Thursday, July 19, 2018

How to Deal With Exposure on SNS

In an age of speaking one's mind, SNS presents an easy means to legitimize the truth seen by the underdog or the strong, male and female, liberal and conservative. In most cases the situation is never clearly presented and not enough information is given to understand the context. A religious sister who is the director of a spirituality center examins the way we are to respond.

At times it is difficult to grasp the nature of the incidents that are presented to the viewers in cyberspace. Information is revealed only on one side and usually not enough information is presented to understand the situation. Our brains tend to simplify the reality, overlook the truth and listen and respond to what I want to see and hear.

A famous writer after revealing something about a certain incident in which an acquaintance was involved did not receive a call from the acquaintance. The reason he believes was that he would be shaken. A firm conviction can often be shaken by a voice in a telephone call.

We are more courageous in cyberspace with no expressions or voices, very different from face to face contact. Since it is invisible it can easily be more intense and overcome with feelings. It is the only method for those who have been treated unjustly to feel the freedom to resist: women against men the weak against the strong.

The writer mentions how one of her acquaintances had an SNS fight with one of her subordinates. Her acquaintance had to deal with falsehood and exaggeration and suffered great embarrassment. The other party was joined in the attack by followers, the acquaintance was condemned and made to appear ridiculous. Her acquaintance used reasonable arguments but the subordinate was using emotional arguments and her acquaintance made an effort to respect the other person with reason and tempered expression but wasn't able to overcome the feeling of unfairness experienced by the subordinate. For such a person the rational expressions of the other person are just cold, and empty. No matter who is right if there is no sympathy for your situation the rational proposal is intimidating and insulting.

The process of exposing and ridiculing the mistakes of the strong in society gives pleasure to the viewers. The group attacks that often follow become addictive and give to many a feeling of catharsis.

Unfortunately, nowadays, priests and religious people are seen as the strong and the vested ones in society. Of course, concern for the poor continues but it is also true that we have power as leaders in a community.

Therefore, in the course of leading a group, if someone enters and expresses: "I am a victim, it is unfair," the standard of right and wrong often seems  no longer valid. It is only necessary to communicate with the 'feelings' that are unfair.

When the grievance and unfairness get bigger, counterattacks, insanity, and anything goes. There is only a fierce court battle that remains but the wounds are large for both sides and last a long time.

When we have a dislike for someone we don't care to live uncomfortably in that situation. However, sympathy is one of the best helps in communicating, consequently, the best way is to find a way to compromise on the way to the court (Matt. 5:25).

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