Burning Bridges

Last week I blew it. It wasn’t like a little everyday mishap; it was one that after the smoke cleared, the bridge behind me was ashes and gone.

The mistake I made is one that’s become too common in social media: engaging in the Facebook argument. If you haven’t been victim of one of these implosions, you’ve surely stalked the progress between others just to watch the drama unfold.

A short summary of how this plays out is that first, someone posts something you disagree with. Thinking you are right and they are wrong, you comment and give your opinion. But since you both vehemently defend your position, the spat often ends with the decision by one of the parties to no longer be social media “friends.” Fractured Friendship

This is a direct reflection of a growing lack of empathy for others in our society, created by the prominence of online communication. Lack of empathy is the sickness behind cyber bullying, the illusion of our influence, and the deepening of depression. It has exponentially run havoc on relationships because we are no longer spending time together face-to-face.

When we cannot see how what we say affects others, the look on their face, or the tone of their voice, we are forced to make an assumption, and that often is an incorrect one.

Last week, when I crossed the bridge of the friendship I had with this person, I didn’t plan on burning it behind me. But without hashing out our differences in person, I didn’t understand the repercussions of how my words were received. As a result I may not be able to rebuild this relationship. And if I can’t renovate the old bridge, perhaps I can at least keep myself from destroying another.

If you struggle like me, if you see a post that bothers you, do yourself a favor: talk to the person, face-to-face. If you can’t because of distance, give them a phone call. The result may surprise you. Try to be gracious, humble, and respect their opinion. And instead of burning that bridge, you might just make it stronger.

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at heidikmorris@yahoo.com

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