Our Digital Tongues


I am busy trying to finish up my latest book, Keep It Shut, which is due the end of May. This project is all about how we use our words. What to say, how to say it, and when to say nothing at all. It is about the words we speak to our family members, friends, complete strangers, and even what we say online.

Yes. Online.

I’m amazed sometimes at what I see people post on Facebook or Twitter. Sometimes I am shocked by their words. Or their tone. I see people say things I’m sure they would never say in person but somehow they feel empowered behind the computer screen. And I’ve been tempted to do this too. I’ve even had to go back and delete a comment because I knew I shouldn’t say it and I had to be honest that I wouldn’t ever say it to the person’s face.

Our digital tongues matter. That is where I am living this week as I pound out my latest chapter on how we use our words online.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Have you been tempted to say something on Facebook that you probably wouldn’t say to that person if they were standing in front of you? Have you noticed this happen as you view what others say online? Why do you think social media can bring out the snarkiness and even the meanness in people?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Need help with your digital tongues? Check out Keep It Shut, or its 40-day devotional, Zip It.

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  • let’s get it on,UL 4248-12 pdfRoddy Ferdinad was first over offering me the keys to his hotel room followed by MacBrayne Rooney. If you have a good fortune you will surely get the car frame in one piece because these type of cars are abused, broken or dented,, most often. Each season the Belgian designer commissions artisans to create and hand make a very small run of scarves. The result? Your feet stay warm,UL 745-2-2, dry and comfortable over the long haul.. Under this scenario the firm agrees

  • Karen, this is SUCH an important point. Ruth Soukup wrote an excellent post about it recently on her Living Well, Spending Less blog. One thing that I do is always ask my kids before I post anything on facebook about them. They are sensitive adolescents, and I don’t want to offend. I also TRY to think twice or three times before posting anything remotely negative.

  • I am sometimes reluctant to comment on things online because I have found that people easily misunderstand what I’m trying to say. Rather than being able to talk face to face, where it is easier to read body language or have a good two-sided discussion, we are reduced to trying to read between the lines & not being sure we understand. So many misunderstandings happen that way & the other person may not even realize it.

  • I agree that Facebook, on anywhere online, for that matter, is the place for people to air their dirty laundry. I use it for the purpose of catching up with friends and family and I love people who post witty and humorous remarks!

    One of things that bothers me the most is what I call, “mystery posts”, where someone will post something accusatory of another person, but not in so much detail that you know the whole story or who it’s about. Those words, then, prompt “friends” to comment, asking what is wrong, or who they’re talking about, etc. I feel like these posters are just looking for someone to comment and listen to their heartache of a story. I just wish they would confront the person directly, or if it has to be, via a FB private message!

  • I’ve been burned by the digital “freeness.” A friend was upset. Rather than call me or email me with her hurt feelings, she let it rip on FB. I was shocked and angry. Instead of blasting back publicly, I calmly messaged her privately. I am not the only one burned like this. I was hopeful she learned a lesson from that episode but, sadly, I’ve seen it again and again.

  • Boy does this hit home!! In my line of work, a lot of it is done through e-mail….correspondence to business associates and such, and it’s often very hard not to send off some smart reply when it becomes so frustrating for me to deal with some of these people. Generally, I think, wouldn’t it be so much easier to just pick up the phone, that way I can fully understand what your needs are and maybe we can resolve whatever issue there is. The old fashion way! Through verbal communication. But, sadly, it’s a thing of the past. Now, I just try to remember before hitting the “send button”…that just because I can, doesn’t mean that I should! Hopefully that has deferred many an argument. Plus, it goes back to what our mothers always told us as children, “If you haven’t anything nice to say – then DON’T say it!”