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.

Cover Image Credit: NXP Blog - NXP Semiconductors

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. (Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.)

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town. Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community. I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK. What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives. What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all. Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back; same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others. As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being. My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Double Standards Are Plaguing Our Society

What and how are double standards hurting our society?
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Why is that when a female has many sexual partners she is considered a slut, but when a male does it he is celebrated as a king? Why is it when a male wears makeup or paints his nails his shunned by the world, but when a girl does it she looks bomb? How can the pope support ending the gender gap, but refuse to allow women to hold spiritual leadership roles? It’s because we live in a world filled with double standards.

What is a double standard? Merriam-Webster states it’s “a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.” We see in our society that there are many double standards between races, religions, sexualities, and genders.

Many double standards are hurting our country and even our world. Many people are blind to the double standards that plague our community especially if isn’t affecting them, while some just accept these as okay in our society, but they aren't okay. Here a few double standards that are seen in today's society.

Gender.

  • Women are paid less than men for doing the same exact job.
  • If a man cries he is considered weak, while it’s alright for a woman to do so.
  • When a male is sexually harassed by a woman he is lucky, while it happens to women it’s considered rape (I’m not denouncing rape that happens to women)
  • If a woman asserts any kind of dominance she’s a bitch, but if a guy does it he’s a leader.

Religion.

  • If someone of Muslim faith kills someone the headlines are “Muslim Terrorist Strikes Again!”, but they never announce if the killer was a Christian. They say he was a “lone wolf”
  • If a Christian teacher tried to make the class pray it would be okay, and millions would support them, but if a Muslim teacher tried that the world would go crazy.
  • the KKK (who are “Christians”) is okay, they can recruit through their website which isn’t blocked in any way and even endorsed our current president

Race.

  • If a black person does anything they seem suspicious, but when white people do it, it’s okay.
  • When NFL teams win big games their fans destroy cities, but if any peaceful protest happens it’s a riot and police decide to throw tear gas.
  • If a white person uses weed their considered a stoner, but if a black person does it they’re a criminal.

Sexuality.

  • if a straight couple does anything it’s normal. If a gay couple does it, it’s an abomination.
  • Straight couples can mistreat their own kids and it be okay, but if a gay couple wants to adopt a kid all hell breaks loose.

Weight.

  • If some bigger over eats their considered fat, and unhealthy, but if a thinner person over eats no one says a word.

Of course, there are so many other double standards that affect other groups of people, but just having these few is too many. We have to do something about this! If we allow one group of people to do something we must allow all other groups to do so as well. This must change to allow everyone to feel equal if we claim to be an equal opportunity country.

It isn't impossible to change these double standards as we have seen double standards in the past be changed. such as a male could be a doctor, but a women couldn't. Or even a white person holding a higher position in work and black person couldn't. Therefore, we see a change can happen, but only if we choose to make it happen.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley8053

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