In all honesty... The internet scares me. Yet at the same time I am fascinated by it and love how it has connected me with friends and family members from around the world and has also provided me with a platform to build my business. It truly is a remarkable tool. What is even crazier is that I can remember a time withOUT the internet. Yep - I'm that old.
The internet has revolutionized how we interact with human kind, how we see the world, and view current events as they happen. It has also provided the platform to voice our opinions, fight against hate crimes, and educate others in real time. Yet, in the same breath, it has also been a platform for cyber-bullying and tearing down the lives of others in a matter of seconds. And this is truly frightening.
Over the past few months I have been astonished by what has been trending and taking over Social Media, to the point where I have had to disengage with it. In one breath we can fight against hate and in the next spew the same hate we were fighting against towards others. Please know, I am not pointing fingers but hoping to make us more aware for us to rise above the tide and not engage with such behavior.
We are not kind to strangers on the internet. Instead, we sit behind our keyboards and act like fierce lions ready to devour others. And this makes me sad. [Even as I type this I am nervous...]
Today, while thinking of this, James 1:19 (NIV) came to my mind: ".... Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." Whether you are a Bible-believing person or not, this speaks Truth to all mankind. It is easy to jump on the emotional bandwagon and begin riding on a tidal wave that social media is trending. And believe me, there are many things that I see that frustrate and upset me. Even throughout my career as a professional photographer I have witnessed bad corrective criticism that only tears down the individual to the core vs. words that would help guide and direct that person on a better journey.
My hope for myself when scrolling on social media platforms is that I am slow to speak in heated moments. That while a topic may present itself that makes me angry or I disagree with, that I remember to BE KIND to strangers on the internet. That I remember to speak to others how I want to be spoken to. That I treat others in a way that produces life and not death.
I am not perfect. I mess up. And I'm sure those who know me well are shaking there heads "uh-huh" in agreement. But one thing I believe many of us share is the desire to see this world in a better place, and I believe that begins with each of us individually. So this is my pledge and my promise: I promise to first work on myself and to rise above the tides of bad behavior. To choose life giving words that edify and give life to others. To treat others how I want to be treated. To be kind to strangers on the internet.
This is my pledge.