Do not pass through the streets of the hot-tempered and quarrelsome, lest your heart be filled with anger, and the darkness of delusion dominate your soul. 
Such a warning from St. Isaac the Syrian, when taken literally, is not particularly applicable for me. How often do I travel down streets filled with angry people? I wouldn’t even know whether or not the people on a street are angry since travel by vehicle mostly detaches me from my surroundings.
But I think the spirit of what St. Isaac writes here is even more applicable today than perhaps it was in his time. How often do we log on to Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media and see memes and rants from people who are outraged about something? How often do we see people arguing about politics or religion? How often are we sucked into those debates only to regret the amount of time and energy that we’ve wasted quarreling with a friend, family member, or total stranger? Even when I avoid commenting, I find that some “outrage” that a friend has shared often sticks with me throughout the day. I either share in his or her outrage or am annoyed at their anger.
It is the 21st century and I’m not going to suggest we unplug from social media, though that would probably be one of the healthiest things for our nation. What I would suggest, however, is that we unfollow those who often post things online that stir up our emotions, that includes friends, groups, and even news agencies. The latter have mastered the art of toying with our emotions under the guise of keeping us “informed.”
I have personally found great benefit from overhauling my social media usage this year. It has brought me more sanity, clarity of thought, and peace of mind throughout the day. I would encourage you also to join me in trying to avoid the “digital streets” of the outraged, the angry, and the quarrelsome.
 The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian, Homily 17, pg. 216. Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 2011.
Digital colorization of old street photo by Sanna Dullaway