just a little kindness
Have you ever thought of how lucky we are to enjoy social media platforms which allow us to express our opinions, unmask through a mask, and give our two cents on just about everything? It’s only now that I am recognizing how potent it is. I understand my small niche in cyberspace is probably negligible against the billions of information floating online – more interesting sites, better writers, better blogs, better artists, cooler visuals. But that is the least of my concern.
The online world can be incredibly cruel. Many things are twisted on the web. Many lives destroyed. Many minds are misled. There is so much subtext in cyberspace because aspects like intonation, facial expressions, and other visual cues available in face to face communication are missing online. It’s easier to insinuate. It’s easier to deny. It’s easier to spread hate. It’s easier to fan flames of resentment and enmity.
It is because of this minor epiphany of sorts that I’ve decided to be kinder, or to make better use of the cyber platform. I’m guilty of making online slights, and writing cruel words against people too. I’ve used my blog to criticize, unsettle, and maybe even force people to doubt their own capacities. Of course, critique and the occasional commentary is necessary, like a surgical scalpel to remove the abscess infecting society, but it would not hurt to also use this blog as a mechanism for inspiration, a small catalyst for change.
Once a week, I will try to share an uplifting story, a learned lesson, a special moment which I am grateful for, for the very purpose of inspiring people. There is much rudeness and negativity online because we’re all guilty on focusing only on the evils of society and other people. We can refuse to admit it but I know for a fact we’ve all been a bully online, or maybe even a victim of online hate, terrible misinterpretation, and harassment. That is why I plan to share my thoughts on kindness instead of the usual romantic trysts or rants-guised-as-prose. I want to share the goodness of and in people, the moments in life which motivate me to be better, my learnings, the fragments of wisdom I pick from personal experiences or from the experience of family and friends, and the ways I try to right my mistakes.
Maybe in this small way I can advocate others to be kinder too, especially online – to minimize cruelty, ambiguous insinuations, false accusations, negativity and plain bitchiness. We know for a fact lives are changed online these days. Some people take their own lives because of cyber threats. Others are emotionally traumatized by hate spewed in the Internet. Most of us who live our lives through social media, and thus in public, never really come out unscathed from the mind games and emotional tests of the cybersphere. So dedicating a small space for inspiration, reassurance, and motivation would be no trouble at all. Who knows? Maybe it could save a life. Maybe it could change the way we view the world.
Like I said, the online platform is a powerful tool. We can use it to make other lives miserable, as we see everyday from our sarcastic Tweets, to our disquieting Facebook statuses. We can see how social media can unsettle as much as it reveals who we are either in a positive or negative light. So there is certainly no harm in harnessing this powerful avenue of expression to also create change, impact lives, and inspire others. Hopefully, you can do your part too, and show even a little kindness online, and share an inspirational story, a piece of wisdom, a personal experience which testifies goodness in mankind, and restores faith in humanity.