We all do it, not necessarily well and not always effectively, but we do it just the same. It is, after all, one of the inalienable rights of our citizenship.
But who could have imagined the impact of technology, with the grand dame social media! Gossip never had such a fabulous platform.
Even voices that were once stifled can now be heard, carried over mountains, through valleys and across rivers, oceans and flatlands. Echoed reasoning from the past meet fresh rebuttals that finally lay to rest, time weary old arguments. And all that once was, is no longer as it seems. Spring risings aren’t always unfurled leaves limited by season; but can also be correctable injustices.
From the safety of a touch screen, or from behind a computer monitor, both the extrovert and the introvert are on equal footing, each explaining and being heard. There’s an invisible swagger to keystrokes and finger swipes. Technology has that affect, makes us all the same.
Our thoughts typed into an oblong word box limited to 140 characters and tossed onto the web like verbal signage. Where it will be liked or unliked; followed or unfollowed by the whims of anonymous readership. Such power!
And so now our words are being added to the English language, like one of the 1600 words that William Shakespeare added. A mix of his flipped verbs added to our slang, bantered about in lively discussions that convey our deepest feelings ending with an emoji, as if it were a cherry topping.
Technology has set words free. They’re strung together across cyberspace, wearing lipstick, fully clothed or naked; it doesn’t matter. They’re being read like history. In a letter dated March 31, 1776, when the Continental Congress was meeting to draw up the Declaration of Independence, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, “ In the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.”
Back then technology hadn’t invented the bullhorn or the microphone; there was no television, no radio and no internet. No Marconi, and no Morse code, only her voice and a quill pen. She spoke quietly and mostly went unheard.
It’s 2015 now, and March is Women’s History Month. Here’s what having a voice looks like, I hope you’re listening.