Words can send our spirits soaring. Words can inspire us. Words can teach us. Words can inform us.
Words can hurt us. Words can damage us. Words can mislead us.
Words can bring a smile to our faces. Words can bring a tear to our eyes.
If you are blasting social media, specifically twitter, with a barrage of tweets, use those words with care. To condense a thought to 140 characters including spaces is quite a challenge. I get it. But the “canned tweets” with the questionable words? They are TOO frequent. They are repetitive. They are damn annoying.
I’m being petty. I can simply stop following. OR, I can do deploy some sort of “zip it” feature where I will not see the tweets. OR, I can simply leave things alone and stop taking everything so personally.
But then, I come back to WORDS.
I believe any organization that wishes to maintain its reputation and be held in the highest regard by those whom they seek to assist has a responsibility to understand that words matter. Particularly in a forum where words are the only way to convey the message. There are no vocal inflections. There are no hand gestures. There are no facial expressions. There are only words.
The words should not offend. The words should be factual. If words offend, they hurt us. If words are not clear or factual, they damage us or at the very least, they mislead us.
Words suggesting food habits can prevent cancer are damaging. Words suggesting a particular food might help prevent breast cancer are misleading. Words about the history of the pink ribbon may be factually inaccurate as a historical accounting should start at the very beginning. It's possible the beginning of the pink ribbon history is omitted.
Words about posting our bra color on Facebook can bring tears to many eyes when you listen to the words of a young mommy, @whymommy, Susan Neibur, who died earlier this year. Awareness is so 1995. We don't need awareness. We need action. In 2012, we NEED action.
Sometimes, the words just don’t make any sense.
Prevent breast cancer with early detection?
I’m sorry. Those words need to be reworded. If breast cancer is detected early, you already have breast cancer. In other words, nothing was prevented.
Until there is a cure, prevention is key?
Until there is a cure, we got nothing. There is no way to prevent breast cancer.
I'm not being overly sensitive. I am being acutely aware. Aware when things are slightly askew. Ignoring minor inaccuracies is no longer acceptable. It keeps us stuck with the status quo. The status quo has gotten us nowhere. The status quo has us doing little more than marching in place.
Please take special care with words. Please use words responsibly. When all you have are your words and your words are representing you, those words that are misleading others may be the very words that harm you or damage your reputation.