Have you noticed that sometimes the conversation on the social web feel less than calm – in fact it can be very stormy?
I often wonder what makes some people want to ‘lash’ out online? Yet when they meet you in person or by phone they can be very pleasant.
Some may say ‘toughen up’. But many people I meet are concerned about being more visibile online not only for reasons of privacy but also what people might ‘say about them’ once they become more visible.
Through one of my networks online I became aware of a little ‘dust up’ between two well known people on the Internet – I am not going to link to them or reference their names as their personal story isn’t the point of this post. Unfortunately though it’s not unusual. But a response by Geoff Livingston to the case in point did encourage me to write this post.
What do you do if someone ‘challenges’ your position or point of view online? Do you respond openly on the web, send an email knowing it could get published online, pick up the phone and talk to the person, send a private message on Twitter or just ignore it?
I am not suggesting there is one answer to cover all eventualities. Each case needs to be considered. What I do know is that it does help to have friends to talk the situation through with – to talk you through your feelings of being annoyed, upset, humiliated – what ever it may be. Thank you to those of you who have been a sounding board for me over the years.
Here is what Geoff wrote that I think would be a great screen saver:
In all activities online, I find it useful to ask myself is this about me, or about being of service to the larger community? ….our tongues can be powerful weapons… or forces for good. It’s a choice.
The only change I would make to his comment is that I would change the word ‘tongues’ to ‘words’. It doesn’t matter if the words are spoken, written or typed and distributed to cyberspace – Geoff’s comments are a great reminder that we can build positive relations or destroy them with our words and actions.
Thank you Geoff for the reminder – and the courage you gave me to write this post.
My Mum always used to say ‘never go to sleep on an argument’. I am sure she was influenced to say that as it was literally in the middle of the night that my Dad passed away when I was little – I am not suggesting she they had an argument the previous evening – but I am sure she did not expect to be left widowed with two children to raise in her thirties when she went to sleep that evening.
I’m left thinking what legacy do I want to leave behind and how does the Internet help me do that? And what role model am I being for those I am priviledged to mentor in business or nurture in my family?
What about you?