Scott’s Thoughts: For the Record

“It is so easy to be confrontational without being informative; indignant without being intelligent; impulsive without being insightful.”

Neal A. Maxwell

-Apostle of the LDS Church

A volcano on the horizon.As our online and offline lives continue to merge in unexpected ways we face an interesting paradox: The more technology enables us to communicate, the more we feel pressure to be circumspect about what we say and how we say it. The more we are able to share, the more careful we must be about what we’re sharing. Ironically, we frequently turn to the “instant audience” of the internet to blow off steam.

Time used to be a pretty effective cure for those moments when we made an ill decision or said something we wished we hadn’t. A gaffe or moment of lost cool could be contained to those who were there to hear it. (And a somewhat embarrassing party photo could be destroyed… for a price!)

Now our actions spread in a way they didn’t before, often without a sense of tone context. Rash political comments we couldn’t resist leaving on someone’s Facebook feed, an impulsive snarky comment we tweeted about a competitor, a boozy Instagram… they may persist, even when we make our best efforts to delete them. Ours is a world of screenshots and sharing, after all.

Can we be utterly without weak moments? No. Then we would not be human. But we can begin to think of the call to interact as a chance to contribute. A chance to ask ourselves: If what I am about to say may resonate days, weeks, or years down the line, how should I respond? Is this an opportunity to remain sensibly silent? Or an opportunity to express my best?

Ask yourself as you broadcast your life: What am I adding to the record?

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