Sunday, July 17, 2016

Social Media - Voicing Opinions with Respect

How much do people think before posting a comment? I don't know. After Orlando, Fl. there were many good, compassionate, and supportive posts, and there were many offensive, too. We live in a world of extremes and we see this in reality shows, reactions on social media, and we see people sharply divided and people coming together in support.

Clearly there is great room for improvement.

Hasty responses to situations perceived as unfair or a slight are common. Responding in kind, or in a matter-of-fact tone that is perceived as such, is more common then responding from a position of rational thought, thoughtfulness, and respect.

I have been tempted to draw back, reserve my opinion and not share on many occasions. Maybe at times that is the right course of action and maybe at other times it is not. I don't want to be involved in conversations that have to possibility to go so badly so quickly and then the record is out there on the world wide web for all to see, the dreaded potentially ever negative digital foot print, that only can be seemingly reduced by the wealthy and well connected.

My advice? And I'm trying to take my advice instead of bailing out. Do participate in social media. Participate thoughtfully. More positive participation by thinking individuals can have a favorable impact on the participation of others. We have enough evidence in research literature about our ability to positive influence one another. This can help increase standards of participation in these contexts (e.g., from language, to courtesy, to fair arguing) to improve what is considered social acceptable on this still relatively new, dominant, here-to-stay, mode of communication. Such examples of quality participation can encourage positive social pressures on the standards of interactions so that many more people will understand how to navigate what have become delicate and easily rocked platforms.

For additional information about interacting on social media see  Psychology Today. There is good,
practical advice about how to participate in social media, making your opinion heard, keeping it positive and respectful.