Watch your language: Reword

Watch your language: Reword

reword

Ever typed something horrible in the heat of the moment and instantly regretted it? reword is here to help.

reword is a new Chrome extension from headspace, Australia’s National Youth Mental Health Foundation, aimed at preventing online bullying and abusive behaviour.

It works in a similar manner to spell checker; when you write a hurtful message or comment on social media, reword will cross it out and ask you to reconsider what you wrote with messages like “Would you want the world to know you said this?” and “Remember you are writing to a person.” So far, reword seems to be working with 79% of users changing their language after seeing the red line.

While this extension is primarily aimed at young people, it can be beneficial to anybody. I like to think of myself as a responsible online citizen and have a general “don’t be a dick” policy in life, however reword asked me to reconsider my language fairly often. In particular, it pulled me up on the way I speak about myself - turns out I can be pretty nasty. While an unintended side-effect, the prevention of negative self-talk is actually great. I mean, what’s the point of being nice to everybody but awful to yourself?

 Turns out  my "don't be a dick" policy should also apply to myself

Turns out  my "don't be a dick" policy should also apply to myself

reword is far from perfect; it sometimes doesn’t understand sarcasm or self-deprecation (which make up most of my personality) and flagged “we should hang out more” as troublesome. But having to occasionally ignore a line through a benevolent phrase is a small price to pay if it prevents me from hurting a friend.

Plus, it’s probably more worthy than those other Chrome extensions you installed to turn photos of Tony Abbott into adorable kittens and the word “cloud” into “butt”.

So go forth, install reword and together we can become a little bit kinder.

  I’ll admit reading the news has never been cuter, but Abbott-kitten would be even happier if you stopped saying mean things online


I’ll admit reading the news has never been cuter, but Abbott-kitten would be even happier if you stopped saying mean things online

Click here to install reword

 
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