Words really do matter

Choose your words well.

The speed of words on social media sites is truly astounding. Post your message on Facebook and it’s exposed to hundreds and maybe thousands of eyeballs. All of those eyeballs can weigh in on what you’ve written. Their friends, in turn, see the debate.

And like the old kiddie game of Gossip, messages can be misinterpreted and plain-out distorted.

I had an interesting debate this week on Facebook regarding Sarah Palin’s video that accused her critics of “blood libel.” The other participant contented that Palin’s video demonstrated her leadership abilities. My opinion was that she demonstrated her total lack of leadership by not owning up to past violent rhetoric and making a committment to stop doing that.

Who was right?

We both were, considering he supported her politics and likes her, and I definitely don’t. We both probably chose to see what we wanted to see.

What would an uncommitted reader see in her words? Would they see patriotism and leadership or anti-semitism (as “blood libel” referrs to someone who is falsely accused, but historically referrs to century-old claims that Jews slaughtered Christian children for blood rituals) and passing the buck by blaming liberals and the media?

I just want to see one thing happen from the shooting tragedy in Arizona. I saw it after 9/11. For a little while, people were a lot nicer to each other. Wouldn’t it be great if politicians and talk show commentators stopped the sniping and the snarky comments just for a little while? Wouldn’t it be nice if we would too?