A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".
Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.
Would you have said what you wrote to the person's face?
I pose these questions because I recently learned about new research that very clearly shows people are their true selves online more than they are in "real life." Which is to say, because we have a screen to hide behind we no longer fear saying or doing the things we really want to say or do.
In person, we behave the way we think people expect of us. We know there are consequences that the internet does not have. We are far more cautious with what we say in response to someone else's opinion or idea, not to mention the things we choose to engage in.
This is what the internet lacks. The pause we mentally take before we act or speak.
With a keyboard, you can type out all of your hate and anger and bitterness in one swift move. In real life, you give yourself a moment to think about your actions or your words first. This is a saving grace many people take for granted online. Acting without thought, without concern, without empathy. The biggest and most fatal flaw of the World Wide Web is the humanity that has been stripped from it. The humanity we strip from ourselves when we engage with others in ways we know are wrong or cruel.
This really shouldn't be surprising. It's something we all knew, even if we refused to admit it to ourselves.
So, the question remains: who do you want to be?
Do you want to be the type of person others trust, believe in, look for in times of comfort? Do you want to be remembered as a kind soul who stood up for others, who was thoughtful in conversations, who respected the many differing opinions while able to eloquently and kindly express your own?
Or do you want to be a jerk? (Not that any of you lovely people are jerks, but we all know someone who could use some better online etiquette.)
It's that simple.
There is only one real you. You are 100% responsible for the things you do online as much as in person. A screen to hide behind is no excuse.
Who do you want to be...and how do you want to be remembered?
"Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing." - Michael Moore