My mom used to remind all of her kids (and grandkids) that “everything you think does not need to come out of your mouth”. You can keep some ideas and words to yourself. If you don’t think first, you may regret it later.
A new way to phrase this idea might be, “Think before you post”. As social media sites urge everyone to share life in digital formats, many rush to the opportunity. The idea, like most ideas, is not new. Napoleon Hill was one of the first to say “Think twice before you speak” and also one of the first “motivational self-help” proponents of the modern personal success genre.
Here’s another book on the topic that cautions us (think Sherry Turkle and Nicholas Carr) about the pleasures of sharing our lives online.
Title: #digitalvertigo: How Today’s Online Social Revolution is Dividing, Dimishing, and Disorienting Us
Author: Andrew Keen
I like the clever use of a hashtag in the title.
Notice all the post-it notes sticking out the side of my copy? On a side note, I really like physical books because I can put those tangible notes inside! Sure, I can highlight on an ebook, but going back to find my notes is not as “obvious” to me and I end up forgetting I even have an electronic copy. (More on that another day.)
Many ideas for blog posts can be seen in the numerous post-its. But I will only share one because I have learned that the chance of anyone reading a long blog post is nil.
Participation in social media has changed the way we live, think, and interact. Jonas Lehrer states, “While the Web has enabled new forms of collective action, it has also enabled new kinds of collective stupidity”. Lehrer is a contributor to Wired magazine. He cautions that we are moving from “the smart group” to “the dumb herd” and reminds us that real insight means “thinking for oneself” (Keen, page 51).
Following the crowd has always been dangerous but #digitalvertigo gives some real world examples about how the phrase “think before you speak” is taking on new meaning in digital culture. We all have digital voices now. We all can speak and can be heard. The keyword that we mustn’t forget is…..THINK.