I like words.
Writing is fun. Letters on a page jumbled together to make sentences and paragraphs. Organize them well and I can argue a point, share a story, move someone to tears.
Organize them poorly and I can confuse someone. I can leaving them to wonder what in the heck I'm thinking.
Use them carelessly and I can hurt someone - badly. A poorly thought-out comment, twitter posting or status update can damage relationships, virtually and in real life. It's happened before, sadly, it will happen again.
I've decided that 140 characters is no place for sarcasm (unless you are Honest Toddler). Or cut and run posts. Or posts without context. Twitter is a tough platform from which to defend myself or my friends. It's a tough place to confront someone. Sometimes it's just a plain tough place to have a conversation.
And so I move my thoughts over to Facebook or here, where I can wax poetic about this or that with unlimited space. 800 words are nothing in this arena. I can write, hit send and give my thoughts over to cyber space.
The problem is, having productive discussion online is a rarity. (Have you read the comments on a simple news article? Scary stuff.)
It's really hard to disagree with someone over a computer screen. It's hard to read emotions. It's hard to feel like my point is being heard or understood. It's hard to sway the other person to my side and when the other party just can't understand or accept my point of view, it's hard to stay civil.
It's hard to remember that there is a person on the other side of the computer.
Honestly, sometimes I care more about being heard than whether or not what I say even needs to be said at all. I sometimes care more about getting my point across than about the tone I'm are putting out there when I write it.
Every time I get riled up I think to myself, "Ooooh, I should totally blog about this!" and without fail, every darn time I hear a whisper,
I think to myself, "But...I could add something to this discussion!" and again,
"But, but, I have things I want to say!!"
Every time I consider throwing my voice into the ring of this opinion or that opinion, God lovingly, patiently, firmly tells me NO.
Lately I have been hearing less "No" and more "Will your words help the Gospel or hinder it?" which is far more intimidating.
Wisdom with my words. I did ask for it, didn't I?