Etiquette

We are taught to be polite, right from childhood

There are things we don’t say out loud that we could

Because unfiltered thoughts are like cannons loose

Therefore our words we must carefully choose

Just because someone expresses an opinion different

We seldom protest outright in a tone vehement

Personal interactions are usually in civility cloaked

Otherwise fires would constantly be stoked..

**

Enter the world of social media where it appears

Norms of behavior change, there seems no hesitation or fear

In using language sharply negative, inflammatory and strong

Filters are discarded, and what would appear wrong

In polite conversation is out there for everyone to see

Reflecting our prejudices, opinions, bigotry

Why is it so much easier to tweet or post

Negative words that would not be uttered by most

Polarization becomes so painfully evident

When one reads through various posts and comments

These days when interaction on social media has replaced

In-person interaction to a greater extent, we are faced

With the need to remind ourselves of etiquette that we’ve learnt before

What should not be said out loud should not therefore

Be shared in social media spaces for all to see

And stay suspended in cyberspace indefinitely..

**

Writing this verse has reinforced that I should

Treat others on the web as in person I would..

2 thoughts on “Etiquette

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