In the early ages of the internet, the world embraced it with open arms. it was going to be a new, revolutionary, positive space for human development; a “cyber-utopia.” However, as the years progressed, we found ourselves heading in the opposite direction. The world wide web has turned into a place for banter, hate crimes and negativity. The pendulum is swinging too far towards the negative side. It may be too late for the internet to cleanse itself of ugliness, but it isn’t too late for you to start being an active and positive global citizen. Carl Roger’s Existential Theory, when practised, may help correct the internet’s nastier tendencies, to some extent and help its users participate in a more friendly environment.
The existential theory has three conditions for relational health:
- Congruence: Rogers used the term to describe the match or fit between an individual’s inner feelings and outer display. The congruent person is genuine, real, integrated, whole, transparent. The non-congruent person tries to impress, plays a role, puts up a front, hides behind a facade. So, essentially, just be yourself; we like you.
- Unconditional positive regard: Rogers asked himself, “Can I let myself experience positive attitudes toward this other person-attitudes of warmth, caring, liking, interest, and respect?” He already knew the answer he wanted to give. A few years earlier he had spoken of the pleasure he received when he let himself feel unconditional positive regard. “I have found it highly rewarding when I can accept another person.” Rogers didn’t claim this attitude comes automatically or easily. Being positive takes more wok than people expected but positivity is always well received.
Empathetic understanding: He used this term to describe the caring skill of temporarily laying aside our views and values and of entering into another’s world without prejudice. It is an active process of seeking to hear the other’s thoughts, feelings, tones, and meanings as if they were our own.
So, before you think this is just Kyra going on one of her “flowery rants about a utopia where everyone loves everyone”, consider it. As communications professionals, we are going to have to do a lot of online communication and we are going to come across a lot of people that really LOVE to express their opinions with hateful words.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Also, check out what our friendly neighbourhood Redditors are saying about all those online a-holes HERE