For the record: I don’t wear rose-colored glasses. I don’t believe in unicorns and I understand that not everything is sunshine and rainbows.
I struggle with the same issues everyone else does, and I try to consider where ugliness and disrespect come from before I disregard the negative and critical voices that use social media to voice their concerns, without filters or any consideration of the person they are directing their thoughts (often unfiltered) toward.
I do believe there’s a way to communicate that respects ALL parties (yes, even the parties that I don’t agree with, and even to a degree those parties that seem to forget their manners).
And I believe if we want something to happen, there’s a right way to go about it. And it requires face-to-face, in-person conversations.
Social media is powerful. (And it should be considered more and more as a means for connecting to the fringe, and to understanding how to convene the ideas of our communities – by showing that we care about the ideas people – regular, everyday people – are sharing).
It is not perfect – it’s powered by people, so it’s never going to be any better than we are.
There’s a lot of work to be done.
I guarantee it will never (yep, that’s the word – never) get done without people accepting, listening, and respecting one another.
We are responsible for the carnage of the words we write. And we can reap the rewards of the hard work that human connection requires.
The hard part – the work that matters – is recognizing that the people we don’t agree with are the very people we need to bring close, listen to openly, and determine how best to build trust with them.
The trust is eroded. We can’t build a strong foundation without trust.
Whenever we decide to start, we can begin believing again.
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