Thursday, April 21, 2011

Word Vomit

Can we talk? I mean really, truly, talk? Maybe we all do too much talking and think to ourselves when someone asks if they can talk with us, "Sure, about who?" Or maybe we think to ourselves, "I've been talking and listening (hearing) all day. I'd rather not talk (or listen to you talk.)

It has been brought to my attention recently by my wise husband that almost everyone talks too much and about things that they have no business talking about. Social media has made this more prevalent and easier than ever before. "Cyber-bullying" has been in the news more and more frequently. People say cruel things to one another on Facebook because they feel "entitled" and maybe even a sense of anonimity.

A pregnant women posts a picture of herself on Facebook. She is obviously pregnant, and one of her Facebook "friends" makes the comment, "WOW!!! Are you sure there isn't twins in there?"

(yes that is an actual comment made on Facebook. many of my pregnant friends have received comments like that.)

I am not pregnant, but I have a sneaking suspicion that those words were quite hurtful for the women about whom the comments were made. Maybe the people who made the comments would have said them to the person's face. I don't know. My guess is, though, that most of these women (yes, women made these comments to other women. digusuting.) would have said nothing if they had seen these pregnant women in Target or at Panera.

Our social media (blogs included) has made it easy to access information about others that may have before been "hidden." Maybe the info wasn't "hidden" in previous times, but one had to be well-accquainted with the individual to know all of their "dirt." Oddly enough, information about other things (news, weather, current events, political events) is at an all time high too. Somehow, these things do not make it into our conversation the same way it did into our parents and grandparents conversation. Instead, we talk about other people.

PLEASE do not misunderstand me. I know that our parents and grandparents talked about other people - because they are human. I think gossip or slander is something that everyone stuggles with at some point. But our culture is so saturated with knowing everything about everyone else's life. I'm not asking anyone to be fake, but sometimes, a little mystique is a good thing. Sometimes, as individuals who are Facebook "friends" with these people, we need to step back for the information that bombards us on our "Newsfeed" and evaluate, "Is this information that I need to do anything with?" Do I need to comment? (probably not) Do I need to engage in a text arguement with someone over their status update? (probably not) Do I need to comment on the pictures they just posted of their Easter egg hunt with their kids? (maybe, maybe not)

We need to learn how to be discerning - when to speak, and when to hold our tongues. I have some friends and people who read this blog who ask me why I don't post more. I have a few reasons for it:

1) I'm busy. Sorry. Sometimes it really is as simple as that.

2) Sometimes when I have time to post, I have nothing to say of any signifigance. I have determined in my mind that my words will not be idle. If I'm going to speak, I want my words to be poignant and thought about. I don't want word vomit coming out of my mouth.

Even as a blogger, I don't want to post about something that I have no information about. (yes, people acutally do this) I don't always like to post based on my "experience" either. Experience is valuable, but it can not be our gauge for absolute truth.

Here's an example for you:

I see a girl who is dressed immodestly in church. I have two choices. I can: a) Decide that because a girl I knew in high school dressed immodestly because she was easy, that this girl before me must be easy too, so I had better tell her that she's not dressed appropriately for church. or b) Decide that this girl might not be getting any attention at home from her dad, so she's decided to do whatever she can to get negative attention from him or positive attention somewhere else and that I need to be gracious to her.

These are two of many options, I realize. But still, our experience with someone in the past does not dictate what the absolute truth is in this situation.

I'm just hoping that any one who reads this will allow for a thourogh self-examination and evaluation of the way they use their words. Are they word vomit or are they a tool that you can use to build someone up?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the reminder to beware of the words we use! They can so easily build up or tear down. :)