Those three sharp words comprised one of the first, smartest lessons shared with me when I first hopped aboard the runaway internet express in a previous decade. Simple words bandied about by my earliest peers became a brilliant watchword trifecta to remind each other not to post in anger, to cool down before venting any immediate hostile impulses, to refrain from etching anything hasty and regrettable for eternal archiving. Self-control is key. You’re not required by law to reply immediately to anyone who stabs you the wrong way. Stepping back, breathing deeply, and taking a few hours away from your input device can do a world of good.
This snapshot, captured tonight through the magic of a few simple keystrokes and MS Paint, is how not to handle such potential fiascos. The amateurish content-editing is my doing, because of the lines I draw.
The Twitter account in question was deleted less than half an hour later. A few earlier tweets were part of the same tirade, but I opted for moderate sampling over voyeuristic completism. I’m also not interested in linking to the tacky news story that sparked this reaction because I don’t believe they deserve any click-through traffic. At all.
I’m not normally one for ten-minute posts comprised of a single set of Words to Live By. Consider this an exception to the rule. From a Scriptural standpoint, I’ll point you to James 1:19-20 (NIV):
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
Much more eloquent and pleasingly faith-based from my perspective, but not as easy to fit onto a T-shirt or scribble on a Post-It to stick to your monitor or the back of your phone.
Make these three words Today’s Secret Words, today and every day, and you’ll be astounded at how your internet experience will improve by leaps and bounds.
Read. Think. Post.