Sunday, April 10, 2011


It's not what you say, its what you do. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I took a lot of journalism classes in college. It was all about words and the message that they convey. It was our job as students to relate happenings and opinions, fact and fiction, to the readers at large. To be understandable. We were to write articles that a sixth grader would understand. This is how most newspapers and magazines write. It's not that the average reader doesn't have an intelligence level higher than a sixth grader, it's that papers need to be read in a hurry. Your point needed to be made quickly and efficiently. In the words of Dr. Bob Gremmels, "brevity, brevity, brevity!"

And so has been my mantra through all of the technological advances since my college days. My emails are generally short and to the point. So are my text messages. The one place I afford myself more time and words is in my blog. So this brings me to another social media of today. Facebook. I didn't sign up for this right away. I was wary. And remember, I like to keep it simple. Then I found out that this would be a terrific way to stay in touch with a friend moving miles away. A bonus is that I stay in regular contact with cousins, aunts, no uncles yet. Friends from my past. College roommates. This is fun! Love the pictures. Truly a great way to stay connected.

I'm not much of a complainer, but here I go. There is one fault of this new found social media. There are opinions that are expressed by people that may be political. They may be religious. And I'm ok with opinions. I respect other's opinions as I hope they respect mine. The world would be a sad and boring place if we all had the same opinions. I must admit that I have changed my opinion because of another person sharing their opinion of something with me. So all in all I believe opinion sharing is wise. What I don't care for is the set up. I disrespect the person that baits people into passionate debate. Because it isn't debate, it becomes argumentative. And I feel the same for those who take the bait. It is almost as though both sides lose their authenticity of position when this happens. I've seen this happen more than once. It makes me sad. For all parties involved. I've heard of people leaving Facebook. Of losing some of these regenerated friendships.

Words are precious things. They have power. We should use them wisely. And sometimes sparingly. Words can hurt people. They can be misunderstood. We should write responsibly. We should think before we speak and think twice before we write.

©2011 Ann M. De Broux


  1. We struggle with the Facebookers who post a comment or opinion thinking it is protected and free from disagreement or challenge. They put themselves out there on a topic and then take feedback that questions or counters their comment way too personally. It's not personal.

    And then they unfriend those who disagree, and then there is a tension between them.

    I appreciate your value of the written word and meaning in communication. Those two are in danger of extinction from hypertexting!