Social Networking

Social Media and Cowardice

If you really believe in what you have to say about a person, then why use social media to communicate a message to him or her, especially if you have the person’s home address, email address, and/or telephone number?  Because many people lack the courage to confront people directly, social media becomes vehicles for articulating their messages.  What’s disconcerting about this increasing phenomenon is more people believe that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, and etc. are the proper mediums to solve conflicts.  Why not just pick up a telephone?  One has to wonder, however, if people just enjoy resolving conflicts through public spaces like Facebook and Twitter to attract more attention to themselves.  When you think about it, resolving conflicts at someone’s home, through email, and/or over the telephone is too private for those who desire to find any way possible to get more attention drawn to themselves.

Now, if you have already directly addressed your problems with someone and that person does not try to work with you to solve those problems, then it may be appropriate to express how you feel in general about a problem you have with someone in an indirect manner to keep you from fighting the person.  If you have an established reputation of letting people know in their faces (without any hesitation) how you feel about an issue or problem when one arises, then it may be appropriate to make an indirect comment on Facebook or Twitter about the problem or issue.

Cowardice occurs through social media when a person never has addressed his or her problems with someone directly.

Some people think you’re not smart enough to know when they’re sending subliminal messages to you.  They think they’re getting over on you and affecting you.  However, what they don’t understand is the reason that you’ve not responded to them directly and/or punched them in the mouth is you see them as lightweights, are trying to not destroy their world for their sake and their family’s sake, and/or wish not to cause a major scene.

When people always have to promulgate indirect messages, you can tell they’re struggling with deep insecurities and self-esteem problems.  Why else would they always express themselves through indirect messages?

In the time you invested in composing an indirect message, you could have already communicated a direct message by picking up a telephone?  Why waste time?  Go ahead and be honest—it’s not really about the indirect message you’re attempting to send to someone, but it’s more about you needing to deal with things you’re stowing on the inside of you that need to be eliminated.

You have to be careful about communicating indirect messages to someone through social media because that person could respond with a direct message to you that could surely shake up your world forever.

For every move there is a counter.

Don’t let your weak indirect messages end up causing you a lifetime of misery.  You have to resolve how much you’re willing to lose when you publish tweets, statuses, and posts.

Don’t be a coward—say what you have to say to someone directly to him or her!

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Read and Follow Everyday Street Bible

My best friend, Santresa L. Glass, and I have created a new project, Everyday Street Bible, which is a blog we use to offer practical and real-world commentary about Christianity, mundane life realities, controversial social, political, and cultural issues, challenges, and problems, and so much more.  The site is located at http://everydaystreetbible.blogspot.com.  I encourage you to become a follower of the site.  We let you know how two real Christians live a real life in this real world.  We truly keep it real.

On the site, we have and will continue to address most of the things that your pastors won’t dare address, but things you need to have some guidance about, considering you don’t spend every day in church.  Santresa and I understand that every day is not Sunday.  We know that you’re going to confront many challenges and problems that are not discussed in your church.  Our site, Everyday Street Bible, is committed to filling the gaps on many issues that preachers across the nation don’t want to address.

Santresa recently composed Sensitive Mean People and I penned Black Megachurch Preachers and Teenage Pregnancy for our site.  Be sure to check those two pieces out and leave a comment on both pieces to let us know what you think.  Show your support by reading and leaving a comment.

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thestreetbible and “Like” Everyday Street Bible on Facebook.  Santresa and I will greatly appreciate your support.

Thank you in advance,

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Use of “Lol”

I’ve been thinking heavily about social media lately and have found the various uses of “lol” to be quite interesting. “Lol,” of course, traditionally means laughing out loud. Now, in no way am I trying to present myself as an expert on social media and with using it. After all, I only have 131,000 readers of my blog, only over 500 Facebook friends, and only over 700 Twitter followers. From this audience, however, I have been able to discover some interesting ways in which “lol” is being used. When I’m chatting with many people via instant messaging, text messaging, and other mediums, I’ve found that “lol” is often used when folks don’t have anything to say and the use of “lol” keeps the conversation moving along. “Lol” gives people an opportunity to think about something to say. I just wonder if the frequent use of “lol” gives poor communicators an easy way out of working to ameliorate their communication skills.

I have also found that “lol” can really articulate that one is a person who laughs all the time. I have to admit that I use “lol” often because I’m one who laughs quite often. It’s certainly not because I have difficulty communicating. After all, my undergraduate and graduate training is in English and I teach English at the university level.

“Lol,” unfortunately, has been and is employed many times to say disrespectful, inappropriate, racist, sexist, mean-spirited, and/or threatening things to people. I want you to know that just because you put “lol” somewhere in a sentence where you have communicated something horrible does not make it all better. You are not going to be successful in saying something hateful with an “lol” and not expect people to see right through how deceptive you are being with your use of “lol.”

I want us to begin to think about the ways in which we use “lol” and the ways in which others use it. I certainly want you to start to expose those people who use “lol” to try to mask their inappropriate or hateful comments. Hopefully, this piece will cause you to focus on the use of “lol” in a deeper way than you have previously thought about it. Although I have not really said anything new or profound in this piece, what I hope that it will do is cause us to bring to the surface some interesting revelations about the use of “lol.” I want us to consider how some people are really changing the meaning of “lol” to mean all kinds of things that are not positive.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison