If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. I think this is one thing that a lot of people forget when they are online. I don’t mean that we should not speak or talk about the wrong things or injustices in our societies. I only mean that we should think twice what we say and what we don’t say. In this day and age of the internet and online social networks, ideas and information are transferred across the globe at hyper-speed. As soon as you say something online and someone nearby or half across the world reads it, you give him/her the right to judge you based on what you said. Even through other mediums of broadcast communication like TV and the radio, the moment you say something and someone else picks it up, there is always that possibility of someone judging you based on what you said, and transferring ideas to other people via the internet. As I’ve said before, be careful what you post online.
Of course, you still have the right to your own thoughts and ideas. But unless you are ready for the repercussions of what others might think if they know that you think that way, you shouldn’t communicate it broadly. Not a lot of people will care if you say shit about a celebrity or a colleague or a “frienemy”, but the moment that you post it online, you yourself may be judged based on what you say.
I have steadfast religious beliefs, and very eccentric political and social ideas, but I don’t really write about them and post them online simply because I don’t think majority of the people will understand how my thoughts run. I tell some friends about it verbally, but that’s just about it. At the very least, my friends know who I am and what I am made of, and will know where I am coming from when I say those things. I limit my audience.
What prompted me to write about this is the reality that a number of people in our generation are being judged because of one or two things or instances that they say their thoughts and broadcast it to the public. For example, poor Christopher Lao who was a flood victim became the mockery of the entire social network because of the things he said when the reporter approached him right after the incident. I don’t agree with what he did and said either, but unfortunately he was at the wrong place at the wrong time, there was a news crew present, and he said the things he said. Judgments were made, and it spread like wildfire online. Now he will have to live with that incident for the rest of his life.
Another is the most recent about James Soriano. I don’t like what he said in his article on the newspaper either. I actually pity him for having such limited life experiences that made him think that way. Unfortunately, the newspapers did publish his article that sparked a lot of negative feedback. Some people did not think there was anything wrong with what he wrote, and possibly he did have a point. But majority were appalled by the things he said, especially because they seem so arrogant and elitist. Nothing wrong with him writing what he wrote and publishing it because those are his thoughts and ideas, but he should be ready for whatever the public will say about him because of that.
Bottom line, think about your audience. You don’t really have to conform to the norm or the status quo of our society, but you should be wary of how you communicate your ideas and who you communicate it to, and be ready for the consequences of getting your ideas across.