I don’t have to name names. When I say social media, your favorites come automatically to mind.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that they seem to have malfunctioned. Something has gone terribly wrong. No one seems to know why, but everyone has noticed that they can hardly say anything anymore without someone taking it wrong, reacting negatively and too often engaging in terribly childish verbal warfare for all the world to see.
We’ve all seen the memes: “How to start an argument on the internet: 1) Express an opinion. 2) Wait.” But is it really the expressing of opinions that causes all this? Maybe, but…
What the heck has happened to us, people?
This is what’s happening. We, as a collective group (certainly not all of us individually), are reading 7% of a sender’s intended message and assigning our own imagined body language and tone for the other 93%. What could possibly go wrong with that!? All too often in social media what happens is the receiver reacts to the sender in hurtful and unproductive ways, having no awareness of the facts above.
That is what is wrong with social media.
Maybe live video streaming will be the next new wave and it will help to eliminate some of these misunderstandings. For the foreseeable future, the best difference we can make to hopefully whittle down the verbal comment battles is to encourage more people to consider this.
© Barb Allen, Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing and Communication