Dealing With Annoying Social Media Posts (Part 2)
After writing my last post on how to respond to all those annoying tweets, pins, or Facebook posts, I quickly realized that I am a hypocrite in this area.
Therefore, I confess that I need to be more gracious online. Just ask my sisters. They get the brunt end of my sarcasm and general snarkiness constantly on Facebook. Sometimes it’s witty and funny, and sometimes notsomuch. I have a few other friends who hear it from me, and I’m probably guilty of being a jerk at times with them.
So, I am adding another key to managing social media, and it is the way to make the virtual world a better place.
# 6 – Practice Grace.
It’s best to avoid giving people what you think they deserve online. It’s okay in an email but not in the public arena of social media.
It doesn’t help to respond to something you find a little annoying with a really sarcastic comment, as funny as it may seem at the moment. It often makes things worse. For even if they think it’s funny (which is not always the case), their friends and family will likely take it the wrong way.
This is especially tough for me. Give me a few minutes to cook up a good comment, and I can hardly stand to keep it to myself. However, I am learning that it is better to let people just do their thing, as annoying as it may be.
The truth is that most most people are totally unaware of what they are doing. They are simply posting things because they are excited about something, and that’s not really such a bad thing, is it? Ok, sometimes it is incredible annoying, but can’t you just let it be?
We are still trying to figure out the rules and norms of social media. We are in the early days (the dark ages) of social media. So try giving people the benefit of the doubt. Be a nice guy online, not the right guy. Give them space and grace. Don’t try to reform them. In general, criticism causes polarization, and that’s something we need less of in this world. It’s better to get along online than to correct people on every post.
I am all for free speech. I love a good debate. I love when people disagree and talk it out. I just don’t think social media is the place for it. Corrections, debates, and deep sarcasm belong in emails, direct messages, and in personal conversations.
So, consider how you can make Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites more social and less polarized.
And by all means, discuss this with your kids. They need to know how to handle social media more than you do. Imagine if all your friends online were 13. Imagine the ridiculous posts, tweets, pics. Imagine the bullying. Yeah, they will need some help dealing with a wild world online.