Peace on Earth

tribute lights

© Carla Bicomong

We launched the candles. The tribute was organized by telephone and mail so it was really hard, but we did it.

“Hi. I’m Jill.” She startled me. I’d been listening to other people talk, but I assumed they were already friends, I mean real life friends.

“I’m Dave. Pleased to meet you.” We shook hands and I started to blush. “Sorry. I’m a little nervous.”

“Me too.”

“Everyone’s so much nicer than I expected.”

“That’s the point. twitter, Facebook, Instagram turned us all into opinionated monsters.”

“But now that we destroyed them, there’ll be peace between people.”

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 97.

After yesterday’s “challenging” series of conversations on twitter (which admittedly, I asked for), I decided that the people I briefly sparred with are most likely much nicer human beings in person than they are on twitter. Libertarian commentator and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro even admitted that he’s more snarky on twitter than he is in real life. I suppose it’s the nature of the beast, the “beast” being social media, and particularly twitter.

So in my wee fantasy, I killed twitter, Facebook, and the rest of them. Would that bring peace to mankind? Probably not, but it wouldn’t be so easy to insult and slander people we don’t know if they didn’t exist.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit

43 thoughts on “Peace on Earth

  1. I feel your pain. I used to argue with people online (before fb et al., on discussion forums) and it burnt me out. I think if it were less anonymous, there’d be less hatred. Timely story.


  2. Not peace perhaps, but I do think it would make for a better world. If you had to stand face-to-face with the person you were insulting, a lot of people would learn it’s not so easy to spout hatred…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reminds me of the reconciliation processes some countries went through (south africa i think was one example), after long years of atrocities. In the end you still have to learn to live with people, whether or not you agree.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think the supposed anonymity of the web gives some people permission to be arseholes… unfortunately. Though I have had mostly positive exchanges.
    And yes, I do believe people are better behaved face-to-face…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. i have a co-worker who happily announced that finally he and his finally have started talking. Not face-to-face, but via text. i’m sure things will get better when social media disappears from the face of the earth. 🙂


  6. Impactful story and thought-provoking too. I’ve never gone the Twitter route, but I do enjoy email and a few other platforms. I remember living in China in the pre-internet days, the turnaround for a letter to/from home was a month or two. I know I’m aging myself (haha). Face-to-face is always better though, when possible. We tend to be a better version of ourselves in person.


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