Words Matter.

It’s a little early for 2014 retrospective posts, but I also don’t want to wait to write this one. It’s not been a great year for internet culture. We had GamerGate. We had ShirtGate. (Seriously, let’s stop with the “gates.”) We’ve had reactions to the Michael Brown shooting, and reactions to everything that’s happened in Ferguson since. I’m not going to go into the politics/culture/whatever behind these issues. And I’m not concerned with where you fall on them. But the way we’ve been talking about these issues has got to change. Words matter.

I’ve seen some awful, hateful, things being posted in regards to anything that’s a little bit controversial. And it gets worse when something is really controversial. When we get behind a screen, we forget the words that we’re reading are written by another person. We forget that those who will be reading our words are other people. It might be an off-the-cuff comment. Or a meme reposted for the lolz. And that’s the problem; we’ve stopped thinking about what we’re saying and why we’re saying it.

I’m not going to pretend I’m a writer. I don’t build characters, and I don’t create worlds and tell stories within them. But even as a blogger, I work with words. I think of the connotation they have. I think about the impact they have. And yes, I make mistakes. But I try to correct them, and learn from them.
As we approach the end of 2014, and prepare to start fresh in 2015, I encourage you to think about your words. To not fire off a response to a post in haste. To not repost a meme because you’ll get a ton of likes. To not do anything simply for “the lolz.” When we’re communicating online, words are all we have. Let’s give them the thought they deserve.

One Response to “Words Matter.”
  1. Vincent says:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.