"Quick judgments based on idioms are not good because we can associate someone’s idiom (words) with some prior judgment that we have (a negative one) when the other person intends no such thing! Here is a simple example...." - Wyatt Graham
"...during this time when people were isolated and I couldn’t call them all, I remembered postcards.... I was amazed at the response—people I hadn’t heard from personally in a long time contacted me and I was especially happy to hear back from younger friends more thanking me for them and telling me how encouraging they were." - C.Leaders
It is no revelation that social media are dominant forms of communication in this digital age, but the stats are breathtaking. A remarkable 78% of 18-24 year olds in the U.S. use Snapchat, and 94% of that age demographic are regular YouTube users, while 71% use Instagram. More than two-thirds (68%) of all U.S. adults use Facebook, and 75% of those users are daily users. The typical American uses three social media platforms regularly.1 In short, the various platforms of social media are preferred means of communication for an overwhelming majority of Americans.
Just about everybody complains about the quality of discourse on the Internet. In my experience, it isn’t much worse than the quality of discourse most other places—with one important exception. Foolishness of the verbal variety has always required cheap and easy forms of communication in order to really thrive. The talk of fools is not merely ignorant but impulsive, spontaneous. So, for centuries, the cost of publishing has been a mitigating factor, filtering much of the worst sort of foolishness out of the world of the written word. Printed error tended to at least be thoughtful error.
But decades of steadily-improving Internet technology have changed all that. Now any idiot who can click a mouse can publish his insights for the eyes of millions at the cost of pocket change. And since the Web also facilitates rapid interaction (of the sort previously limited to conversation), fools can now speak or write their minds (Prov.18:2) at each other at a rate, and with a passion (Prov. 12:16), previously undreamt of.1
So it’s probably fair to say: there’s no foolishness like Internet foolishness.
There is a bright side to Web publishing and interaction. I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t believe that. But today, in honor of All Fools Day, let’s consider some principles for dealing with fools and foolishness—including the Web variety.
"'Happy couples tend to take a solution-oriented approach to conflict, and this is clear even in the topics that they choose to discuss....The researchers also found that the longer people were married, the fewer arguments they had, suggesting that over time couples had learned that some topics were simply not worth addressing." - Church Leaders