OUR NEED FOR “DEFINITIONS” OF WORDS IN A WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA

By Dr. Andrew Jackson

The first step in constructive public communication and debate is that we have common agreed upon definitions of words. This is why we have dictionaries.

For example, as a student I had to write position papers based on definitions of words. And as a professor, I ‘would grade papers based on the student’s ability to write logical arguments based on definitions.

However, in the world of social media people are no longer required to use words that have historic definitions. Words have become emotional tools, almost void of objective meaning. Public communication now use short statements filled with loaded “words” that lack dictionary meanings.

So now stand alone “words” have become tools of accusation and destruction, no longer words that make sentences that make paragraphs that make meaningful arguments.

Words have become emotional tools of writers and media outlets to get “clicks” and to attack or accuse and destroy opponents.

We are now living in a world losing the ability to communicate because of the disconnection between words and their dictionary and historic meaning. The result is only misunderstanding, division and destruction.

The more words like racists or nationalists (you can create a whole list of words) are thrown around without basic meaning the more people are divided and abused.

As a result, we are very close to losing public communication, talking past each other because we are no longer concerned about the true definitions of words.

Quick twitter statements loaded with emotional words meant to demean rather than clarify. Words to tear down, not to bring light and built up others.

“Trump is an asshole.” I have received this statement in my post comments over and over again. Welcome to a world that more and more lacks the ability for adults to communicate.

With this perspective, take a close look at how you communicate and hear others. Let’s all improve!

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