Reaction Time

Our ability to use technology often outpaces our ability to do so wisely

As I watched the events of last night unfold on Twitter and Facebook I was struck how quickly the reactions turned into harsh criticism and verdicts. It was a reminder that we have a lot to learn about being human in this accelerated pace.

A few short years ago discussions of Bin Laden’s death would have been relegated to the barbershop and water cooler hours if not days after the event. The delay in that conversation allowed us time to feel a range of emotions and process the event internally and privately. In this connected age that blessed delay is obsolete.

The power of technology is a double-edged sword. On May 1, 2011 Twitter proved that it has become the greatest real-time news source the world has ever seen and possibly the last place you want to be once the news has broken.

We are too in love with our own voice and greatly enamored with our own opinion. Our instantaneous responses are visceral and without a sufficient amount of empathy. We are speaking before we think or have a moment to process what is happening. It’s a process that deserves introspection and doesn’t need live tweeting.

Far be it from me to suggest that Twitter isn’t a place for our opinions but perhaps in delicate situations it would be best left unsaid… at least for a few hours.

Next Time

Next time I will remember:

  • I am not always right.
  • I am not the judge of other’s actions.
  • I do not fully understand the enormity of any situation.

Next time I will:

  • Tweet & Retweet News
  • Share bits news and analysis I find interesting
  • Give myself and others the luxury of time to deal with a situation on their own terms.

Isn’t community about understanding that it isn’t always about me?

*Author’s Note: I took great care to use inclusive pronouns. We are all guilty to a degree. (self included)

2 responses to “Reaction Time”

  1. When I heard the news yesterday (on Twitter), I knew the first thing I wanted to do was keep my discernment level extremely high. Hubs and I discussed it. I read a few tweets. I listened to the President’s speech and read two articles from CNN. I was overwhelmed with a lot of emotion and needed to process it for myself before spewing my opinion everywhere (which I ended up not doing and was the best for me at the time).

    “We are too in love with our own voice and greatly enamored with our own opinion.” So true.

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