It seems that the longer we use social media, the less manners we use. When Facebook was new, we still (from my own personal observation) used common courtesy. That has completely gone out the window. The short version of my tip for this week is this:
If you have something wonderful/happy/exciting to share, go ahead and share immediately. If you have a negative opinion of something that you are thinking of sharing, sleep on it. Chances are, it won’t seem very important in the morning.
The longer version is this. I started using an app called Timehop. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, each day my Timehop app shows me things I have posted on social media in the past on that particular date. So, pictures and Facebook statuses from exactly 1 year ago, 2 years ago….10 years ago. It can be really fun to see old pictures that I shared and revisit those memories. It can also be kind of embarrassing to see the dumb stuff I chose to say for the whole world. This experience has made me really think about every status update I post. I have noticed that I am sharing a lot less, because I am wondering if I would be embarrassed to see it 5 years from now. Some of my posts are truly awful, others are just uninteresting. Some make zero sense out of the context that only I was aware of to begin with.
I have noticed it in myself because of the Timehop app. I have also noticed it with others. Anytime I see a big news story, I tell myself not to read the comments but then I read them anyway. People say the most terrible things to each other and about each other on the internet. With 24-hour news coverage and social media blasts, families have their worst tragedies made so very public and with a mob mentality, complete strangers harass each other over perceived mistakes.
The most recent examples are the child who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the zoo and the child who was attacked by an alligator at Disney World. I believe that if people were following the above tip, they would have never posted their ugly opinions on the internet for the entire world to read. They would have realized that their first conclusion was not correct, or at the very least that their voiced negative opinion helps no one.