Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Don't Hide Behind Your Words

I am a blogger. I consider myself a writer; perhaps not a published author, but a writer nonetheless. I always think about the words I use very carefully. I'll write. I'll edit. I'll write some more and occasionally I will scrap the whole post and start over. If I'm not comfortable speaking the words to your face (which is WAY different than speaking them behind your back), then I certainly will not write them. I choose not to hide behind my words, although many will. Just read a 'Dear Editor' letter some time. Many writers (but not all, I'm sure) will write to vent, with nothing more than a personal agenda. Read an online article and if you have the stomach for it venture to the end and read some of the viewer comments. It constantly amazes me how many people write from ignorance. Whether it's the person writing the article or those commenting on it; BOTH need to get their facts in order first before they write anything. Writing in a public forum gives you a responsibility; one that should not be taken lightly.

Sure there are things called 'Freedom of Speech' and 'Freedom of the Press', but I believe those were put in place to protect people NOT to give them a free platform to hide behind. There's a big difference.
If you have an opinion ... great, good for you. If you can choose your words carefully it's important to share your view with those you think would benefit from hearing it. It works both ways. I've read well-put-together articles only to have readers bash the content and the writer then go off on completely unrelated tangents of their own (I suppose because they now think they have a platform). It's crazy. At the same time I've read articles where someone chooses to hurl unfounded insults and accusations only to put people on the defense. What gives someone the right to force people to have to defend themselves from pure nonsense? It's a waste of everyone's time and energy and for what? Because someone had a personal vendetta or agenda or bad day?
My suggestion to you (and you can take it with a grain of salt if you like) is to think twice and speak or write once. Once the words are written or spoken, they are gone. You can back pedal all you want, but the damage is already out there for all to see.

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