Thoughts on Orlando

Whenever there’s a significant news event in the world today, words can spread like wildfire. And there’s a good reason for that. More and more of the population is online, connected to the world, than there ever has been before. Connection has never been easier. We have a tremendous amount of tools at our disposal to be able to spread a message. Entire new communities can form online, with a support group available in just a few taps or clicks.

But technology has the ability to force us apart, driving our gaze deeper and deeper into our devices instead of one another as human beings. When such senseless atrocities occur, such as what happened in Orlando today, we can’t help but seek answers. Technology gives us an incredible ability to empathize with other human beings, as one global species, and we can share in immense grief thanks to how quickly we can share images online. It’s because of this incredible access to information that we seek to know how something could possibly uproot the world as we know it.

It can be incredibly easy to remove humanity on the Internet. Simple to see someone as just a printed name or a picture rather than a human being with a face and an emotional response. When tragedies like what happened at Pulse strike, it’s natural to want to talk to someone about it, just say something — maybe just to vent our frustration. But, have you ever noticed how easily those frustrations can turn into divisive speech? Especially with people who we thought we were close to?

As we take to social media to speak to one another about what happened, let’s remember civility, humility and humanity. There simply is no easy way to process what happened in Orlando this morning. But let’s not let that be an excuse to drive ourselves further apart.

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