December 13, 2021
To say things have changed over the past two years is an understatement. The pandemic has brought with it so many new ways of navigating our daily lives, and we have leaned into all things digital out of necessity.
I don’t think it will stay this way for very much longer – or at least I hope that, in the not-too-distant future, we will all be together in person as we were pre-pandemic. At the same time, I worry that some of us have forgotten we will one day be face-to-face with our fellow human beings. Why? Based on some of the posts I see on social media, I get the impression that there are folks who think they will be living in a bubble indefinitely.
It is sad, but true, that some of us seem to have forgotten our manners in our isolation. I get it – things are tough. We are angry, frightened and frustrated at times. But is this an excuse for rude behavior online? We say the most outrageous, unfiltered things for all the world to see – things we would never say if we were sitting across the table from one another.
We forget our humanity.
Humanity can be defined as our benevolence and compassion towards one another. It goes beyond justice or correctness or fairness – it encompasses altruism for our fellow humans. We put our humanity on hold when we vent online. When we are alone and hurting in our digital space, it’s as if we feel this urgent need to let other’s share in our outrage and misery. Ironically, these negative outbursts often end up further isolating us from each other.
When we meet again in person, my online friends, I, for one, will be extending compassion for any lapses in judgement I may have been guilty of in the past. In the meantime, I’m focusing on the fact that we are all human beings – not just digital personas – and making sure my online and in-person communications are in sync.