Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Dwayne Johnson Rule

 I would like to enact the Dwayne Johnson rule.

It's really quite simple and I hope will bring some much needed peace and tranquility to our world.  But before I explain this glorious tool for future communication in the digital world, first let me briefly explain why we need such a rule. 

The internet, and social media in particular, has become a license for us to be our worst selves.  Not unlike when you are in you car, alone, and the idiot two lanes over cuts you off without a turn signal.  You proceed to curse and yell, informing this hapless driver of all the imaginative things you think of him as a person, only to realize you are going to the same place.  You then awkwardly and politely walk by as you pass him on the way into the supermarket.  On social media, this same effect of semi anonymity allows us to feel safe to rant and rave, to spew hate filled tirades, and to splinter into factions fueled by falsehoods and conspiracy theories.  Although road rage has its own not so innocent consequences in some cases, most of the time these rants in your car go unheard.  Perhaps chalked up to simple cathartic expression.  This is not so with social media.  People are listening.  Your voice is going beyond the metaphorical car and out into the world.  And as recent events have clearly shown, there are consequences.

So, the Dwayne Johnson rule...  

If you are going to voice something on social media, whatever it might be, personal opinion, political position, your stance on race relations, how much you hate tofu, whatever it is, stop and imagine yourself saying it to the Rock's face.  Actually picture yourself, no doubt for most of us, looking up into his face and saying "Mr. Johnson, I think, I feel, I believe _____"  If you think that you would not have a problem doing that, then by all means, carry on with your post.  If not, keep it to yourself.  Perhaps seek some therapy or snuggle with something warm and fuzzy instead.  I suggest a labradoodle.  

Now, I love the Rock, but it doesn't have to be him.  You can alter the rule to make it a better fit for you.  You could imagine John "the Bones" Jones, or perhaps a friend of a friend who happens to be a navy seal. Think outside the box.  You could imagine voicing your opinion in a crowded barber shop or in front of a platoon of marines. Just be sure, when applying the rule, you are alone.  It doesn't count if you are picturing yourself with your fellow Nazi buddies or your local Stalin MMA club.  Group think, as social psychology tells us and mobs and riots show us, can be just as bad.

Now go out there and post with confidence knowing that with the simple application of the Dwayne Johnson rule, you are no longer contributing to the downfall of our society.  

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