Don't read the comments, don't read the comments, don't read the comments.
How often is that the mantra we hear when approaching social media?
How disappointing it is that something that could be a tool for collaboration, the sharing of ideas, and exposure to new viewpoints has become something we so vehemently abuse by presenting unfiltered hate and un-researched views.
Locally, nationally, globally we are faced with a host of problems. But, at every turn, there are people passionate about finding a solution or speaking of their struggles with the problem through their art.
There are people desperately wanting to share their unique views and solutions but refrain from doing so because of the dreaded comment section.
In this space, the comment section, people feel safe to ridicule and judge because of a false sense of anonymity.
By getting swept up in the mob mentality that rules most comment sections we've missed a beautiful opportunity.
How many things are we, as a community, missing out on because the creatives, the activists, and the change makers, are holding back for fear of the comments.
Watching this again and again, I am reminded of a Theodore Roosevelt quote that author Brene Brown has made famous once again.
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
This is a battle cry for the doers, a call to arms for the cautious creatives.
Do the thing. Champion the cause. Create something new.
Focus on being in the arena and out of the comment section.
Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Progress.