I was thinking some more about my last blog about bullying and its link to technology, and it got me thinking about texting, emailing, posting on Facebook and Twitter...you get the point. Let me be the first to admit that I love Facebook. I love that I can keep in touch with people that I would otherwise probably lose track of. I love emailing, because it is a much more time efficient way of communicating and it also allows for editing - can't really edit a live conversation. I don't text, but that's only because the hubby thinks it is a waste of money so it's not on my cell plan:) But, like a lot of good things, the use of communication technology has also brought with it some consequences.
People now feel comfortable "saying" things via a post or text or email, that they would NEVER say in person. It doesn't take guts to post online: "OMG, Mrs. Smith is such a fat @#!$&. I can't believe I have her for Math class this year." People feel braver to be rude, thoughtless, or even malicious when the face-to-face component is taken out. Unfortunately this doesn't only apply to young people; although their fragile sense of self is at a higher risk of being destroyed by someone's thoughtlessness. "Grown-ups," and I use that term loosely, have also become seduced by the feeling of fearlessness that communication technology gives. For once, I am going to try to keep this blog brief. We need to lead by example. If we want young people to be kinder to their peers than we need to do the same. When I was growing up my parents would always tell me and my siblings to "think before you speak." All I'm asking you to do is to stop, before you send that email or before you post that blog, and think about whether you would actually "say" those things out loud? Would you actually say what you are writing to someone? If the answer is no - hit delete!