Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Dear Angry Social Media People



Dear Angry Social Media Venters;

We certainly live in a great age, don’t we? From any device, anywhere, we have the freedom to speak our minds and beam our seat-of-the-pants thoughts out into the cyber world. So quick, so easy, and the cost to ourselves? Nada! It’s intoxicating the unbridled power, is it not? It’s like being able to eat the entire chocolate cake and fancy frosting rosettes without gaining an ounce! Shivers!

However, when I am in the middle of dashing off that hostile comment (Giants, you’re SERIOUSLY killing me this season), or a review (I mean is that REALLY how Gone Girl was supposed to end????) this little voice in my head says, “Just because you CAN say it, doesn’t mean you should.” Well why not? Chocolate cake, as we discussed before, and no weight gain! I mean…

But…my little voice reminds me as I finger the ‘submit’ button for my scathing sports remark (Giants, seriously, torture baseball again?), that there is always a cost to angry words. Could it be that the other sports fans have feelings, even DODGERS fans? Could these players that are disappointing me actually have families, fathers, children? Might it be that an author READS their reviews of the books they sweated blood and tears over, even NY Times bestselling authors? (Surely they lost any kind of feelings once they hit that level, right?)

Bottom line, my words can fan anger into more anger, can make me feel powerful in the venting of it, but at the same time, cost me something at the soul level,  in the diminishing of another to encourage myself. I think, for this moment, I will hit the delete button instead.

Blog readers…what do you think we can do to harness the incredible power of social media to encourage instead of discourage? 

Are you Facebook friendly?

Would you say that to my face? Huh? Would ya?

I read an interesting article the other day about the impact of social media on manners. The main point was this…the Facebook phenom encourages, if not trains people, to speak what’s on their mind without worrying about the consequences. I certainly think that’s true. I’ve been the recipient of stinging emails regarding books and such. I ask myself, would the person who is firing off such a missile say that to my face? To mild mannered, easygoing Dana? Of course, the tables must be turned in such a situation. Do I send off messages via email and FB that I would say in person? I think sometimes I do fire off the odd message which, though funny to me, might be read as not so funny on the other end.

I think there’s some truth to the fact that social media has encouraged the quick response, buffered by comfortable anonymity. Post away people and don’t reap the consquences of hurting people’s feelings that you’ll never meet. As I tell the kids, words have power, whether written or typed. Their power is lasting because you can’t gather them back after they’ve flown out into the world. So type cautiously, a lesson I need to reteach myself from time to time, a lesson hard to learn in our ‘facebook me’ world.

So what say you? Has Facebook and other social media contributed to the downfall of American manners? Post a comment and you’re entered in the September drawing for an iTunes gift card and a signed book.