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Humans Behind the Screen

It’s SO DAMN easy to press that button. Especially when we’re sad. Or angry. Or afraid. Or lonely. But we can’t undo it. Once it’s out there, there is no going back. Even if we delete or edit, it’s still archived in the brains and hearts of those who received it.

The internet is a brand new technology for the human race, evolutionarily wise. For those of us who have been interacting with people more often through a screen than in person lately, some of us have forgotten how to human properly. Being behind a keyboard affords us a shield we don’t have face-to-face. In person, we have to deal with the consequences of our actions in real-time. When we say something hurtful, we’re forced to see the hurt or disgust in another’s eyes and feel it in our own hearts. We might even get straight socked in the face, so impulse control comes easier.

That’s why it’s so important to remember that real-life humans are on the receiving end of what we blast out into the interwebs. We are accountable for our actions and words no matter what form they come in. We all feel joy, pain and everything in between. We all have hardships and struggles. We all want to feel seen. To feel heard. To feel like we matter. To feel that our feelings are valid. We all want to connect. After all, that’s what here for, right? Human connection.

As a rule of thumb...

if we wouldn’t go up to a person and pull our pants down and say, “hey, look at this!” maybe it’s best we don’t DM them that pic of our di… digit.

If we aren’t the type to yell at and degrade a stranger with whom we disagree, then perhaps we should tone down that ALL CAPS response.

If we wouldn’t feel comfortable coming up to the same person over and over again on the same day to tell them we like the way they look, then maybe it makes sense not to “thumbs up” and comment on every single picture they’ve posted in one fell swoop.

If it still feels tricky to decide… imagining how it would feel if someone said or does that thing to us or to someone else we really love helps to make that decision. I find choosing to do and say the things that are loving and kind or just not doing anything at all, result in a more positive outcome than doing the opposite every. damn. time. But you don’t have to take my word for it, test it out and let me know how it works out. :)

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