Our instincts are not always wise. Our first reactions to situations, news, people are often hasty and irrational; or insufficiently thought through, if not outright wrong. But we are not slaves to our first reactions. We have learned better than to react hastily. We have received pearls of wisdom from our elders, teachers and mentors like “think before you speak”, “never reply when you are angry” and so on.
But it seems we have received advices in certain context and forget to take them into account in others. Most notably on online social network. Hardly has a news been released, the facebooks and twitters of the world are filled with reactions. Some people may have the ability to be either sensible, or funny in their immediate responses, most of us don’t. Most people don’t wait to consider if their immediate emotion can be defended once it is out on a public platform (even if your posts are limited to friends only, it is public enough). To top that we are slaves of some psychological traps. Till we keep our ideas to ourselves, our chances of changing them in view of further thinking, or in light of new facts are high. Once we have publicly stated them, we become stubborn. We refuse to look at alternatives that we are perfectly capable of understanding otherwise.
The result? The debates on social media platforms are more stubborn and more futile than they need to be.
All of us are not in the business of “breaking news”. How about we apply the advice our parents gave for socializing well to social media as well – that is we take some time, and think before we speak (type)? We will do the world a favour, and ourselves too – by not becoming stubborn about what is not our best idea.