The Power Of Random Thoughts Revealed
Random Thought Carry As Much Power As Spoken Words
by Eric Elkin
Social media platforms unleashed upon our culture a force we never considered all that powerful. It introduced us to the power of random thoughts.
In times gone by, random thoughts were an essential part of any casual conversation with friends. These are the comments we share in intimate settings with people we know and who know us. They were never meant for publication.
In private settings, friends say a lot of crazy things. Words designed to make people laugh, not condemn. Then social media gave these silly thoughts a distribution center. The center sends these words around the world to people who don’t know us or the context of our words.
The recent Facebook apology commercial revealed a story told on every social media platform. Group communication starts with intimate friends. Then friends of friends enter the conversation. Eventually, your mother and father get let in, and they bring all your crazy relatives. Once relatives get into the discussion the circle of communication is so big your thoughts might as well be on the evening news.
At first, we told our children to be careful what they post online because of predators. As they aged, it impacted their employment possibilities. But the Facebook media breech turned the focus from what you post to what you receive. Your “friends” might not be people, and the fake people are trying to enter your thoughts. But it all started with words coming out of our own mouths.
There is a counterpoint to all the destructiveness. Social media does allow us to reconnect with old friends or remain connected with new ones. When someone posts images or stories about their life, we get to share it with them from a thousand miles away. Through social media, we can discover amazing stories written by incredibly gifted journalists.
Social media only magnifies what has been true since our ancestors wrote words on papyrus. The words that come out of our mouths carry power, a power to accomplish or destroy. I was listening to an interview with Michael Che from Saturday Night Live. He made the observation of how no one is really as happy or as angry as they appear on Twitter. But he doesn’t like how people gang up on other people.
As I was writing this reflection words from Psalm 19 came floating into my head. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord.” This does not mean every word needs to be holy. It invites us to explore ways not to be hurtful. And, when we are, to be bold enough to say I’m sorry. And strong enough to accept a plea for forgiveness from another. These can help us accomplish great things.
When have your words traveled farther than you wanted them to?
How many people were impacted by them?
What rules do you have about posting on social media?
How can connecting our minds with our hearts shape the words we speak?