30 Dec Proving A Point vs. Cyber Bullying on Social Media
We have all seen these “conversations” on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or other social channels. Someone posts a picture, video or article that someone else finds offensive. The person offended attacks the poster for his actions, attitude or whatever else seemed offensive. The poster immediately retaliates and moves to a defensive position and the fight is on. Friends and contacts on both sides of the issue jump in and soon the attacks shift from the issue to personal character assasinations. Mud is slung in both directions because everyone needs to be more right than the other side and soon no one remembers what they were arguing about in the first place.
As an outsider to many of these “conversations turned shouting matches,” I am convinced there are no winners! Everyone looks bad and no one wins.
- Once you shift from addressing the actions or attitudes represented in a post, to attacking the person who made the post, you may have become a cyber-bully.
- If you made the post and you attack the attackers personally, you may have become a cyber-bully.
No one wins and all the silent masses observing the argument think, “Wow, those people are idiots.” Most people do not want to be friends with, or do business with, idiots as a rule.
Businesses, customers and individuals take to social media to make a point, and I love that social media has put the power back in the hands of the people, but it doesn’t make it ok to cyber-bully no matter who you are and how important your cause is. You can be 99% right and still look like an idiot to the general public.
Here are a few rules to challenge other’s actions or attitudes without becoming a cyber-bully:
- Challenge the action or attitude and don’t attack the person. (It sounds easier than it is to do.)
- Challenge privately when possible.
- Only move to public when private is not possible or you are rebuffed in private.
- Stay on topic.
- Keep your minions (supporters) in check. Challenge anyone who swerves into personal attack mode.
- Remember, whomever you challenge will feel attacked and respond accordingly.
- Remember, most people have a deep need to be right and will respond accordingly.
- Remember, EVERYONE looks bad in most online arguments even the one most right.
- Have thicker skin online.
- Compulsively politically correct people on any topic can be very tiresome. (Don’t be one!)
- Don’t be a social media troll. If you don’t know who the “troll” is in your online community it may be you.
- Treat people online how you would like to be treated. This works in the real world too!
These are just a few simple rules to keep you from looking bad when it comes to online engagement. If you are a business or individual, these rules will save you from being the latest casualty of looking bad online!
What rules would you add to these 12 ?