Selah-ing Difficult Social Media Discussions

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Selah, in Hebrew, is a pause. It usually has to do with musical notation. It is a break in the music. It is a moment of silence. Everything comes to a halt. The idea of a pause is something we can really use today especially when it comes to difficult online conversations.

When things get crazy online and the comments come flying in, our typical behavior is reactionary. We get reactive and then we get defensive. The walls go up and everyone is dug in. But what if we pulled a George Castanza and did exactly the opposite of what comes most natural to us – the pause?

This allows our physiology to realign. Our breathing slows, blood pressure lowers, and anxiety levels drop. All it takes is doing nothing. Well, it isn’t really doing nothing. It is actually quite a bit more purposeful than that. But the irony is the harder we try the less progress we make in these discussions until someone pulls the plug and that someone is often the more disciplined person in the discussion.

What do you do in the moment of silence aside from letting your physiology take a breather? Put into practice 2 Corinthians 10:5 where Paul tells us to take every thought captive to Christ. That is very hard to do when the comments are flying. In the heat of the battle we have little to no filter. We have no thought being taken captive and held up for evaluation because we are in it to win it and win it big! And in doing so we lack the discipline that comes as part of our responsibility as people who were gifted with a voice. That discipline can help us slow down. It can help us bring things to a stop, a pause. Then we evaluate what is going on and move forward on a better foot.

The Selah can help change the sound of the music to a song that is far more pleasant and mutually edifying than the incessant beating of the drums of pride and arrogance that lack the discipline or forethought to know when it is time to pause.

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