I don’t know if you have experienced it or maybe you have even done it yourself…a comment is made, a name is called, assumptions are thrown about as if it really didn’t matter. There is something about blogging that gets people to say things that they would never say in real life and treat people in a disrespectful way that they would probably never do to the person’s face. There is certain boldness that comes over a person who has a keyboard at their disposal to type whatever comes to mind with little or no concern for the repurcussions.
In real life if you insult someone you immediately see their reaction. You see the hurt look, experience the tears, and know that you have wronged someone or hurt them by your words. This doesn’t happen so apparantly and quickly in the blogging word. Words are posted in a comment that may or may not be read by the other person. What is more, tone is impossible to read from text on a screen and so even harmless comments are often taken with offense or as a personal attack. I don’t know what your experiences are but I have had people say demeaning things to me or about me and even made comments concerning doing physical harm to me (even if in a joking but not joking kind of way).
I don’t know about you but all this makes me pretty uncomfortable. People are people whether we are typing something to them or saying it to their face. You know Paul was once accused of being bold in his letters but not so much in person. But I doubt Paul would have stooped to the lengths many in the blogging world, even the Christian blogging world go. As Rex pointed out – what is so hard about disagreeing in peace? Do we really believe that those we disagree with deserve to be chastised?
I think we need to take inventory about our own blogging and email habits. We need to be in tune with the tone of what we type on facebook or on message boards. It is important that our character be strong and pure even if it is just text on a screen. Those words can do tremendously good and edifying things…or they can be very hurtful. Words matter and words are powerful. So let us all use them wisely and consider how they might come across if we took them off the comment we are typing and said it to the person’s face.