A false witness does not go unpunished. And he who breathes out lies does not escape –Proverbs 19:5
I have always been a “words” person. Admittedly, in my younger days I wasn’t so wise. Like any younger person in the lessons of life, I had some refining to do. It wasn’t long before I figured out that words are powerful, and how one uses them determines the good or bad impact they will have on others.
When you’re young, they are used to instruct, warn, build up or tear down. When you’re older they are used to instruct, warn, build up or tear down. No matter your age, words are just as powerful and influential in one’s younger days as they are in our older days.
Words, be it spoken, written, advertised or typed, are not always true. BUT not each and every time are words spoken about you, do you need to defend or justify your actions.
Everyone you meet will form an opinion of you and you do the same for others. It’s natural. However, to believe everything one hears or says about another person without taking time to know them is to be ignorant
Ignorant – lacking knowledge, knowledge or awareness about something in particular.
We’ve all been ignorant at some point and in our ignorance have formed opinions, believed lies, and even spoken those lies. We will always have ignorance in some area of our lives, but it’s what we do with that ignorance with the power of words that is important.
Social Media today is about words and how we use words in the social media community. As a partaker in Social Media, I want to be careful with my words and choose them wisely.
These words are tied to us and they define who we are in social media. There is no “hear-say” like there was when we were younger. Social Media makes these words a part of us; they are “here-to-stay”.
In Social Media our words ARE our actions. So wouldn’t it be wise to put them to good use? Especially since they are a reflection of you?
As a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, homeschooler, homeschool leader, homeschool group teacher, and person partaking of many different communities; both socially and the physical community; I have a responsibility in my net of influence. These influences I take pretty seriously. And I also recognize that I am being influenced as well. But, I have a choice and we all do. The choices to influence or be influenced will define you no matter what.
My Personal Story
My Social Media outlets are through email, texting, Twitter and blogging. As such, I love to connect with people and I enjoy learning from others, as well as, encouraging them.
Being a homeschooler, I had wanted to engage in a homeschool twitter party and was unable to do so due to scheduling. I shared with some of the attendants that I had hoped to engage with them through the next party. I received a negative response from a fellow twitterer regarding the party. I had never engaged with this twitterer before, and in this one tweet to me and some of the other attendees, negative comments and accusations were made. Admittedly, I was uneasy about the negative comments about us, BUT I did a few things that set my mind at ease and brought me back to focus:
Recognize – I recognized that this was a negative opinion in words and accusations that were giving me a choice in my character personally, and as a person of influence in Social Media.
Responsibility – I was prepared to take responsibility for my actions of wrong doing following the research process. I recognize that words can sometimes be misconstrued or the tone could be offensive. I was looking to right my wrongs; to rebuild the bridge if it had been burned down by my actions.
Research – In my research I found that I had never engaged with this person before; this was the first time they entered my circle. I researched this person’s tweets to see how they are defining themselves over Twitter. I was looking for answers to the following questions:
- What reputation were they leaving behind through their words?
- Were they actively engaging and giving back to the community through being open, honest, teaching/co-laboring, learning and encouraging others?
- Did their words have merit? Was their someone in the twitter party who had engaged with them in a negative manner and reflected issues in a negative light?
- Were they a community builder or a community destroyer?
Reflect – I took some time to reflect and I will share some of the revelations I received:
It comes more natural to man to want to justify themselves in the face of negative comments.
All people have an opinion and we each have a right to them. However, I do not need to respond to each and every opinion especially after I have confirmed that I have not been careless in my words/actions.
We are all ignorant in some areas. None of us have all the knowledge there is to have in life.
While I can understand this fact of life, I must also understand that it does not pay to engage a one-sided person whose history/actions reflect that of a “troll.”
Troll – One who posts a deliberately provocative Social Media message with the intentions of causing maximum disruption and argument.
In the end, the use of the negative comments and accusations will take its toll on the troll.
I made a choice to not respond to the troll in their folly, to do so would be foolish. That which you choose NOT to feed, dies.
Remind – My heart’s attitude had changed as I reflected once again on the power of words in Social Media; the influence we all have with our words. It was a great reminder of my goal, community building.
That which you feed, grows. We have a responsibility to one another through the use of our words. Our words can tear a person down or build them up. Rightly reflect who you are and be respectable about your actions and reactions. Be a community builder not a community destroyer!
Your friend and Sister,