So as a society, have we always been so negative and rude? Has technology just exposed behavior once only seen by family and close neighbors? Have the tools of technology given us the emotional insulation to openly reveal our dark thoughts about others?
Just look online at Facebook, Twitter, or even just the comments below any article posted on a news website. While there is some interesting discussion, there are also typically an alarming number of posts that simply attack.
Name calling and insults often rule the day. There is little-to-no common courtesy, and even those being courteous are often attacked and mocked.People attack the authors of articles and posts and they attack other commenters. Shoot, they even attack things that have nothing to do with the original post, just a random rant inserted any place they can type.
The mindset seems to have become, “I must not only be right, you must be wrong. I not only should win, but you most clearly lose. If you do not absolutely agree with me, you are the enemy.”
This has permeated our sports, politics, and religions through online sites, radio and TV, and in person. If you are not part of “us,” then you are “them” and by default you must be against us.
As a society, we are becoming technology empowered bullies. It has become too easy to attack and just as easy to counter attack. Let the fights begin, let the fights continue.
Just remember though, it takes at least two to fight and there are really only a very few things worth fighting about. Just because the mob is burning down the neighborhood does not mean it is to your advantage to join in.
You have choices in life, including picking your battles thoughtfully, not in an instinctive rush of emotion. Do you want to spend the finite hours of your life in meaningless fights or something better? You don’t get today back, there is no do-over on time wasted, and being successful is not the same thing as proving you are right through force.
Glenn S. Phillips is the author of the book Nerd-to-English: Your Everyday Guide to Translating Your Business, Your Messages, and Yourself. You can email Glenn directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenn is also the president of Forte’ Incorporated, a consulting firm that works with business leaders to understand and address the often hidden technology and business risks lurking within their organizations.
© Copyright 2012. Glenn S. Phillips, Forte’ Incorporated. (205) 985-1111