I grew up in a world where my dad would use cheap words as if they were going out of stock. He would pontificate all through the day, and some days I think he did this to hear himself speak. At times, I wondered if he ever got tired of hearing his own voice.
Most of his oration was about mind-numbing stuff that really had very little purpose. Sure, the words sounded nice, but they were just cheap words. There was no meaning in them. If you went through the day without hearing him open his mouth, life wouldn’t have been any worse off, and that is an understatement.
These days, I see many people doing the same thing as my dad. They go on and on all day long about everything under the sun as if they are an expert. If you try to interrupt them or interject a different view, they will quickly shut you down. They talk louder than you, and they talk over you. It is as if they need to hear the sound of their own voice.
With social media these days, cheap words are a dime a dozen. They mean little, but it doesn’t stop anyone from using them. Over and over, we hear the same things regurgitated as if there is no tomorrow. I see this every day, and honestly, I am getting so sick and tired of it.
We live in a day where what we say should matter, but everyone is so busy screaming louder than others that no one stops to listen. If everyone is screaming, no one is listening. I don’t care how important you think your belief or opinion is, without respect for others, it means nothing.
Cheap words are everywhere in our society now, and everyone thinks everyone else does this. Unfortunately, that is part of the problem because no one wants to look at their own actions. They only want to point the fingers of blame at those who are different than they are.
Here are 7 ways you use cheap words. Please don’t think that you are perfect in this because if you think that way, you are missing the point. If you see someone else doing one of the following, there is a very good chance you’re also doing it. Yes, I know that no one wants to hear that, but if the truth fits, don’t throw it out in the trash.
Ways You Use Cheap Words
1) Memes and Platitudes Without Context
All-day long on social media, I see cheap words used in the form of platitudes and memes. It seems as if it happens more on Twitter than Facebook, but they both exhibit this behavior. The platitudes and memes can be a nice welcomed thought in a day, but they are so over-used now that they have diluted the positive words they proclaim. After a thousand times of seeing these things repeatedly used, they become nothing more but a chore to read through and filter out in life.
I do realize that social media is a mind-numbing activity in the world. People are so accustomed to cheap words on social media now that they barely recognize that it happens. It has become such standard practice that most don’t even recognize the cheapness of the words.
If people were to give the platitude or meme in a context of how it applied to something they are learning or have learned in life, it would be a completely different experience. Yet, that’s not how society works these days. This would require conscious engagement with what is being said, not just swallowing the regurgitated statements.
When you share how they impact your life, the platitudes and memes come alive. Until that point, they are a string of words thrown together without much heart in them.
When I was paralyzed (as you can read about in my book, Overcoming A Mysterious Condition), it wasn’t cheap words that got me walking again.
The platitudes and memes were not healing moments. In fact, allowing myself to find my way through the struggle was what got me walking again. Many people offered platitudes and bible verses, but they did little for me except make me feel worthless.
2) Saying “I Care” When You Don’t Show It
Saying “I care” to others but not showing it is one of the worst ways you use cheap words, in my view. It is at epidemic proportions in the world. I wonder if people are even aware that they are even doing this these days.
It feels like this unconscious activity has become a way of life. People are so quick to say they care, but that’s where the words stop. There is no follow-up after the release of these statements. Sure, they might check in with someone at some point, but most don’t. If they check in at some point, that may be the last time they do. The individual will not cross their radar for a long time.
It would be nice if people truly cared about one another, but these days most people are busily bloviating about some opinion or belief they have heard. Most are regurgitating what someone said rather than truly caring for people.
Yes, I know that many will try to convince me they care, but if you look at their actions, the true story is told. Cheap words are too freely used, and actions are nonexistent.
Please don’t think that you are immune to doing this because that’s where people get in trouble. They think it is everyone else but not them. I’d be willing to venture a guestimate that at least 90% of the human population fails on this point.
3) You’re My Friend But Not Showing It
Saying “you are my friend” can be among the worst cheap words and phrases you can use.
For me, the word friend is not to be taken lightly. We have acquaintances and people we know, but the word “friend” is held in higher regard than just a person you know. Of course, these days, with social media, everyone is a friend, whether you truly know them or not. It is such a cheap word used over and over that we don’t even comprehend what it means.
Friends are special people in your life that are there for you through the mountains and the valleys, the good and the bad. They mean more than most, and you can count on them. During the times we live in, that special status has been so diluted that it means almost nothing.
I can’t count how many times I have had people act as if I am their friend only to be ditched in the times when I could have used them the most. Sure, they have all kinds of excuses for why they were absent, but honestly, it sickens me.
If you’re going to hold someone out as a friend, then make it more than cheap words. Actually mean it. Maybe you don’t need hundreds or thousands of social media friends because it exacerbates the problem. Instead, stop letting social media and your own ego dictate what a true friend is for your life. Find the ones that matter and then show them that they are truly a friend.
4) Not Walking Your Talk
When I was growing up, my dad never was good at walking the talk. He was taught well, and then in turn tried to “teach” the rest of the family.
When you force your beliefs and opinions on others, you had better make sure you are practicing what you preach. If not, they are nothing more than cheap words.
Yes, most people do not see that they do this, as they point the fingers at everyone else. However, that’s nothing more than putting blinders on and only seeing the path ahead, not the edges on either side.
I personally believe that the world would be a far better place if we didn’t force everyone to think as we do. If we allowed for an opposing opinion, rather than dictating that you have to think in a certain way, it would make the world a different place. Walking the talk is not what we see happening today in the world.
5) Your Opinion Matters More
These days, opinion is nothing more than cheap words used to make others feel like they know more than the next person. While that statement may sound a little stretched, I don’t believe we are far from this point. Honestly, I think this is how things work these days.
Everyone has an opinion about everything out there in the world. Yet it seems hardly anyone can truly back their opinion up with tested and tried facts, only regurgitated rhetoric that has been shared. Sure, some can sprinkle a few facts in that they pulled out of thin air, but it doesn’t stand the test of time.
It is fine to hold an opinion. In many ways, that is part of the human experience. However, where it gets dangerous is to believe that the opinion you hold is the only correct way of viewing the world.
When you demand that others hold the same opinion, you get into very dangerous and toxic territory. You might mouth the cheap words that you listen and accept the opinions of other people, but in all reality, that is bogus. It is far from what you practice.
We live in a day where almost everyone I meet (in person or on social media) has their opinion, and they expect others to share the same. If you don’t, they shun you or want little to do with you. If you don’t hold the same opinion, they’ll argue with you until they twist you into seeing their view as correct.
In the same token, even if you share the same opinion with others, if you’re not out there sharing it constantly on social media, many people want little to do with you. If you’re not jumping on the screaming bandwagon, then you mean little to them. Of course, they will not say this, but their actions show the truth of their cheap words.
I grew up in a home where you had to hold the opinion of my dad or family. If you did not, you were in the proverbial doghouse. Most of the things that seemed to matter in my family were of little significance to the earth spinning on its axis. However, it didn’t stop them from making a mountain out of a molehill about the opinion.
The one thing I have learned, and I share on page 246 of my book, is that shedding what we think we know to be the truth can lead to growth. Most of us operate in what was taught to us, not what we have discovered. There are many that hold their opinions and beliefs because that is how the family did things, not that they searched and discovered something phenomenal.
Opinions and beliefs should not be held for your entire life’s existence. In fact, these things should help you keep discovering more truth each day. It should take you to the next plateau and mountain range, not shackle you in place. Discovery is about evolving to be a better human tomorrow than you are today.
Opinion becomes cheap words when we stay stuck in these thoughts and beliefs. If we don’t venture beyond all that we know, we are doomed to repeat that which holds us back.
6) Becoming The Noise Of The Day
The noise of the day is nothing more than cheap words. Social media can be a good thing, but it is so bastardized now that it is almost worthless. Of course, we can blame the social media companies, but the responsibility falls at the feet of each person that uses it.
Collectively, the noise of the day is the cheap words that do very little for society or the human population. While we puff ourselves up and act as if we are somehow doing something good, if you strip all that away, you’ll see it for what it truly is. I know it is difficult to get people to understand that because once again, they wear blinders.
I left Twitter several months ago, and I’m backing away from Facebook because the noise of the day is just too much. It drives me insane. If you are the least bit sensitive, it can make you so angry because people show almost no respect for one another.
The funny thing is, I see so many act like social media is bad, but yet they keep using it. They think that there is so much horror, but then they add to it. The noise of the day is nothing more than cheap words they use, but they are so unaware of their role in all of this.
Maybe you could say the same for me because I too once believed that what I did mattered on Twitter and Facebook. However, it took me backing away from it to begin seeing just how much it wasted my time and existence. More importantly, I was part of the degradation of humanity by using it as if I thought my tweets were somehow better.
7) Nothing But An Emoji Or A Like
I remember when Facebook and Twitter first started using the “like” feature or added emojis to their platforms. Now, these things have become nothing more than cheap words.
No one truly communicates anymore. An emoji replaces statements and words, and a like is an acknowledgment that someone cares. Yet, these two things fail miserably among human civilization.
Most of the time, a “like” or emoji can be interpreted so many ways, and you truly don’t have a clue what the person means. They are impersonal responses that say “I’m too busy to really care and respond, so I’ll give you a click.” They are action-based responses that are weak at best.
In the course of leaving “likes” and emojis, we miss the interpersonal communication with one another as humans. Essential communication is now replaced with a meaningless inert object and action with little personal connection.
By using the cheap words of emojis and “likes”, we cheapen our interactions with others. We demean the feelings and emotions that make up the connected space with others. We degrade humanity from a moment of true connection to one of “you’re not important enough for me to truly care and respond.”
8) I’ll Call Or Email You
How many times have I heard the cheap words, “I will call you” or “I will email you?” It happens so much, and frankly, I’m so tired of it. When people do this to me, I’m quickly turned off by anything else they say.
It really is cheap words when you do this to others unless you actually follow through with it. A good majority of the time, contact doesn’t happen. They just say they are going to do it.
For me, I take that to heart when I hear it and believe that someone is actually going to email or call. So many promises are made but few are kept.
Yes, I know that sometimes we get busy or things come up, but call the person at the first chance you get. If you realize you’ve ignored someone, reach out to them, and explain. Just don’t make it a habit. For most people, it could be an email or a phone call. Whatever way you choose, walk the talk!
Our Words Matter
Our words matter. They are our currency of emotion and connectedness between people. If they are nothing but cheap words, then do we have much value. Can people truly trust you? If we can’t follow through or be authentic, what good are we to others?
There is so much in this world today that is harming human civilization, but for some reason, we are too ignorant to see it. We are not using common decency these days, and so others take a back seat to our egotistical ways. They are manifested through our opinions and beliefs.
Most of what we do in a day doesn’t matter, but we continue to act as if it does and precludes us from being authentic. Most of what we bloviate about in person or on social media doesn’t matter as much as we think it does. The things that truly matter are becoming extinct in a world that is so overrun with noise and cheap words that they no longer matter.
It Is Up To Us
While we can claim a million excuses of who is to blame or what organization is to blame, it is up to us. Cheap words don’t magically come out of thin air. Someone has to create them.
The thing is that no one takes responsibility for their role in what happens. It is always the other person or group or politician. Yet, we fail to see that our actions, as righteous as we may think they are, play a major role in the perpetuation of horrors inflicted on this world.
Can We Do Better?
Instead of using these forms of cheap words, why don’t we see if we can find a better way to lift up the world and civilization. Instead of cheap words, why not follow through with what you say you will do. Why not try to cut down on the noise of the day or screaming. Maybe if we realize that not everyone has to share our opinions and beliefs, the world will be a better place.
Finally, if we can be real with one another and instead of constantly sharing platitudes and memes, we show through vulnerability what they mean to us, we will empower people. Instead of making them feel inferior, we’ll show them where the ladder is in the hole so they can climb out too.
I just want to say enough is enough with some of this these days because it is out of control. Humanity deserves better than what we are offering. Most importantly, don’t just point the fingers of blame at others because you are most likely using these cheap words even if you don’t want to believe you are.