These resources while valueable have there place in society despite popular opinion that whatever makes you feel good you should do, without compromise or care.
Some love the idea that all you have to do is type, point and click through a conversation. That might be the end of it but with the barrage of feedback hitting the vi-ways , it might behoove you to rethink some of the steps you use in letting others know how you feel when it comes to their articles and opinions.
An example where things can go too far comes from a lovely town in Connecticut. In June 2011 the then Torrington Superintendent cited issues regarding the feedback his resignation drew in. Many less than stellar comments being made went from nasty to some sort of free for all commentary that spiraled out of control. One local newspaper had a 'Sound-Off' section after the article for anyone to comment, and boy did they. None I can put into print here seemed to defy proper decorum. Going beyond pithy words of disdain, some seemed to rant on just to make infamous comments that fell on deaf ears.
Many who were actually passionate about the former school leader's approach to reform and sudden resignation were heard and remembered. Others who had that 'go for it' kind of reasoning were met with other unsettling remarks that never settled on any one real issues being resolved.
That brings me to my next point. Media is changing. Not to meet our needs alone but as a way of safeguarding itself. Too late to thwart the masses. Once the iron is hot it is a long time before the burn off occurs. Personal opinion is just what it is, personal, not degrading. There is a grand difference.
Here are some points to keep in mind when encountering what seems to be mindless banter:
Keep It Real While Keeping In Control
I enjoy a good comment especially when the person knows what they are talking about. What I find less favorable is when the comments become off-color, riddled with cursing and rants and no resolution. We are always telling our children to be respectful. Is it too much to ask to have that start at home so to speak. They pick up everything we do as adults, the good, bad and the ugly. We see some kids act out and after seeing the parents we wonder how can that be. Everyone is so clean cut and mannerable, right? Wrong. Seems that behind closed doors the gloves come off and the wild west speech frenzy sends us running for cover.
Why not think carefully before choosing your words if that seems to be your habit of communicating. With varied upbringings, values and cultures there is no telling what may or may not strike a negative chord with you but well thought out speech goes a long way to being heard with respect. The same respect, I might add, that you try inculcating into your children. It starts with you.
Curtail The Drama
Once its out, vicious words cannot be taken back. Even worse, once viral, webbed or printed, even if retractions are made, tend to burn in the eyes and memories of the beholder who can then go back countless times fueling pointless hostilities. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing, there is an issue with continued bullying in media. Efforts to fuel opinion goes awry when the subject matter has been lost in a quest to have the last word or the can you top this style of response aimed at making the blood boil.
What is it that you are really trying to say that has to escalate to that level? Make clear points so as to retain your own dignity. I always say, "everyone has a voice, it is up to you how you want to be heard". Not free wielding, got to get your attention verbage but meaningful, accountable, engaging dialogue.
You don't need to become a writer in order to be heard but you have to value yourself first before you decide to deliver worthwhile, meaningful commentary to others.
Ask yourself these questions:
Free speech is a wonderful thing but should it be tempered?
Are their ways to share how you feel without obliterating or isolating others' views?
What is too much when it comes to personal opinion?
Should feedback be viewed as just sharing your true feelings?
Who should make the call as to what is acceptable or unacceptable?
What is the genuine purpose for your response?
You may find the deep down emotions for the way you respond to others eye-opening and reflective. It might even cause you to rethink some things, but hey, that is only my opinion.