Today as we all pause to say goodbye to summer, the world is taking a moment to consider peace for the International Day of Peace. It seems appropriate that we consider such things as the season changes, because, of course, change is what will be required.
I hope that if we’ve learned nothing else in the last year, it’s how detrimental online battles can be in the real world. So, in honor of the day, I thought I’d take a moment to promote peace online—literally.
It’s no secret that the anonymity of the internet has created a platform for opinion sharing without apparent consequence. But here’s the thing, there are consequences, they’re just not necessarily felt by the sharer of those opinions.
And at the risk of being too much of a Pollyanna, here’s my proposed rule to consider…and by “consider” I mean “live your life by.” Before you post anything online, consider this: Would I say this to a stranger’s face?
For some of the more “blunt” individuals out there the answer may be yes, and that perhaps would require a larger, longer convo. But for most of the rational, kind, thoughtful people out there, the answer would, of course, be “no.” So why in the world would you shout it at a stranger online. Yes, I’m addressing ALL CAPS CULPRITS out there.
That doesn’t mean you can’t be critical, just be kind, or at least considerate. The sentiments are not mutually exclusive. They can coexist in an online comment. I promise.
But seriously, bots aside, don’t forget that those Twitter accounts, Facebook profiles, YouTube channels, WordPress comment sections, etc., that you’re talking to are real people, with real feelings. Imagine the change we could make if we all truly remembered that.
Okay, I’ll get down off of my digital soapbox now, and leave you all with this thought. Sure, world peace won’t be achieved entirely online, but wouldn’t it be nice (albeit surprising) if it started there?