Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Is Posting Negative Comments Gossip?

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We've all read them: The service at this restaurant is terrible. This guy in front of me just blew through a red light and cut in front of another car at Starbucks.

Maybe you've posted a similar comment or a tweet: I can't believe that __________ made it to through two rounds with that voice.

Freely we comment, freely we speak. After all, we're given this right: It says so in the First Amendment.

But...

Does the impersonalization of our spectator culture free us to make derogatory comments we wouldn't dare disclose to a person's face?

Are we justified in our impersonal responses because we are far enough removed from the recipients of those comments?

At what point do we get permission to publicly express our opinion about someone or something (speak our mind)?

And then what about the damage we do by leveraging our platform just so we can express our opinion (be heard)?

Isn't this another name for gossip? (Before you respond, think through how you define gossip.)

Are we doing justice to those we speak negatively about by feeling (and fulfilling) the need to express our opinion?
  • Is this simply a form of entitlement: I have the right to express my opinion.
  • Is this simply a form of selfishness: I didn't get what I wanted, so I'm going to whine about it publicly.
  • Is this simply a form of pride: I didn't like it, so there.
(Common denominator: "I")

If I remember my Bible correctly, I believe it says: If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. (Matthew 18:15)

Hmmmm: Not a lot of room for comments, tweets, or feedback.

Question: Do you think public comments are a form of gossip? Share your thoughts below in comments.

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2 comments:

Search Theory said...

I wanted you to know that months after this post, I've still been able to talk to people about this post, like i did just yesterday. It is a post that caused me to re-think what I posted (I often used my protected tweets (only visible to a trusted few) to "vent" about things), I realized yesterday, that I stopped doing that since reading this very blog post. Thank you for changing my life. :)

Brad Lewis said...

My thoughts come from my heart, my heart is (hopefully) directed by the Holy Spirit. Thanks. I am humbled.