I’ve always liked the quote “The pen is mightier than the sword”. However, I also qualify it in my mind with “But the sword has the advantage of immediacy”.
Now, I know that because of my writing, I do and view words in different ways to most people, but I am getting mightily ticked off by the “50 Dead in Orlando Gay Club Shooting.” headlines.
What the f*ck has ‘gay’ got to do with that tragedy? Fifty people died. Mourn fifty lives ended too soon. Their sexual orientation is of low import… Unless… Someone was going for the implicit “you’re okay, it’s just another minority being picked on” form of negative reassurance.
And what that is, is reinforcing divisions. A form of media manipulation, if you will. Every word you contribute to a public medium can have impact. Let’s focus on the inclusive, folks. The petty, stupid and scared are getting fractious. See that? That’s me categorising unfairly. Doesn’t matter if you agree, it’s divisive because I am not present to diffuse the negative aspects of my words with body language, humourous depreciation or contextual setting – or in this case, telling you I’m being unfair.
I have a friend who winds up with minor misinformation people for fun. Problem is, that sort of wind up, released on the internet, is divorced from his swift intervention to correct the induced misconception.
And that, my friends, is where our doom will come from… Not my friend! But words released without recourse to correction.
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but it is frequently less precise.
Please, think carefully about what you release into this virtual never never land.