Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Spectator or Participator

A celebrity in Korea was asked  how come he was so glib with his words. His secret was to read books and the newspapers. His family was poor so he never considered college;  his eloquence, he says, comes from reading. These are the words that the columnist, a religious sister, uses to begin her column on the making of hidden spectators on SNS.   

The power of words comes from a person's character. Word and life have to meet. When one speaks too much one doesn't have control over all the words spoken. When she lectures for a few hours, at the end she often feels empty. She says things that she herself is not able to practice and is filled with shame. She says a lot of good things but at the same time there are a lot of meaningless words that she utters. Isn't this the reason the pope said:"Those who don't abuse with the tongue are saints." 

SNS at present overflows with complaints and abuse. According to neurologists, she says, online is becoming overcome with negativity. The internet more than in real life is rampant with lies and fraud. One scholar went so far as to say that the more one is online we have an increase of negativity, and the possibility of encountering harmful relationships. The ability to control oneself will diminish, loneliness, depression, and  stress will appear because of the inability to control oneself.

How much of what we hear on line do we pass on to others? Ordinarily do we pass on the scandals we hear about celebrities and politicians?  When we are  face to face with others we do not find it easy to just blurt out, without thought, what we think, but why is it on SNS we have the ease of saying whatever comes to mind?

We are spectators that's why, she answers. A spectator knows what is going on in the  world and enjoys talking about it.  A spectator is mostly concerned about oneself. Sees from afar, whether it is the other, an incident or oneself there is no responsibility for what is seen. Only the emotion and thought is what is real: attached to one's feelings and unconcerned about the feelings of another. The words of a spectator are light and flippant. One is not  involved directly, just a sightseer and stays hidden in his or her place: not one to go on the stage for all to see.

With this in mind we can see how SNS helps one to hide in the group as a spectator. This is different from one who reads, who becomes a participant: meeting of the author and the reader.The participator is conscious of feelings and  takes responsibility for them, more than feelings, however, we have likes and dislikes expressed.  Experience and knowledge is chewed over, purified  discerned, chosen and put in order.The participator has to be responsible to himself quite different from the spectator.