265. The power of words

Friday, January 20, 2006

Do you ever think about how small the Internet world can be? Yes, there are millions of sites, blogs, and forums all over the World Wide Web, but it can be a small place to. With the addition of search engines, you can find posts and sites on any given topic. Just plug in the topic of your heart's desire, and you'll be directed to millions of sites on that very topic.

What got me thinking on the smallness of the World Wide Web? Well, I'll tell you. Last night, I was working on my latest review of last night's episode of The O.C. when my email alerted me. I decided to check it, and I found a comment to one of my past reviews from earlier this week on American Idol, the sister of a contestant from the series commented my review. I was a bit shocked to see the comment, but it got the old wheels in my head turning.

You never really know who is going to end up reading the words you write. Almost anyone can stumble across something that you wrote, and yes sometimes even those words can cause you trouble. Sometimes you really need to be careful of what you say because sometimes harsh words have a way of coming back to bite you later on. If you're catty or downright rude to someone, those very words seen by another person can make you look bad in the long run.

What if your boss sees those words? People have been fired for posts they have made on their own personal blogs? What if you're a writer, and an editor or an agent you are hoping to work with sees you in a not so favorable light after seeing something you've said. Anything is really possible. There are ways of getting your point across without being rude about it. In my mind, professionalism is important.

The wise old saying of do unto others as you would have others do unto you also applies. Carry yourself just as you would if you were meeting the person face to face. Just because you're online doesn't make the power of the words you choose to use any less. Sometimes they can carry even more power when the person can't see the person in front of them. It is hard to know the tone of what is being said when the words are no more than fonts or letters on the screen. I've seen more than one case where words have been taken out of context and cause pain to another person. I'm sure we all have seen this happen from time to time.

I guess we all just need to realize the power our words have. As writers, we have even more of a responsibility because words are a part of our daily lives.

Hope you're all well! Have a wonderful evening.


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