Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hiding Behind my Computer {Transparent Tuesday}

We live in an age where with the flit of our fingers over the keyboard and the click of a mouse our words can be sent out into the world.

I googled myself once and found a comment I'd posted on someone's wall regarding their choice of clothing apparel. Bam! Words into the interwebs... for all time. I can't take them back. My comment was rather innocent and somewhat amusing in retrospect, but stuck there nonetheless. "Skinny jeans!? Lmbo!" I guess I thought skinny jeans on my brother were funny.

Thinking back I remember my first blog and the drama that transpired over the course of a couple months. I was young, ignorant, and believed that behind a screen I couldn't be touched. It gave me the feeling of being impermeable. Although, the person that I was at odds with was a friend in real life my interactions behind the guise of my keyboard and computer were vastly different than our face to face communication.

I wrote what another friend and I called "veiled posts" Essentially, posts that were directed at particular people in an obvious way without actually saying their name.

It was unkind. I was unkind.

I didn't want to change, admit any fault, or moderate what I was saying. It took a broken friendship, several years, a lot of prayer, and major grace on the other end to heal what had been broken.

I'm so thankful to say that now, this person is one of my dearest most beloved friends.

I used to want to "tell it how it is" in other words say whatever it was that I wanted to say at whatever moment I deemed necessary. I considered myself to be "blunt". If people didn't like what I said or how I said it I thought it was their problem - not mine. I didn't want to be perceived as sensitive or weak and I felt that "blunt" was the opposite of what I disliked and recognized as spineless.

The funny thing is, that despite my brutal honesty and my harsh words I never really was tough myself. I still felt everything that everyone said to me deeply. It still hurt when the types of things I was saying were redirected at... me.

It was a facade. I was really just hurt, and trying to protect myself from the wounds that had been inflicted on me by other people's unkind words by turning around and doling out the same to others.

As a good friend once said, "I've never regretted not getting involved in a disagreement."

In the moment the desire to set someone straight, to get what you want to say off your chest can be overwhelming. And, yes there are times when you need to say something. However, more often than not keeping quiet will serve you better.

"You can change your world by changing your words... Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue." - Joel Osteen

The ability to stop and think before letting our words flow like an unchecked faucet is an ability worthy of admiration. 

In this day and age of computers, cyber bullying, and gossip columns it's often a fine line that we tread. There is power in words. You can choose to either breathe life or death. 

I regularly find myself struggling with this. When is it good to speak? When should I listen? When should I just smile and leave it alone?

I'm finding the older I get the more value there is in not speaking. It is easy to say whatever is on your mind. It is harder to withhold.

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice." Proverbs 12:15


Today is Transparent Tuesday!

I invite you to link up and join me in an effort to cast aside the filters we use to depict our lives as always being perfect. We all have a story to tell. The best stories are those where ordinary people rise up and work through the tough situations, the unseemly moments, the mundane, and the unglamorous.

All you have to do to link up is:

1. Either merely post a picture that depicts something in an honest way (just for example it could be a dirty room, or a selfie with you without your makeup on). Write a small caption to go along with your picture. OR, instead of a picture you can write a post that gives an authentic glimpse of your life.

2. Copy the url for your post (not your site) in the link below.

3. Finally, last but not least copy the code for the Transparent Tuesday graphic and attach it to your post so that other people can come and see all the other posts for Transparent Tuesday. The more the graphic is shared, the more people will be able to participate!


Thanks for linking up! The graphic and link up are below:


Our Growing Roots

 


10 comments:

  1. What a great post. I was just talking with one of my teenage friends about the importance of "speaking with good intentions". I myself often experience unintentional blurting out my feelings and thoughts. It has taken me many years to learn the art of filtering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shelah, yes! I was talking to my son the other day about "speaking the truth - in love." It's ok to speak up. It just needs to be loving. Saying "You're a jerk!" is much different than saying, "I don't like the way you're treating me. It's not kind." It has also taken me years (and I'm sure my whole life, really) to hone in this ability.

      Delete
  2. Your friends quote "I've never regretted not getting involved in a disagreement." is great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When she said that, I just thought, "Oh my goodness, yes!" Truth!

      Delete
  3. I am so thankful for a husband who lets me vent to him, so that I am able to stop and take a breath before airing grievances or drama online. I think a support system of some kind is vital to help people think before speaking. We all have something to say - it's just important to say what we have to say in the proper venue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzanna, yes absolutely. I agree that having a sounding board is incredibly valuable. Through other people we can determine what's really important! I'm lucky to also have a husband who is willing to listen and some good friends who can talk me down when I am frustrated. It usually serves to keep me from saying anything at all. Sometimes though, it helps me to find the *right* thing to say rather than what I want to say in the moment! Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  4. The reach that we have through the internet is beyond what we have imagined before. This is a good reminder to be wise in how we use this ... to build others up and not tear them down. Thanks for sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Totally agree with the wanting to "get things off your chest" aspect, it took a lot of dumb arguments because of that need before I realized I was the one who needed to make a change, so now when I feel that need, I journal it, write it out on paper, and it's awesome to be able to go back, reflect, and be grateful I never actually put those words out there.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a great post. I often refer to blogging as great therapy, but I try to stay aware of who might be reading. So, as a person that wants to share openly, I also withhold a bit to spare hurt feelings.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great quote from your friend, and you're right, particularly the written word can be very powerful, sometimes even something meant tongue in cheek can come across the wrong way and be very hurtful.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...