Monday, May 12, 2014

What is our responsibility? by Linda S. Glaz

So what is our responsibility on social media?

Being opinionated, as I am, and a former debater, which I loved, I have the inclination to want to argue and tackle all the topics that arise on my facebook page. And having a few good friends who are like-minded, it happens quite often. And I have no doubt it happens on other medias as well, Twitter, etc.

What is my responsibility as an agent/author when confronted with the opportunity to argue into the wee hours?

I keep a private friends and family page. I announce once every month or so (in the event new ‘friends’ have found my page) that it is a personal page, not a professional one. And that my opinions are there strictly for friends and family. AND that I am a very opinionated person. If this doesn’t frighten them off, then they’re welcome, if they see problems, hopefully they pass.

But even for our friends and family, we have some responsibilities, don’t we? I know a couple times I’ve crossed the line of opinionated to obnoxious, caught myself doing it, and apologized. That’s right. Apologies do still exist in the human actions/reactions. Just because we have the right to speak out, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the correct thing to do. When confronted with a topic that really puts a tack in my heel, I try to logically spell out my reason for taking an opposite stand which is tough because I lead with my emotions. I know…I know…debaters argue with logic. I try, I do. But my emotions tend to get in the way from time to time. So shoot me.

I’ve read some responses to articles online, to other folks’ comments, etc. and I have to admit, I’m never ready for the poison that comes so easily from a person’s mouth when they don’t have to face the individual they are taunting. The hatred is overwhelming at times. From Christians and non-Christians alike. Words we would never use when face to face fly off the keyboard faster than phony money at a mafia convention, and I’m left to wonder, would people really say this when confronted with the other person?

What is our responsibility on social media? We can certainly have our own opinions, but shouldn’t we still remember to treat others the way we want to be treated? Old motto, but corny? I don’t think so.


Sylvia A. Nash said...

You're right--it is so easy! Another problem is that no one can see the facial expressions, etc., and so may take what's written much more seriously than the writer intended! I try to remember that when I'm reading something from someone else as well.

Diana said...

Sylvia you hit it- emails and online social posts do not have facial expressions or tone of voice to provide clues. I am extremely careful. If I see a FB post that is snarky on my feed, I delete it and then write a note to the offender privately and ask them to refrain from attacking but feel free to express their opinion on their FB page.
Unfortunately when I formed my FB page I blended my family and work together way back when and I have never gotten around to changing it. So I use it for business but have my family, church and high school people in same feed. They pretty much behave themselves.

Linda Glaz said...

I did the same thing, Diana. And in the long run, I think I like it that way, but I let them know from time to time I might get a tad opinionated...who they shouldn't take offense. I hear you, Sylvia, without the body language with a post, it's very hard to tell if folks are just adding their two cents, being sarcastic, or being downright mean! Can't even tell if they're happy ... unless ... :)

Davalyn Spencer said...

Social media is so close to thought--just a fingertip away. And sometimes I let those fingertips spout my thoughts before I remember that I'm about to let the world inside my head. Scary place, that. Online etiquette is so important and so often forgotten. Good reminder, Linda.

Linda Glaz said...

Now, I need someone to remind me, Davalynn!