In my last blog article I talked about Communication is the key to relationships. I want to expand on that article to talk about why people feel they have a right to misuse social media, our latest tool of communication.
Social Media has definitely added to our tools to communicate. We can reach more people from different walks of life all at once. But to a certain extent it is done anonymously. People use “handles” so others don’t really know who they are or at least try to hide behind a cloak of anonymity. Why?
Like anonymous email and not being face-to-face, people feel less threaten so they think they can say anything they want without consequences. Let me give you an example; my ISP give users the ability to post comments on all news items. People usually post anonymously or using “handles”. They not only say the most outrageous things but slam one another using some of the foulest language, epithets, and statements. They feel no one can touch them so they act out, if you will. Why do people take advantage like that?
1- There are a lot of angry people out there in cyberspace. They are frustrated with their lives, their situations, etc and feel they have a 1st Amendment right to say anything they feel like it and if you don’t like it, you know where you can go. They don’t care who they might be hurting or what riot they might be inciting.
2- Then there are the unhappy, depressed people who want people to feel sorry for them and try to make us feel guilty. That’s the way they can get attention. If you can’t get positive attention, you look for negative attention. My five year old grand kids even understand that.
3- Then there are the know-it-alls. These people know everything and the rest of us are stupid. They shout us down so they can feel superior.
4- Then there are the passive manipulators who feel by making us feel guilty or afraid they somehow can control the rest of us.
The facts are these people win when we respond in any shape or form. If we would ignore them, they’d eventually go away because they couldn’t get a rise out of anyone. That’s why we have the freedom to use Social Media in a positive way for everyone’s benefit. When you feel you must respond in kind, they have won!
So what is there to do about this growing problem?
1- Be more careful as to what Social Media tools you are using and how you are using them. Using LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and there are several others, are fine but limit access to the types of people you are interchanging communication with.
2- Limit how much information they can get about you.
3- Don’t respond to negative individuals but do report them. Just about every Social Media tool has a reporting mechanism. Learn how to use them.
4- If you are going to report someone, be sure they are the negative ones and you are not just viewing them from your own negative perspective. Try to be as objective as possible. If you are not sure, ask a friend or family member to assist you in determining who the real problem is.
5- Don’t use Social Media when you are angry! Anger is contagious and you’ll spread it as much as you will contract it. Yes speak out for injustice but be sure you are doing it objectively and not in a bias, stereotypical response. Don’t become the origin of negative feelings or words. WORDS STAB AS SURE AS A KNIFE AND THEY DO CAUSE SEVERE DAMAGE. That’s why that movie about bullying is so important for all to see!
6- Do be positive always when using Social Media and you will be rewarded in many, many ways.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
About Dr. Fred (DocFred) Simkovsky…
DocFred is an accomplished organizational development, talent management, learning consultant building more effective organizations through true employee engagement and leadership development. His objective is to work with an organization or individuals that truly understand the concept and value of Visions of Success. Visions of Success fosters that each individual contributes their talents, abilities, and skills to a shared achievement of peak performance where everyone benefits for the whole. DocFred has a dynamic 35+ years of experience in multi-disciplinary environments both nationally and internationally.
Want to discuss this with a coach who has helped over 750 individuals in 6 countries in the last 10 years to reach their peak performance? Call me, DocFred 510 506 8281 or visit:
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