Social Enlightenment

Social Enlightenment

Using Social Media In A Positive Manner That Progresses The Individual and Improves Human Relationships.
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Social media has revolutionized human communication in a way that essentially has abolished the concept of distance in relationship to the millennia old problem of slow, long range communication. This abolition of distance has proven to allow face to face communication (livestream, Skype, video chats, etc), audio/verbal communication, and most importantly, written communication in real-time.

If we consider the origins of language, especially writing, has an incredibly complex history; including being eliminated from society through several manners whether environmental factors, sheer misfortune, or the conscious destruction of writing. We have seen numerous peoples eliminated by natural disasters or extermination, with their verbal and written languages dying too. We have seen the degradation of language during periods of dark ages like that of the European Dark Age in the Medieval Period that saw centuries of writing and knowledge lost to the chaos of that era. And finally we have seen extreme examples where written language actually almost totally eliminated from human civilization; such as what occurred during the Bronze Age collapse of 1200 BCE.

If one considers the evolution of language since its inception, the biggest challenge faced by the human species is the adequate and proper transference of thought whether through written symbols or verbal grunts and noises. The sensitivity of this transference of thought is noted as misinterpretation and miscommunication in all forms. The constant and daily miscommunication of ideas between humans create a noticeable level of drama, hostility, and other seemingly unnecessary emotional reactions. These disputes can range from the common people to the most powerful elites of society. It must therefore be recognized that as the abolition of distance and the increasing interconnectivity of the human species progresses to encompass more of the species; acknowledging the problematic nature of language must be overcome though conscious attempts at clarity and clear intention of ideas. The continuation of unconscious arrogance or ignorance creates tensions in human society that in the technologically advancing civilizations of the 21st-century has become almost completely counterproductive.

So what are some ways we can avoid miscommunication and misinterpretation?

Three helpful points can be conceived as manners of achieving this goal:

  1. Don’t assume- One of the biggest problems that has created a vast amount of inaccuracy and miscommunication is the notion of assuming the thoughts of another without validation. Just because one may believe they think they understand the context or intention of an idea; verification is the wisest choice of action in any scenario rather than simply assuming communication was adequately conveyed.
  2. Talk to the individual one is engaging in the conversation; don’t talk through them- One of the biggest challenges that can be seen in observation of people communicating through social media, especially in written format, is that people communicate using the written word as if they are face-to-face having a verbal communication. The result of this is a cyclical pattern of one individual “commenting” in a manner that may as well be shouting into the void; only to be responded to by someone applying the same shouting technique, rather than direct concise communication.
  3. Always re-read messages, comments, posts, etc. at least twice before sending/posting- It is extremely noticeable that many dramatic and argumentative situations on social media derive from the impulsive emotional reactions between the individuals involved. The impulsive, rapid response of an individual caught in the passion of debate or discussion can be seen full of grammatical errors, spelling errors, and full on incoherency if not adequately compiled in a multitude of comments/messages/posts by the individual to compensate for the impassioned responses. It is therefore encouraged for an individual to take a solid minute to reread, proofread, double check, and fully assess whether or not the message/comment/post is intended to communicate the desired thoughts. The utilization of time to reflect can also allow for one to fully gather the thoughts intended on being communicated. With this, one can send a single concise detailed message rather than a multitude of half worded rapidly typed responses.

While the abolition of distance for communication has revolutionized human society, human thinking, and the potential for civilization as a whole; there is still the lacking of the individual to recognize the implication of these major breakthroughs in the way that they use the technology and how one’s mind shapes and molds the technology, as well as getting shaped and molded in return. Design of language to convey thought has been its purpose since the beginning of language itself. If we truly wish to honor this heritage as a society, civilization, and as individuals; then we each must take the responsibility and the accountability of using language in the most responsible adequate manner to avoid miscommunication, to prevent misinterpretation, and to honestly and responsibly convey thoughts and ideas that can be a benefit to all.

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No, Your Political Views Aren't Always Wrong, They Just Aren't Always Right

"No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen." - Proverb
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Violence. It is inevitable. Whether it is verbal or it is physical, it is happening around the world every day and it is a very sensitive subject. Something absolutely devastating happens and all of the sudden politicians are being questioned and those who aren't politicians, but think that they are, are now ranting on Facebook swearing up and down the walls that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

After the shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, I was at a loss for words. For an incident this serious to happen in what felt like my backyard was absolutely terrifying. To live in a world where this happened was absolutely terrifying. As families and friends of victims and survivors grieved on social media and on TV, people took no breath in expressing their feelings about the incident. From angry messages about the LGTBQ community and to the complete opposite side where those mourned for the LGBTQ community, arguments were all over Facebook. Opinions were all over Facebook, as they always are.

With the recent Las Vegas shooting the same thing was seen on social media as some felt strongly about the mental health of Americans and others cared deeply about those who were killed and what was going to happen next. Social media is home to many different political views as well as social views and the biggest issue, in my opinion, is that no one allows the opportunity for someone else to speak their mind.

Most importantly in my life right now, as well as the lives of many who surround me, is the Parkland shooting. This was absolutely horrifying, to say the least. It showed how unfair life was and how screwed up people can be.

Unfortunately, I have found on social media as well as on TV that people have lost sight of what truly matters right now as they are too worried arguing about their political views and making the statement that only their thoughts are correct.

Being a very open-minded person, I have read through hundreds of comments and watched my fair share of videos. I have heard Republicans and Democrats speak on the matter on gun control, gun safety, and guns in school.

Yes, I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe it is a right to carry a gun with the appropriate training and paperwork. Yes, I also believe that it has become way too easy to obtain such a powerful weapon.

Lastly, I believe that it is not the ease of buying guns or the Second Amendment itself that is leading to these terrifying events. It's the people of the United States and the way that they are raised today.

As Governor Matt Bevin said when he was younger, kids brought guns to school on a day to day basis and even more around the holidays to show off their new presents. People simply did not think about killing people. People were not terrified for their lives when they went to school or to a country concert.

Yes, you're allowed to have your own political opinions.

Yes, you can plaster your views and arguments all over Facebook and other social media platforms.

But stop and take a second to think about others views as well. Think about simpler times when your life didn't revolve around a video game or your cell phone or the latest violent movie that just came out.

When things were "simpler," there were not constant shootings at schools and out in public places.

Guns are not the problem. Do not be ignorant.

Realize that you can have your views but they may not always be right.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Radelich

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Let's Take The Politics Out Of School Shootings

So, please do not use school shootings as a reason to get in a Facebook fight.
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The American dream is to send our beloved children off to school where they can flourish and learn. On the other hand, an important aspect of the American dream is the second amendment.

How shall we move forward so these two aspects of the American dream can coexist?

The answer to that question will not be discovered in my lifetime (or maybe ever). There is no way to save an entire country from horrific events like ones we have seen too many times. So, let’s stop focusing on which is the “correct” way to handle the situation and look at the broader perspective.

This week, social media is flooded with a variety of political opinions after the Florida school shooting that I would rather not explore. I am sure everyone is familiar with the different opinions that unveil after a mass shooting.

Unfortunately, we are too familiar with them.

I am a senior in high school who is hardly involved with politics. Putting political beliefs aside, I focus on the victims’ faces and names. I focus on their families. I focus on a school that will never feel the same.

The kids who passed were not thinking about politics during this tragedy. Rather, they were wondering if they would make it out of a place they considered safe, alive.

This issue is much bigger than a political debate. It is about hate in our world, a lack of love and a disconnect between ourselves and others. It’s not about guns. It’s not about mental illness. It’s about much more.

Rather than pointing the finger, we can all equally share the blame.

When social media turns an issue into a political debate, it’s easy to forget that children aren’t thinking about politics when they see their teacher, coach or friend pass away in front of their eyes.

So please, do us all a favor and don’t use children's dead bodies as a reason to get into a heated Facebook fight. That only spreads the hate. It is counterproductive. Rather than plotting against each other, we need to band together.

Cover Image Credit: Pixbay

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