Monday, August 04, 2014

Boundaries on the World Wide Web?

It's becoming easier and easier to see why the rest of the world refers to us as rude Americans.  Most Americans are rude . . . if not abroad, certainly then, to each other.  I came to a strange determination the other day that was truly difficult.  I am horrible at establishing boundaries.  I prefer to regard other's fence lines and just remain in my own space, but that isn't how life in America really works.

Back when I first became a part of the world wide web, there of course were religious and political debates, but they were done through groups and for the most part very impersonal.  As a matter of fact, back in the days of groups, the only personal information that was exchanged was done in support and fellowship, rathern than argument.  I've been emissaryscribe@yahoo for a number of years, but only those reaching out in fellowship knew my actual name, until the Goshen Gazette.  As fascinating as my personal computer history is (haha) it's not the actual point of this article.  I'm going somewhere.

Once groups turned into forums, many folks seemed to become more aggressive in their disagreement, while still hiding behind their ID.  It's as if we actually developed and cultivated rudeness while calling it honesty or passion.  The lack of tone to typed words became the excuse to offend.  Keep in mind, even before the internet, we already had a global reputation of being rude Americans.  Now that we've progressed to our real names on social media, privacy issues are a concern, but often manners are not.  The political hacks and religious zealots fascinate me.  I want to ask if this is how they speak with their family and neighbors, but then I realize, most of us are on social media because our social calendar is apparently not filled with attendance obligations and gala events.

This week, I realized I actually need to set boundaries, and maintain them, even if that means censorship.  I am an advocate of free speech and I hate to see it going away, but, we all have our own space and our own social media platform to speak.  Lively debates can be found on forums.  Personal walls and blogs are just that.  A person cares enough about something to make their statement.  I admit in the early days, I made comments like I was participating in a forum.  I learned early, even with Scripture and truth, folks walls are their territory.  Some are gracious, others not so much, but as I've learned the protocol, I've come to understand the formerly social taboos are the primary subjects on the world wide web.

Some folks are going to offer a negative comment or be offended at everything.  There are becoming more and more people who seem to look for something to be offended about.  I find them highly offensive!  Their final scathing private message and block is an answer to prayer.

A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.  a Proverb of Holy Scripture
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