Emotion and the Internet

After the health care bill passed the House last night I watched Facebook light up with all kinds of incendiary remarks made in the heat of the moment. Many of my Facebook friends are dead set against the bill. A number of other commenters with whom I am not friends seemed to use Facebook as a release valve of sorts, spewing their emotions for people to see.

I sat back and watched it all. Much of my political comments are just that, mine. However, I was proud of myself that I did not let my emotions get the best of me by shooting first and asking questions later. Once again, a good night’s sleep puts everything into perspective.

This is why I no longer follow many e-mail lists for pastors and/or laymen. The same can be said for certain Lutheran Internet sites. It seems as if some folks let their emotions get the best of them and write things they might regret later. I’ve done that too many times.

The best advice I’ve received on this subject is to write something first, then delete it. That way you have a “clean slate” of emotion. It saves a person from saying something really stupid.

Could this be putting to work some emotional intelligence skills I’ve learned? I hope so.  The Internet is not the best place to let your emotions twist in the wind before everyone else and God Himself. In other words, as “Happy Days” taught America, perhaps it’s best to “Sit On It” before you say or write it.

– KT


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