Letter 18 - Instate Hate…Just Add Keyboard

Get Out from Behind Your Keyboard...

Letter 18

Director of Parks and Recreation, Jennifer Wills

It goes without saying, social media is here to stay and its integration into our daily lives, like it or not. It is used for sharing photos with grandparents, connecting with old friends, finding out community news, and learning about what’s happening in the world. All of this is at your fingertips within the click of a button.

One side effect of this fast-paced interaction is the lost art of face-to-face or over the phone conversation. We now have the ability to hide behind a screen, which provides some level of false anonymity. The keyboard has become a weapon of choice for those electing to wield it - its fast and its lethal. It doesn’t seem to matter what side of a conversation, topic, view, affiliation, stance, or the sly… I am just going to leave this comment right here and see what happens. Both sides are brandishing keyboards as they enter into cyber battle wishing to exact maximum damage. The destruction can be far-reaching, long-lasting, and catastrophic.

As the social media battlefield receives its daily onslaught of keyboard warriors suited up and ready to fight, there are bright spots, little daily souvenirs of positivity, pockets of inspiration, and shared stories about what’s right in the world.

So take this as a reminder…

How you speak to someone, about something, or about someplace (like our beautiful little city) makes a difference and only you get to decide what type of difference you want to make.

Words have an immense amount of power - the power to hurt, offend, insult, enrage and the power to encourage, change minds, change hearts, change our community, and change the world.

There are plenty of cyber warriors, what we need is cyber encouragers - those who speak positively about people, things, and places. We need a change of focus and mental mind shift, to give more attention to the good. It would be crazy to pretend that everything is good (that is unattainable), but it is possible to see a little bit of good in everything (we promise it’s there, look harder if necessary).

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, focus on the good, focus on what you are grateful for, focus a bright and positive future, and focus on choosing your words wisely.

I read a quote the other day that said: If speaking kindly to plants helps them grow, imagine what speaking kindly to humans can do.