Bite Your Tongue

by lauren atkinson

I know that recently I wrote about how important it is to share your emotions towards situations and feelings about people. Well, there's a flip-side to that notion: biting your tongue.  

I could quote all types of proverbs about the "tongue being the sharpest sword" and I could give plenty of anecdotes about hurtful words, but that'd be obvious. I could also tell you that I learned from Bambi, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," but we all know this. 

Something, however, many people have forgotten is that the internet isn't as anonymous as we'd like to think. You can't completely hide behind a keyboard.  There's plenty of things that need to be said if you're just bottling it up inside but there are other things that should be left alone. And let's get real: the place for honesty isn't always the internet. 

There's been plenty of times I've read a facebook or twitter update, or even someone else's blog post, and thought something snarky, typing it out and then quickly hitting the "delete" key. I've had to remind myself that if I wouldn't say it to the poster in person, I shouldn't say it from my keyboard. It's just a rotten thing to do. 

If you don't agree with someone's post think about what you're typing before you hit "post". Is that comment you are about to write doing that person any favors, or is your goal to make them feel dumb or silly? Are you contributing to their post positively or are you being a bully? Was your goal to humiliate or educate, tear down or encourage?

Guess what, you don't have to respond to everything you don't agree with. You don't have to correct every person that you think is wrong.  

As adults, this should be a lesson we have already learned, but I don't think that we all have. I need a reminder as much as others: maybe it's time to bite your tongue, pull back your fingers from the keyboard, and think about what you're about to say. Know the consequences of your actions before you even take them.