In an impressive and heartfelt TED-Talk given on the price of shame and public humiliation, the notorious Monica Lewinsky says “the internet is the super highway for the Id” (as in Freud’s Id, Ego, & Superego personality structures). A very astute observation from arguably the most well-known, unknown of all time.
The internet and social media has become a place where restraint is the exception, and rancor with little regard for others is the rule. She goes on to challenge us to “… acknowledge the difference between speaking up with intention, and speaking up for attention.” Many have lots to say (often with little substance), but their primary intention is to get attention by defaming others. Compassion and empathy in our technology-driven society are often sorely lacking, and not just on the internet, but everywhere.
It’s time to shift our output of compassion and empathy toward others UP. It’s too easy to be a loud mouth online or in line at the local market. It’s much more difficult to be a person who brings solutions. A person who adds value to others rather than take it. A person who recognizes their own fallibility, and extends a hand to others in need. Yes, it’s much more difficult and noble to be a person of character and decorum… which is why it’s needed now more than ever before.