Mindful Speech in the Internet Era

mindful internet, you suckIsn’t it amazing how mean and nasty people can sometimes be when commenting on the Internet and social media?

The Buddhist tradition has many teachings about expressing ourselves skillfully and mindfully. I think these guidelines need to be updated for the Internet era. One of the big problems is anonymity, or at least, perceived anonymity, which isn’t . If we don’t think we will ever have any personal contact with the person we are leaving a comment for, then we feel more free to be nasty.

The simplest guidelines for mindful speech in the Internet era are (you can study traditional guidelines for mindful speech as well):

1) Would I say this to this person if I considered them a close friend and was looking to maintain a good relationship with them? 

2) Would I say this to this person if they were standing right in front of me and could respond?

3) Would I say this to them in person if a large crowd of people were gathered around, watching our conversation?

4) Would I say this if there was going to be a permanent and public record of what I said? (because there is)

These, and others, are very good questions to ask before we press enter.

Take it away, Stewie Griffin.


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