I’ve been using social media for some time now but it wasn’t until recently that I really experienced what some have long expressed concern about.
To be fair, I have enjoyed having discussions and interaction via comment sections of various news outlets. They have been intense, knowledgeable, and most times respectable.
That presented an opportunity to discover an on-line news site which allowed me contribute articles which could inform and alert readers about the pressing issues of the day.
Those who were mentoring me on the advantages of social media stressed how increasing viewership could help in establishing your brand. Sites like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and other portals are essential to gaining exposure for your work.
One element I didn’t know about involved joining other social media groups that shared your passions and interests so I began looking for the sites I could participate in. There are hundreds of sites on the internet which cover virtually any subject you can imagine. Some encourage open involvement, others require that you become part of a select group. I made choices based on the site’s topic, requirements and volume of information available.
A website dealing with abortion caught my attention because the issue is very sensitive to me. It was a closed group where you could express opinions and exchange ideas with only those who subscribed.
On my first day, I came across an article detailing legislative opposition against abortions which had been promoted by the pro-life movement. I added my take on the situation through the comments section and waited to see if it would generate a response.
Initially replies stayed along the lines of support and disagreement about my comment. As the day wore on however, I was exposed to a site that seemed composed of people whose only purpose was to write inflammatory, profanity – laced juvenile insults that had little to do with the subject at hand and offered practically no insight.
What alarmed me was the sheer number of participants who joined in the conversation merely to inject their venomous rants meant to simply trash someone on a personal level.
This led me to wonder – if those same people had a face-to-face conversation, would they have dared to use the exact language they seemed comfortable stroking on a keyboard? Would the bravado and narcissism be on display so willingly? Probably not.
Which goes to show not only some individuals lack of morals, but of courage also. Too often we see on websites and pages those who would never use such vitriol in the real world because such behavior would bring serious consequences almost immediately.
So be forewarned, in a world connected by technology, there is an ever increasing chance that the words you choose will either be uplifting or bring about your downfall because all eyes are on you !!!