thoughtless or less thought?

A lot of time and effort had gone into creating a resource. It had been honed, refined, shaped and adapted over a period of several months after the initial version had been finished. Finally it was ready to be released and there some positive feedback.

But there were also some people who made critical comments about the resource on social media. The critical comments were not about the core message, nor were they about the concept. They were complaining about one small aspect of the resource. It was not as if they said, “We like these aspects of the resource, but wonder about that one…” They simply complained about one aspect of the resource and had nothing positive to say about the rest. They denounced the whole thing because of one minor part of it.

For those who had invested time, creativity and effort into the resource it was incredibly disheartening that some people could not see past the one thing they did not like and were not able to write anything positive. It was even more disheartening that the people who felt critical about it decided to post their comments on social media for all to see rather than speaking privately to those who had created the resource. The delight at what they had created had been replaced by misery and disappointment. And the good work that had been done felt tarnished by the negativity. Maybe the people who wrote the negative comments were simply thoughtless, or maybe they gave less thought to what they wrote because they wrote on impulse but the impact was the same.

The story above could probably be told many times over, perhaps with minor adaptations, about how people respond negatively and critically on social media to what others have created. You could replace ‘resource’ with ‘cartoon’, ‘book’, ‘website’, ‘blog’, or ‘video’; you could replace it with ‘TV show’, ‘film’, or ‘song’; you could replace it with ‘politics’, ‘philosophy’, ‘spirituality’ or ‘morality’ and it would still resonate as true. Somehow we have reached a point where it is deemed entirely acceptable to be negative about what other people think, create, do or say and even to insult and personal in the critiques. And they wound in ways that cannot be easily bandaged.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In days gone by, before social media and the internet were even embryonic thoughts in the minds of those who created them, comments that were intended to be seen by others were usually printed or broadcast on TV or the radio. And what was said was usually moderated because people knew that they were subject to the laws of libel and defamation. In law the main defences to libel and defamation are truth or that it was an honest opinion and the impact of libel could be reputational or financial with recompense awarded accordingly. For some reason nobody seems to apply these laws to what someone splurges across the www!

Have we lost our filters of decency? Have we stopped thinking about the impact of our words on other people? Do we think that those who are the subject of vitriol or ridicule are immune to the effects of our comments? Are we less thoughtful and now are thoughtless?

The worst thing for me about the story at the start of this bloggage is that it is a true story and relates to something that was created for churches to use. The negative comments were made by Christians. Christians are not perfect, we make mistakes, but it saddens me when we flaunt those imperfections in full view of the online world without thought.

Be blessed, be a blessing

meme-fishing

I find it interesting that some combinations of words simply float past our eyes and vanish again, while others resonate with us so much that we want to remember them, share them, retweet them or otherwise let other people know how profound we found them.

The internet is awash with many things but seems to exist (at least the nice parts) in order for people to share cute pictures / videos of kittens and for people to share what have become known as memes. And while many of the memes are disposable, lol-worthy (or at least we lol in our head, if that’s not an oxymoron) others stop and make you think.

The main reason I do this is that it gives me a space in which to reflect and process some of the thoughts that are bouncing around inside my skull. It is first and foremost a personal act which I share with those who choose to muse. If others find help, humour, inspiration, encouragement and blessing in what I create then it blesses me too.

But as I have dug deeper into my limited self-awareness I have foundĀ that there’s a part of me that would rather like to be the source for one of these memes. Perhaps I am meme-fishing in the vast waters of cyberspace hoping to get a bite. Beneath the main reason thatĀ I write these bloggages, post pictures of Minillennium Falcon and share the musings of Mr QR Grenville-Stubbs and his ‘view from my pew’ maybe subconsciously I am also hoping that the brighter side of the internet will become excited about something I have created and it will go viral.

fishboat

We all like recognition. We like acknowledgement. We like affirmation. And maybe one of the reasons why I (and the myriad of other bloggists out there) release our thoughts into the wild and untamed world wide web is because the occasional ‘like’, ‘retweet’ and ‘share’ provides us with some of that.

And if those of us who have the time, inclination and desire to share some of the more palatable stuff that’s inside our minds with others via blogs, social media and the like do it partly to receive recognition, acknowledgement and affirmation I suspect that it’s something that everyone else would quite like too. So today I am going to look out for more opportunities to recognise, affirm and acknowledge what blesses me about others, and I am going to tell them – regardless of whether it goes viral.

Be blessed, be a blessing.