The phrase “actions speak louder than words” guides human interaction in the real world. Virtually, our actions and words combine. … efforts within any virtual sphere should be held with the same reverence as a real-world interaction.
By Olivia Bretzman with Patricia Neal
Authenticity and compassion and lie at the core of any exceptional, genuine interaction. One of the greatest deliberations of our increasingly technological society stands at the intersection between the connectivity or disconnectivity of human contact, which directly challenges these values. In a society controlled by social media and technology, many question whether technology promotes or ruins the authentic relationships that keep a society breeding honesty and respect. Disconnection may feel strong due to the lack of interpersonal contact between humans; however, there are ways to connect in a detached state. This connection lies deep in the intentions behind our actions on social media and other platforms. While many live on the internet behind a façade of “the good life” with the purpose of climbing a social or political later ladder, there are positive outcomes that social media and connectivity facilitate when combined with purpose and intention.
In life, focus on purpose and mindfulness adds dimension and balance to our daily lives. Our purpose clearly states what we came to do, prove, or change. It also answers the question of how to serve others while doing using our gifts and values. Many posts on social media come from a background of passive aggression, ego-boosts, or simply does not have any meaningful intention. Disconnection flares when the intention is skewed due to a lack of purpose to post, write, or comment. When our words and actions are not fueled with intention, we face muddled, indirect, and negative influences that can have a negative impact upon others. When our intentions are pure and incited by a purposeful reason, post can rise to a new level of honesty and authenticity. This parallels life situations in which people trust the truth in others. As human beings, we are more likely to connect with something we identify as purpose-driven.
The phrase “actions speak louder than words” guides human interaction in the real world. Virtually, our actions and words combine. Our words become our “actions” when we tweet, comment, blog, etc, creating a rather complicated relationship for the common saying.
Due to this new norm, the typical restraint of purposeful action has disintegrated. Premeditated thought about what we are actually saying and how it makes others feel has declined significantly. What we could be asking ourselves when posting anything is “What is at the heart of this matter?” “How will it affect others?” And “Am I bringing an impactful presence to the platform I am posting to?” If nothing fruitful or positive comes out of these questions, the post should likely not be shared. We can work towards cultivating positive actions through our words.
No matter the setting, but perhaps even more crucial in a virtual setting, we believe that most people want to be purposeful, expressing their gifts and values in a manner of service towards others. This takes practice and intention to integrate into interaction. Ultimately, the connection we can create strengthens when we start with and stay focused on our purpose and the meaning behind each interaction, online or not. Connectivity with other humans holds the utmost importance in our society; efforts within any virtual sphere should be held with the same reverence as a real-world interaction.