Of Opinions and “Okray’s”

19 Nov

I have often said that interaction on-line gives participants a virtual armor. Some become “braver” than their real life personas — brave enough to throw words as demeaning as their vocabularies could muster. We all have the right to say what we want; but not all things are worth saying. There is a thin line between commenting and “pang-o-okray”.

Growing up in the 70’s, I often saw questions labelled “The Four-Way Test” posted at intersections and mounted on walls. The Rotarian ethical guide works even in the digital age. Before you join the hottest discussion on your Facebook timeline or write that burning blog entry, ask yourself these questions.

1. Are you telling a genuine truth? State a fact. Do not pass on hearsay. Do not generalize. Do not use curse words and slurs.

2. Are you being fair? Express your opinion after spending a few moments in other guy’s shoes. Be a devil’s advocate to yourself before you click that button.

3. Are you building goodwill? Expressing indignation does not have to be a hellish spiral into anarchy. Select words that inspire action and empathy not hate and derision.

4. Will your comment help the receiver be better? And perhaps more important still, will you become a more evolved human being by saying those words?

A hundred years from now, when your descendants research you, they won’t go to books and sepia photographs. To retrace your life, they will probably get a download of your Facebook timeline, your Chrome browser history and all the comments you have ever made. Considering what you have contributed on-line so far, do you think they will be proud?

Constructive comments are powerful agents of change.

Constructive comments are powerful agents of change.

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3 Responses to “Of Opinions and “Okray’s””

  1. batjay 11.20.2013 at 08:26 #

    very well written ate mona. alas, i am guilty of a few things you’ve said :)

  2. Jose C. Cruz 11.20.2013 at 11:38 #

    Thanks for this reminder. I am guilty as well. Out of irritation, frustration and anger, I have commented and posted inappropriate words, forwarded posts because I wanted to hurt some people especially those perceived to be wrong and abusive. Maybe I sjould have restrained myself and just prayed for them. In our stairways, a frame with bold letter WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) is prominently displayed, but it seemed I did not apply this in recent days. Here’s praying that God will continue to work in me and everyone.

  3. Mona 11.20.2013 at 12:34 #

    We are all guilty. The Haiyan experience has maxed out the Philippine quota for negativity though, don’t you think? Reboot for all!

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