take a brief pause in the midst of the flurry of the vast information being hurled at them.
When it comes to feeding consumers with “information overload,” Facebook makes MTV look like a contrite Madonna primed for canonization.
Here are 10 questions one might want to ask himself before engaging with other people regarding hot issues in social media, arranged in no particular order.
“Have I read enough about this particular topic?”
Imagine how we, sometimes, are appalled by the ignorance of some blatant lot? We surely wouldn’t want to be a part of that. Find time to learn more about a subject before diving in head first.
“Am I emotional at the time-being?”
When it comes to sports, seldom do emotions play a role in crowning champions. In a 2017 article by Tennis World, it explained how champion Roger Federer separates himself from the rest. Sure, most athletes are passionate and physically talented, but Federer is praised for his “mental management.” He doesn’t get too excited about screaming crowds or the game itself and lets the game—and the eventual win—come to him.
“Will my opinion change anything?”
People think they are entitled to their opinions. And they are, really. But are they adding something new to the conversation or are they just fueling the mob? Bring something fresh to the tabletalk.
“Is the source of the news I am sharing credible?”
Check the source of the news that you are sharing. Is it from a credible news outlet? Or did you get a breaking news item from a chain message passed around via Messenger? Well, people say “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” But the wise wait for confirmation (from authorized officials) before pressing the panic button.
“What is my aim in sharing my opinion?”
It’s a hard question, especially if deep inside, you just want some attention your way. It’s humbling to admit it.
“Do I see myself saying the same thing in front of someone’s face?”
Keyboard warriors are strongest, especially when using VPNs. Seriously, people are still people. Most social media users forget the basics of respect and decency.
“Can I live with the consequences of what I post?”
This one’s up to you, really.
“Am I living up to someone else’s standards?”
Social media can be empowering. If you feel like you have a stance on a certain topic but feel like you are bullied into silence, ask yourself if it’s worth standing up for yourself and sharing what you believe in.
“How can I actually help?”
Awareness counts and prayers are okay. But to pair those Hail Marys with donations is a generous act on your part.
“Is it worth my time?”
How long did it take you to draft that three-paragraph discourse supporting your argument? Maybe you could’ve already spent that time getting some actual work done? Crawling in the shadows of social media just waiting for another opportunity to spew hateful comments is not cool.