The truth is that it can be very easy to not be Christlike when we’re online. This especially happens in public forums or comment sections where opinions are very strong and heated. If we aren’t careful, we can slip into contentious online conversations, and we can act in a way which disciples of Jesus Christ should not act. Though the world loves using the Internet as a tool to shame, fight, and bully, we cannot use it the same way. It is absolutely necessary that we act Christlike online instead of using the Internet to hurt others — as Latter-day Saints, we should really know and act better — and there are ways in which we can do just that.
1. Check your emotions before you check ‘send.’
One thing that most of us are pretty bad at when it comes to the Internet is waiting for a moment to respond to something instead of immediately reacting to it when we’re upset. We don’t often have the patience to hold ourselves back when it comes to a post mentioning religion, politics, controversial issues, or even something personal that we feel threatened by. There might be five hundred comments on it with a final plea from the poster to stop, or just three comments altogether. We’d still feel the need to express our opinion and knock everyone in the thread that we disagreed with down a few pegs. In three seconds, we could say something uplifting and Christlike that edifies the conversation and reflects our role as disciples, but in the same three seconds, we often leave a comment in blind anger that, like a drop of oil in a freshwater pond, taints the entire tone of an online conversation and poisons the opportunity to feel and share the Spirit.