Guidelines for Interacting on Social Media

I just have to sneak this in here, this list from Dr. Alan Jacobs’ article “I’m Thinking it Over,” in which he calls the Internet a mugger who demands our attention and reaction, and wants them both right now. (The article from which this list came is worth reading in its entirety. Source info appears at the end.) I’ll call this list Guidelines for Interacting on Social Media. In my fantasy world, there’s a grassroots movement to spread these ideas. 🙂

From Dr. Jacobs’ article:

• I don’t have to say something just because everyone around me is.

• I don’t have to speak about things I know little or nothing about.

• I don’t have to speak about issues that will be totally forgotten in a few weeks or months by the people who at this moment are most strenuously demanding a response.

• I don’t have to spend my time in environments that press me to speak without knowledge.

• If I can bring to an issue heat, but no light, it is probably best that I remain silent.

• Private communication can be more valuable than public.

• Delayed communication, made when people have had time to think and to calm their emotions, is almost always more valuable than immediate reaction.

• Some conversations are be more meaningful and effective in living rooms, or at dinner tables, than in the middle of Main Street.

* * *

Source: “I’m Thinking it Over” by Dr. Alan Jacobs, appeared in The American Conservative, January 4, 2016. You do not need to be a conservative to appreciate the article. 🙂 Efforts to obtain Dr. Jacobs’ permission to reprint this list proved futile and ended when I read his website’s apology page. You can follow Dr. Jacobs on Twitter at @ayjay.


About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
This entry was posted in community, discernment, discretion, response, TechNO, things that catch my eye. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Guidelines for Interacting on Social Media

  1. Belinda says:

    I read Dr. Alan Jacobs’s article. So good!! Thank you for sharing the link to it Marilyn, so worth reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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