You scroll through Instagram and see different posts with very “eye-catching” captions.
The first you see is a travel photo and in the caption this guy expresses his passion for traveling and tells you how you should leave your “bullshit nine-to-five” job or your “humdrum student life” and follow his lead because it’s the best life anyone can ever wish for.
The next is a post with a caption ending with #Respect #Diversity.
Then, this other one is about modesty while that one advocates the “Free the Nipple Campaign.”
And then you see that one quote — that quote that somehow seems to be used to justify everything that is said in many corners of the Internet: “I’m not rude. I’m honest.”
We often find ourselves having more confidence in taking stances and advocating beliefs and values online. We do this by publishing online content, commenting and sharing posts on various online platforms, or even through personal profile descriptions or introductions where we label ourselves as a certain type of person or belonging to a specific kind of belief.
All of these highlight how the web can help people build a great sense of identity and how it gives us a place to express our thoughts and ideals.
But whether you are a social media influencer or just a small potato trying to make even the smallest difference through your online presence, it is important to always think twice about what you say and reflect on what you decided to put out there.
Here are two things to think about before you decide to “preach” the hell out of something:
You don’t have to attack others just to make a point.
“You don’t have to disrespect and insult others simply to hold your own ground. If you do, that shows how shaky your own position is.” – Red Haircrow.
Our stances are determined by our own understanding of what is good and what is bad. But the thing about stances, thoughts, and views is that there is not just one correct or good one.
You can choose what you believe is the “right one” or the “best one.” And if you want to express how strongly you feel about it, highlight the good things about it instead of pinpointing the bad things about the others.
Don’t just say it. Do it and be it.
“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” – Carl Gustav Jung
Think about the labels you have given yourself and the identifiers you use in your language. Are you living up to them or are they nothing but what you want people to see you as?
It’s good to have a goal and a clear image of what you want to be but it’s also very easy to contradict yourself especially when you’re too eagerly wanting to become something.
Don’t use #Respect #Diversity when in real life you only accept people who are similar to you or agree with you. This is something we all do, consciously or unconsciously. But if we’re aware of this fact, we all can be better than that.
There is a very fine line between being straightforward and being mean, being confident and being arrogant, being passionate and being ignorant — and it is the same with preaching and judging.
A person who speaks up, takes a stance, and expresses their views openly is fearless — but a person who can do the same and at the same time actually do and be what they say, now that is respectable.
Remember, practice what you preach or change your speech.