We should talk

8 we should talk.jpg

“Life is short. Make sure you spend as much time as possible on the internet arguing with strangers about politics.” — a popular meme

There are (at least) two ways to respond to angry/hateful statements that you encounter on (anti-) social media: With anger/hate in kind, or with love.

How about saying, “We should talk”?

As much as I treasure words, when it’s only the words on a page or screen, the words can be misconstrued. You don’t hear my tone of voice; you don’t see my facial expression.

If words leap off the page and accuse me of wanting harm against innocents or some such, before I respond with the same malice I perceived, maybe I should just say, “We should talk.” Clearly the writer doesn’t understand me, and perhaps the confusion is mutual.

(Anti-) social media has been invaded and infected. Knees are jerking, and people unconsciously search for (perceived) knuckleheads to put in their place. Facebook and Twitter have taken on the awkward atmosphere of a party where a loudmouth or two have started saying contrary things to anyone within listening range — and everyone is listening. Civility is shouted down. Those who are not with me are against me and must be prevented from speaking further. And, of course, those who wish to be left alone may not. Live, and let live? Are you nuts?

No wonder we seek out pictures of puppies, or kittens, or some other innocent creatures, and sit quietly and uncomfortably in the corner waiting for it to stop.

We should talk.

Published by WarrenBluhm

Wordsmith and podcaster, Warren is a reporter, editor and storyteller who lives near the shores of Green Bay with his wife, two golden retrievers, and an insistent cat. Author of How to Play a Blue Guitar, A Bridge at Crossroads, Refuse to be Afraid, and A Scream of Consciousness.

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