Through the invention of the internet, people have been given a platform to express their views and opinions. And while this need is nothing new and has not just appeared, it has made it a lot easier for people to speak out and this is due to a number of reasons.
When one is expressing their views in the real world, so to speak, there is often greater need to watch what they say. And this is because they will be watching other people and basing their responses, in part, to how they are responding.
In these cases, it is in real time and one is under external pressure to a certain degree. But when they are behind a computer screen or typing into a phone, they have a barrier to protect them from this external pressure.
In person, one could hide their real views in order to avoid being rejected or criticised. But the internet has minimized this and one can say how they feel, without having to face these social consequences.
Of course, one can be honest in public, just as much as they can lie about what is really going on for them on the internet. And yet, if someone does express their truth on the internet, they have more control over what does or doesn’t happen to them.
How other people react on the internet to a comment that one has made can still have an impact. And as the mind doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, one can still have the same experience.
So if one was to state their views in public: they could feel a certain way; have sensations that arise and their body will also respond. And the same thing can happen when one is behind a screen and says something on the internet.
What is different though, is that is can be lot easier to lie about what is going on when one is behind a screen, as opposed to expressing their views in person. To be face to face with someone allows for their body language to be observed, what their facial expressions are, how their voice is responding and their energy.
When it comes to being behind a screen, these are all invisible and unable to be detected. And this naturally makes it a lot harder to understand what another person is truly going through. Plus being behind a screen allows one to take their time to respond; thereby more lies can be concocted. When it is in person, there is less time to make something up and it can be more authentic.
This means that other ways have to be used to try and understand what is really going on for someone; beyond all of the illusions that can be created to disguise their true motives.
Although one can have the need to express what they are really experiencing in life, there can be certain blocks that stop them from being completely honest. And some people will naturally have more defences than others. As to be human means that we are emotional beings; so there will be an emotional reason for just about everything one does.
So when one makes a comment, it is going to be due to what it triggered within them and not necessarily because of what they were reading, watching or listening to; we all have our own personal reality and see the world as we are, not as it is, as Annais Nin once said.
But when these feelings and emotions that arise are deemed as inappropriate by the mind, different defence mechanisms will be utilized.
If one is aware of their emotions they will be able to tune into what is going on and to use their intellect to respond accordingly. So this means that their emotional experience will be embraced and not denied.
There is then a balance between the two and the intellect will not deny ones emotional side. Ultimately, one will own their own emotional reactions and this will then cause them to make comments that are supportive and positive. And if they can’t do that, then they will be constructive.
But when one is not emotionally aware and is not able to own their emotional reactions, this will be projected externally and will go on out of their awareness. So this means that they will be convinced that what is going on externally is the reason for their emotional reactions, and that is if they are even aware of them in the first place.
This is where the defence mechanism will appear and there will be numerous ones for them to use.
So one will have certain feelings and instead of owning these, they will attach them to others and try to make them feel what they are not willing to. Let’s say that one reads something and this triggers repressed shame for instance, they could then say that the piece of writing is harmful and that is has the potential to impact others in a negative way.
When in reality, the piece of writing is relatively neutral and is designed to assist people, but as they are cut off form their own emotional truth, it is not possible for them realise this. If they dug a little deeper, they might find that it reminded them of something they have denied within themselves; a certain trait they have that causes them to feel ashamed.
Another common approach that can arise from one cutting themselves off from what they are feeling, is to just talk about details and pieces of information. One could then read something and instead of being honest about what is triggered within them, they will just go to the other extreme.
What is written might end up receiving extreme criticism and being condemned. It then doesn’t matter what the piece of writing says or what is being said or shown. At best this could result in a negative comment being made and at it a worst, it could mean that an abusive comment is made.
Ideally, one would be aware of what is going on for them and then see how or even if it actually relates to what they are looking at. This would allow them to leave a comment that is at least relevant in some way and if they can’t do this, then it won’t be abusive.
But when one doesn’t deal with their emotions and they repress their so called ‘darker side’, then these will have to come out. And when these have build up to a certain degree, one can end up being a ticking emotional time bomb.
Commenting is then a way for someone to get an emotional release and because it is done behind the scenes, it can be seen as acceptable. But it is just another form of abuse and one that can exist through a lack of awareness.
As human beings, we all make mistakes and we all have our blind spots; we are not perfect and we can’t know everything. So if one wants to truly help another, then being constructive is the best approach to take.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.