I used to think social media was something to avoid. I've distanced myself from the online world for most of this year, having returned two weeks ago after my travels to Ireland and Germany. I've abandoned my blog, ignored my thoughts, forsaken photography, and in effect relinquished life.
I observed from a distance - from beyond the screen. Watched people interact, read articles from links people posted, and studied human behavior from afar. The kindness of a few started to thaw the ice of disbelief, doubt, skepticism, mistrust.
Not everyone will like what you say. There will be those who think they are better than you and will run around flailing their online arms convincing everyone you are not worthy. Saying whatever it takes to bring you down so they themselves (falsely) believe they are better than you. Then one day, a post or comment will catch your eye. It will make you think. It will start to restore your faith in humankind. All is not lost if you learn to see beyond the noise, to hear that which is not readily audible, to let the kindness of one person change your point of view.
I'm reminded of an exam I once turned in to my high school teacher in US government class. On the front of the exam I wrote the following words - the chorus of Depeche Mode's "New Dress":
You can't change the world
But you can change the facts
And when you change the facts
You change points of view
If you change points of view
You may change a vote
And when you change a vote
You may change the world
I'm sure the teacher had no clue the words were from a song of my favourite band, both then and now. He agreed, scribbling something to the effect that I was right.
Noise is prevalent. It is all encompassing. But it takes one. One person to change your view of the world. It's only when we learn to see beyond the noise that we notice beauty within.