I was going to name this post some clever parody of something, but I’m not good at parodies.

Ooh, that opening leads me nicely into my subject. There were several titles that I almost used for this post. I even typed them into the box… and then I erased them and went with the above title. In fact, I type oodles and oodles of tweets, statuses, comments, and posts every day, a lot of them to never be seen by the internet. The reason? Because they sound stupid, they may offend someone, or they aren’t quite relevant. They didn’t get past my brain filter.

We talked about this in Seminary once. It was my first trimester as a high school sophomore, I wasn’t as glaringly brilliant as I am now (joke), but I was apparently aware enough to remember. It was the beginning of the trimester and we were talking about what would, the next year in my second trimester as a junior in high school, become Momentum, Critical Mass, and Mindfulness (I may or may not have had to check my Seminary notes to remember the last one… which was actually the first one in the list… I digress)(but really, isn’t the point of parenthetical commentary to allow the writer to digress?)(whatever). Those three concepts are for another blog post, but in the beginning, we were focusing mainly on brain filters.

The point of this particular discussion was apparently to help us remain focused in the class, throughout the trimester. The idea was that we needed to keep up our participation in class, but not to become distracted by just saying whatever comes to our minds. We needed to develop a mind filter. Of all the millions of thoughts that flash through our minds within a pretty short amount of time, most of them shouldn’t be said out loud, for various reasons. Sometimes, some of those thoughts may seem funny or appropriate in the moment, but really aren’t, so we were supposed to be able to tell what thoughts were worth saying and which ones weren’t before we said them.

That trimester of seminary was the most successful one I’ve ever been in, so apparently this concept got through to us. It also made me a big fan of trying not to say everything that comes to my mind… which admittedly does NOT work sometimes, especially during school. Though, in my defense, some of my teachers find me to be very funny (OR they’re FANTASTICALLY good at their courtesy laughs…)(This only reinforces my opinion that teachers are actually nicer than they’re given credit for).

Where this concept really works for me, though is when I’m communicating via textual means. Facebook especially because I forget that, even though I know those people really well, we’re not particularly good friends. Not like on Twitter where I follow people and they follow me back and we generally tolerate one another and… I don’t really know, but it’s a different sort of friendship. On Facebook, I forget that I’m not really on frequent-speaking terms with people and that they may be a little annoyed when I comment something incredibly sarcastic on their statuses. My statuses are less “filtered”, for want of a better word, because if they want to unsubscribe from my feed (is that what it’s called on Facebook?) without unfriending me, they can, quite easily. I’m not saying it’s completely unfiltered (That’s for Twitter)(It’s like there are three different levels of “filtering”: the Facebook comment filter, the Facebook status filter, and the Twitter filter)(That’s probably why I don’t have many followers…), but I have a little more freedom.

Now, I’m not saying that the things some people post on Facebook statuses, comments, Twitter feeds, or anywhere on the internet are just word vomit (a beautiful concept introduced to me by another teacher that probably didn’t find me funny at all, but put up with all of the stupid things that I said), unfiltered, and straight from the brain, but I kind of am. Teenagers and people are usually criticized for the stupid things they post on the internet, but I can’t help but wonder if they’d be criticized less if they’d put a nice brain filter in place (PROOFREAD).

It’s harder to see on Facebook (for me) because most of my friends there are SUPER nice people. Same with Twitter, though I read plenty of articles that discuss the effects of things people say on Twitter (my Twitter friends are awesome). But, sometimes I see things on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, that either make me feel deeply embarrassed for whomever posted it, or feel angry that they could post something that would potentially hurt people. It’s a good skill to have and if people used it a little bit, maybe the old folks would stop hating on the internet! (There’s nothing wrong with being old… unless you make it a problem)(I’M LOOKING AT YOU, ANGRY OLD LADIES THAT YELL AT ME FOR DOING WHAT I’M TOLD).