There is a veil of allowance to express yourself on social media. Being the conditioned politically correct puppets we have to be in the workplace doesn’t allow you to be “you”. It is a rare occurrence to encounter an Account Executive presenting photos of his toddler dressed in camo, holding a shotgun at a meeting with a prospective client.
Facebook allows a hidden personality to troll around the town square in their underwear. Think about it – a casual acquaintance becomes your Facebook friend. He may be a neighbor or work associate. You know them in a casual or professional set of circumstances. You have never seen their Christmas tree, swam in their pool or broke bread at their table.
Workplace superiors, presenting themselves as control freak, power happy sharks post their controversial political views and off color jokes. The entitlement of rank appears to convey preeminence in online chatter. Walking a fine line is often exhibited to maintain “control”.
Religious practices and promotion are prevalent among Facebook postings. In an about face, quite a few confessions of being an atheist and agnostic pop up from time to time. It is a rare occurrence for break room conversation to erupt into someone proclaiming they don’t believe in God. No one wants the bank tellers or cosmetic counter manager to return to their stations all shook up. Mama always taught us to not talk about sex, religion or politics, but social media is a ripe forum for it.
Neighbors never fail to surprise. NextDoor.com is a community site available to a neighborhood to post info of interest to the residents. Every once in awhile a comment in reference to a playground will erupt with a posting in reference to some people should not have the right to have children! True or not, the statement is going to offend some folks. Instead of posting – “your neighbor parades around in their birthday suit with the blinds up”, go next door and tell him yourself.
Unfiltered assertions published from the comfort of your phone, tablet or laptop should be qualified with the validation, “Would I make that comment to my friend, co-worker, neighbor, relative face to face? We should always feel free to express ourselves, but repercussions can also slam your ass when you least suspect it. We are all aware of the school teacher posting her semi nude photo at a beer bash. Drunk posting is as bad as drunk dialing. Unless you frequently break bread with your co-workers or neighbors, is it necessary for them to know every intimate philosophy or activity you participate in?
Delusions of grandeur are portrayed with banners, videos and attachments. If you think or believe otherwise, you are deemed an idiot. Why don’t you tell me how you really feel? These are the comrades you are riding cheek to cheek next to in the commuter van! Now, you know the PTA president would think you’re an imbecile because the “Rainy Day Plan” is the most ridiculous waste of time you’ve ever been roped into.
Before social media, we actually talked to each other. We didn’t text. We either met in person or spoke on the telephone. The human voice infers pitch to convey emotion. The human face conveys expression. We were able to gauge acceptance or annoyance with our conversation. We had a circle of friends for the “shooting range” and another set of friends for discussing analytical algorithms.
In an “about face” – I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it till my death.” All I am saying is to “think” about what you are posting. Remember who your audience includes.
How many of your “friends” on social media would really be your friends if you were on a a deserted island together? Social media should not be real life. Real life should be a human exchange encompassing respect and compassion. Think – Woodstock!
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